There comes a point when I think it’s acceptable to ask just how much technology do we really need? I think that point is now. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been deeply over my head with all of it for several years now. Five year old kids can run circles around me, and I know it.
Email was pretty cool, I must admit. I think I bought my first computer in 1996 or right around there, and it was a desktop behemoth somewhat akin to the old wood grain TVs our grandparents had. I had a dial up AOL connection and I thought I was George Jetson. The future had arrived.
I reconnected with old friends online, and made new ones. I was fine with that level of business and had it not gone any further I would be a happy man today. I was never into video games or at the cutting edge of needing to have the latest gadgets, and that’s where I got trampled by the herd.
Cell phones were another hurdle. I scratched and clawed against getting one for years, as I just couldn’t see a practical need to carry a phone with me for any other reason than my car breaking down. With my luck with cars I should have been one of the very first on the planet to have one.
I finally relented around the year 2000 and signed up for a cell phone when I was working in radio in Salt Lake City. The station had a group discount plan, and I still remember joking on air about how stupid I thought it was for everyone to have to haul them around like modern walkie talkies.
I found nothing wrong whatsoever with how the old system was with a phone at home, and others located at strategic locations that could be used by anyone who needed them. Why would we all need to carry our own? Well, I guess none of us actually need to, but it sure has caught our fancy.
Who walking the earth in the 21st Century could imagine life without a cell phone? I left mine at home the other day and needed to call someone, and actually tried to find a pay phone. Good luck with that search. I might as well look for two, and if I’d happen to find them I’ll bet Jimmy Hoffa will be talking to Amelia Earhart. I am officially a member of the last dinosaur generation.
That’s funny to me, as my grandparents used to look at me as Mr. Spoiled Brat with all the new technology they never had – including indoor plumbing and running water. I heard about all their struggles growing up, ranging from milking cows to cutting wood for heat, and I’d laugh about it.
Now everyone is laughing at me. I was at the cell phone store the other day because my, ‘what is supposed to be a smart phone,’ wasn’t functioning properly. It turns out the phone was totally fine, rather I was the moron for not knowing how to program it.
Phone – smart. Owner – not. How ironic.
The latest obstacle I’ve been fighting is Twitter. Everyone seems to be on it, but I can’t for the life of me see why. Short blasts of meaningless tripe from Ashton Kutcher or Nicki Minaj aren’t a priority in my life, but neither was all the other stuff I now couldn’t live without.
I think I need to be very careful before I totally poo poo the idea, but I’m too busy with Facebook and Linkedin, and trying to keep track of everything else I’m not able to keep under control. Life has passed me by.
Dobie Maxwell is a stand up comedian and writer from Milwaukee. Visit dobiemaxwell.com