It struck me in the car, on the way to get a pizza, just how far technology has come, and how much a part of our lives these days it is.
I was listening to a CD, one I had just bought online. I had purchased it with the click of a finger, and downloaded it to my computer where I burned it to a disc and minutes later had it spinning on my automobile CD player.
Was it always like this? So quick? So convenient? So easy to spend money that you never held in your hand? So impersonal? So digital?
Am I a part of the technology revolution or what? (Forget that I still get lost on a fairly regular basis, or that I have a receipt sitting on my dresser that I can’t for the life of me figure out what it’s for.)
What a technologically amazing world we live in. I wake up early Saturday to watch English soccer on my digital cable. I have high speed access that allows me to spend even more time in front of the computer at home than I already do at work. (Wait a minute, benefit where?) And I carry computer files home on a little portable memory device no larger than a peapod, but capable of storing more information than the computers of yesteryear which were large as houses.
But there are always downsides. Why is it the more advanced we become, the harder it is to tape something on television? Take my digital cable for example. Once upon a time all I had to do was program my VCR, pop a tape in and cross my fingers that I had punched in the correct date.
Now I must consult a checklist that begins with a warning — “Failure to follow these instructions could result in death by static electrocution, or worse, taping C-SPAN instead of ‘Survivor.’”
I feel like an airline pilot preparing for takeoff. “Rotary flaps set?” How would I know? I just want to see “The Amazing Race”!
I have to switch the switcher, make sure the digital cable is on the right channel, program the VCR in some precise order so it doesn’t get an attitude and eat my tape, sacrifice a chicken, read and re-read the instruction manual, check the atmospheric pressure and then cross my fingers that I punched in the correct date.
I go to replay the tape after all this and find that while the TV volume was up, the digital cable volume was all the way down. Now I’m watching my show trying to read lips.
Thank you technology.
I’ve got an Internet connection that sometimes gives an error message that is longer than Idaho, and mixes in with code I can’t understand two messages that I can — “up the creek” and “consult God.”
Thank you technology.
On the one hand, I love this plethora of modern technology that surrounds me. (I’m making use of it right now, and if it weren’t for E-mail, this column would get to my editor even later than it already is.)
But on the other hand, I’m plagued by it, constantly caught in a giant shoulder-spasm of a panic attack while trying to figure out error messages or blinking red lights that have no meaning. I’m suffering from digitization.
While I feed on it, I also sometimes wonder if we’re not better off without it. Maybe we should go back to reading books, drawing pictures, sending mail, listening to tunes on record players and ruling technology, instead of it ruling us.
Or, I could just order another CD online and drown my misery in some downloaded digitized tunes. Back to the computer.