Every evening when I get home from work, the first thing I do is plug in my Blackberry, my Kindle, and my iPad. There they sit, one atop the other on the end table, taking up less than half a square foot. I look at my collection of gadgets and think how totally weird it is that so much of my life is contained in such a small space.
I think of all the things they replace: alarm clock, laptop, landline telephone, address book, camera, video camera. All of these things are nearly obsolete now.
One thing they don’t replace is people. Sure, I have met some new “friends that I’ve never met” through social networks, but they aren’t breaking bread with me or telling me a story with expressions that are unique to them and that I can see and smell and touch. No matter how connected I may feel to the world through the constant stream of information that gushes through various portals, it still can’t replace a quiet dinner with friends and loved ones.
Although one can really LOL, it isn’t the same as hearing a guffaw or seeing the twinkle in someone’s eye or the unique laughlines around their mouth.
I’m not saying technology is bad. It has made our lives alot easier. Been inside a bank lately ? The last time I had a paper check I found that I had nearly forgotten how to fill out a deposit slip. It took me two times to get it right. My signature was atrocious. I’m used to a keyboard.
I have always been a techie, ever since the first Radio Shack Tandy with a 5 1/4 inch boot disk. I was a master at Pong. My job is technical, and I am basically wired 24/7. So I guess I’ve kind of grown up with the whole business of computers becoming smaller and smaller and more accessible.
The old and cumbersome familiar things are being replaced by tiny and fast things. Facebook friends become our neighbors, our coffee klatch, and our quilting bee. Farmville becomes our recreation. Blog headlines become our truth. We don’t know how to reflect anymore.
Times change and technology moves on. Overall, I think that is a good thing for society.
But never forget that a snuggle on the couch can never be replaced by the latest text message. A quilting bee isn’t just the sewing, it’s the conversation. You can send all the virtual hugs you want, but they will never replace a true embrace. An electronic book can fit in your purse, but a dog-eared old tome, marked up and read over and over, can be passed to your grandchildren.
Keep reminding yourself of that. I am.