I had a revelation in the car yesterday. I’m on Day 18 of a “No Facebook” challenge (among other things, which I forget, because if I’m not constantly thinking Don’t get on Facebook. Don’t get on Facebook, then I get on Facebook), so revelations are definitely welcome at this point.
Driving to a friend’s house, I had my pup in the passenger seat and was going across town. Here’s a picture of my doggo, not because it is of much relevance to the story, but because you really need to see a picture of him.
Ugh. Adorbs. Just one more, please.
I promise this is it.
Here he is looking like he’s smoking the newest drug out there and he just got caught. (Reality: I gave him a DentaStix because his breath is mighty awful).
Here he is opening his Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa Claus.
Here he is perched on a throne and wondering why I’m taking the zillionth picture of him. Is this the look teenagers give their parents when they’re going to their first dance and are so embarrassed?
I know, I know, these are a lot of dog pictures. I know what you’re thinking.
“Can I see more?!”
What if…What if I never find out who’s a good boy?
ANYWAY, WHERE WAS THIS GOING?
I had a revelation. All of a sudden I remembered I needed to know what Tyrone (my car’s) mileage was so I could track it for Mary Kay. After 30 seconds of repeating the six numbers to myself, I thought, I am not doing this for the next 30 minutes. But kids, texting and driving is dangerous, so I didn’t pick up my phone.
How can I write this number down hands-free?
“Yes, how may I help you?”
“Can you make a note for me?”
“What would you like the note to say?”
(Geeking out at this point because technology is freaking cool and I didn’t think my plan would work. I mean really, how many times have I asked Siri to tell me the score of the Colts game and she tells me the weather in Timbuktu).
“Your note says, ‘106708.’”
And a safe drive was had by all.
As I continued to geek out, I thought more and more about how far technology has come and how we benefit so much from it.
Email accessible on our phones.
Online college classes.
24/7 shopping, stores, websites. (Peruse with caution).
The ability to draw and design on iPads and laptops.
Play music, watch movies, make videos.
Listen to Podcasts.
Use GPS. (Lifesaver).
Turn off your home lights from another location.
Video chat with your dog on a pet cam. (The entirety of Kelly’s Christmas list 2017).
There are so many ways technology makes our lives easier, better, faster, funnier, richer, cooler.
And then I realized the difference between me marveling at a robot making a note for me and my frustrations with not being able to give up Facebook was the difference between my technology working for me, and me working for my technology.
Did you catch that? My technology working for me > Me working for my technology
Somewhere along the line of growing up surrounded by new gadgets, I became obsessed with always being connected to it.
I have to check Facebook because I might miss something if I don’t! vs. My car’s oil change will take another 10 minutes and I don’t want to watch the Dr. Phil episode they have playing.
I’ll get Snapchat because all of my friends have it! vs. I already have several apps similar to this, and the same pictures and stories go on other social media sites, so I won’t miss much.
I live for seeing my blog stats go up vs. I write because I love to and I am making it available if others want to read it.
I’ve heard of people being “enslaved” to their phones/laptops/other technology before, but I don’t think I really got it until today. It’s the feeling of scrolling through your newsfeed long after you’re interested or engaged. It’s staying on the toilet ten minutes after you’re done pooping because you are almost to the last level and can’t quit now. It’s opening an app to keep from doing the next thing on your To Do list. (Yes I capitalized it. Lists are life, people). When you feel this start to happen, run. Your technology is beginning to control you, and that’s a train that is not easy to derail once it has left the station. Take it from me, a recovering Facebook addict.
Take some baby steps this week if you found any of this applied to you. What’s one thing you can change today?