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Techno-Tsunami

Jun
27
2007

This week it seems that technology is chasing me everywhere, threatening to run me down to tackle me and foist its self-inflicted issues into my quiet, peaceful brain.

First, we have the release of Apple’s iPhone, a gizmo for which I have absolutely no use, which is a good thing, since I probably couldn’t make it work if I wanted to. Then my husband and son brought home a Nintendo Wii, yet another barrier for me to overcome in my quest to watch my Amelie DVD when no one is home on Friday nights.

Meanwhile, a bunch of doctors at an American Medical Association convention in Chicago actually spent time discussing whether or not to classify excessive video game playing as a clinical addiction, subject to treatment and, more importantly (my words, not theirs), profit-generating insurance reimbursement (my adjective, not theirs). I guess they’d already solved the whole finding a cure for cancer and AIDS thing.

What is a techno-dud such as me to make of this most recent assault? This is summer, a time I when want to tune out and disconnect. The last thing I need is something that “enables” me to be connected anywhere at any time to anything. And, to me, “enables” reads as “required.”

The reason I say this is that I was the last person on the planet who wanted to possess a cell phone. I caved in when I overheard a school official refer to a parent allowing their cell phone battery to die as “parental irresponsibility.” The school, it seems, expects parents to be on call every second of the day because, while they like cluttering up curricula with character building and self-esteem issues usually better handled by parents, they don’t like being responsible for the actual physical well-being of said student. So I got a cell phone so that I could tell the trained professionals immediately that it’s okay to put an adhesive bandage on Heir 2’s boo-boo and no, I wouldn’t sue.

So it seems to me that, while I consider a cell phone and, therefore, the iPhone, to be a luxury for some and an annoyance to me, society will ramp up their expectations of our time to where I will be required to get one. But you won’t find me standing in line.

Which begs the question of those who do find the need to stand in line for Friday’s release of the iPhone: If your time is so precious that you cannot find the time to sit at a computer at a desk or in front of your television to watch a movie or program, where do you find the huge, honkin’ amount of time required to sit in front of an Apple store for three days?

This is why Dirtman and Heir 2 are just getting around to getting a Nintendo Wii, the hot game from last Christmas. Standing in line for one seemed more of an effort than the system was worth. But then my brother and nephews got one and brought it over to demonstrate, an event I refer to as The Lost Weekend, after that memorable Ray Milland movie about an alcoholic drowning in his addiction.

My sister-in-law Beth and I had no interaction with our husbands, sons and nephews that weekend as they grouped in front of the television playing pretend golf and bowling. We were left to kill time virtuously sitting on the deck – with guacamole and chips. . . and margaritas. . .and cheesecake . . . and chocolate. You wouldn’t catch us escaping the reality of our situation with some crutch like video games. . .

First thing Monday Dirtman went out, bought a Wii and disappeared with Heir 2 into the family room downstairs. I haven’t seen them since.

So I spend my time alone out on the deck. Every night I make myself another margarita and call Beth on my cell phone and we complain about how disgraceful it is that the men in our lives are so addicted to video games and what a shame those doctors decided not to make it an official disease. Then I eat some more chocolate.

Had I an iPhone I would still be there, surfing for my links and posting this story – or maybe just trying to figure out how to turn it on.

Pass the guacamole.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 5:40 PM | Permalink

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