Posts Tagged ‘communication

31
Aug
15

New package, Same Product, Still Losers

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That’s a quote (I think) from Megatron in the second season of Beast Wars.

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It randomly comes to mind as I think about the concept of mail, letters, keeping in touch with those we care to converse but can’t quite reach by phone or in person for whatever reason.

I think back to a time when I first learned how to write a letter.  It was a very important matter that came in two varieties.  I wrote my first classmate as a pen pal, and we both laughed as if it was cute.  But, that didn’t last.  I wrote my first business letter and got one of the best surprises of my life.

The years roll by…and I would write letters in high school the way some kids pass notes in class.  No one really appreciated the effort.

More years roll by, and I see something in a magazine about pen pals.  I gave that a try.  And, lucky me, I met a gal who liked to doodle on envelopes the way I did.  We stayed in touch for a while.  But, I started to feel like I was back in grade school, only talking kid stuff and never really connecting with the person on what mattered at my “age.”  I needed more of a persona, mature connection, someone I could sit with and cry about adult matters.  Not a crazed toy and video game fan who only wanted to discuss the latest product as if she was working for the company.  So, I let that go.

Then came the age of the internet, and I learned the ropes of email and online chat.  I’ve approached countless strangers from around the globe and emailed a handful.  That handful comes and goes like the tide.  Faces change…heck, I don’t even get to see faces.  I didn’t see faces when I wrote on paper.  And, I don’t often see faces on the computer screen.  That much hasn’t changed.

But, what HAS changed is how–in this age of quick and easy responses–more time seems to escape me between contacts.  I go longer periods without hearing from someone I like and wonder if they haven’t just floated off into deep space or read something they didn’t care to read and took off like a scared gazelle.  I feel like I am stuck on an island sending out messages in a bottle.  And, how foolish I am to think I could keep speaking with any one who has the guts to respond just once.

Heck, it might even be my own fault sometimes….no, I do my part.  At least, until technology fails me.

How do I end this emotional rant?

How about…

Sincerely, the friend you haven’t met yet,

Writingbolt

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28
Sep
13

I Just Can’t Get “Stupid”

Watching people do foolish things in the same movie I’ve seen almost a half-dozen times now, I am struck with a notion about my own life and the world around me. I think of countless lives going through the same paces: lame conversations, political and religious squabbles, lousy excuses for entertaining oneself with what’s considered popular or current entertainment, pathetic pick-up lines, drunken mishaps, online dating, blind dates, arranged dates, hours upon hours of casual sex, friends with benefits, one night stands, more lame conversations injected with comparisons of body parts and intimate activities taken way too leisurely (instead of seriously), drug use and abuse, dares and contests demanding impressive results, mistaken tattoos and painful piercings, bad relationships ended in all sorts of unpleasant ways, divorce, abortion, multiple marriages, single parenthood, forsaking one’s religion/faith from any number of the previous weighing too heavily on the conscience and essentially declaring oneself a lazy “spiritual” person or atheist, alimony, child support, “pre-nups”, “post-nups”, jobs that don’t pay emotionally and financially, unpredictable insurance and retirement plans, etc. etc.

All of the above are things “most” people do as part of “the norm”. Not one of them can I commit so casually without a heap of discomfort amassing in my gut. And, upon once more realizing this boundary that separates me from “most” people, I am–yet again–discouraged from “entering the game”.

If someone explained the rules of chess to you, and you decided they were too complicated; how would you feel if everyone you saw around you was suddenly playing that very game? Imagine being the only deaf or blind person in your city, state or country, not knowing how to convey the full nature of your life experience to another living soul without fear of misunderstanding, isolation/segregation or something far worse.

How many cases in history were resolved horribly or violently/lethally from misunderstanding? Do I really want to be one of those cases simply because I don’t “go with the flow”? Can you begin to–if not already–understand how difficult it can be to wake up every day with little to no interest in doing any of those things previously listed while the rest of the world around me expects me to do just that if I want to “belong”?

I imagine myself driving a stick-shift car and not being able to downshift to that lower gear everyone else on the road around me uses to “get by”. I see them all pass me by either hastily or leisurely. And, there I sit in the middle of traffic, being honked at and unable to get my vehicle moving. I am a heartbeat away from a horrible accident. And, it has me on edge to the Nth degree. If I lose another minute, I could be dead. I need to get myself in gear and merge with traffic. Wait. I just need another–

I’m more content being of service to people as I find them and utilizing my creativity to its fullest. But, presently, that’s not filling in all the necessary boxes of a “normal” life. It’s not “financially sound” or “relationship savvy”. And, that worries me.

If you see someone stuck on the side of the road with his “blinkers” on, it’s probably me, not going anywhere. I just can’t get “stupid”.

 

[Disclaimer:  I use the word “stupid” as a substitute for mistaken and/or erroneous.  No one wants to be called stupid.  But, we all should know when we’ve made a mistake. And, I am a stubborn perfectionist.]

28
Jul
13

There Was A Time…

I was working at my computer recently when all of a sudden the screen froze. In the middle of highlighting a phrase on an important (to me) writing project, everything froze. And, I couldn’t push a button or a combination of buttons or enter a command to save a life. All I could do was cut the power. And, it scared me. It made me mad.

Then I got to thinking…

Here I am worried one more time about losing access/use of a computer. I’ve already met with my share (which may be smaller than your share and lower than your tolerance level for technological “oopsie daisies” which either send you to a technician or the store for a new model) of technological scares. I’ve already lost my cool, stressed myself out and forked over more money than I probably should have ever paid to save this thing that essentially became an addiction which robbed me of my perfect eyesight from over-exposure. I’ve faced chat room bugs, registry meltdowns, potential blue death screens and any number of other freezes. I used to get upset when my video game system, game or controller stopped working. And, frankly, I am sick of it all.

Some people worry about getting enough coffee every day to keep them “perky” as they go about their business. Oh, you don’t want to mess with them if they don’t get that coffee. I suppose that’s like any other drug addict needing their smokes or fixes. Isn’t it?

Where am I going with all of this you may ask. Well…

 

 

The Good Old Days

I had a dream today that brought back semi-fond memories of a time when I was consumed with interest in cartoon characters the adults around me would consider juvenile wastes of time and resources. But, to me, they were inspirational. And, when my family could or would not afford me pieces of those wonders, I had to use my imagination and thankfully had some pencil and paper handy to create my own little wonders…if they were wonders to anyone, at all.

Back then–as they say–times were simpler. Back then I would wake up most mornings without an air conditioner or microwave oven and simply be grateful I had a mother who liked to cook and bake. I took a simple yellow metal bus to school without a GPS or fancy, talking radio-phone-remote control-thermostat-heart rate checker-face maker-recommend-everything-for-me box. Back then, my alarm clock was the latest technology and cost me plenty.

My biggest concern was getting up for school on time and hoping no one picked on me that day. If my folders were knocked to the floor by some bully or careless passerby, I didn’t cry over a cracked screen no longer letting me see them. I couldn’t say the computer ate my homework. I simply collected the scattered papers and hoped they were still good enough to give my teachers.

If anyone needed help with anything, you looked it up in a phone book, went to a neighbor or–as a horrible last resort–sent word to the local newspaper to print an ad asking for assistance. You couldn’t throw a coin in the Google fountain and expect a miracle. Telephones were tied to the walls and kept people out of harm’s way when they used them. If you had something important to discuss, you waited until you came home, used a payphone on the street or grabbed a phone at the office/school. You learned something about patience and the value of a call.

 

 

The Not-So-Hot New Days

Nowadays, just about everything has a computer in it. And, the tech companies keep pitching newer and newer models every year with some minor improvement that is just going to knock your cyber socks off your artificial feet (which have replaced your fleshy ones after rotting from poor use or damage from distraction). I worry that it won’t be long before they start putting them inside us. [And, no, I am not talking about pacemakers or those little submarine pills that swim through your body.] It’s bad enough we’ve been cattle prodded into the digital age which is swiftly pushing 35 mm film and so many formats of so many things down a dusty trail of space debris while still struggling with the addictions of fossil fuels and monetary greed.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. And, yet, what hasn’t stayed the same is the basic calm and comfort of not relying upon unreliable technology for so many things. This is the bi-product of haste and carelessness. In an effort to make things easier, faster and cheaper, we burn our brains out, clog our vital organs and fry our skin cells at the cost of billions of lives.

We used to throw more members of other species “under the bus” to test things. That’s cruel. But, not any more or less cruel than testing them on each other!

Part of me thinks there is this very select group of people high on the wealth mountain who are somehow watching all of this happen under their noses. They say, “Let’s see what happens if we do this to that group or try this product on those people over there.” And, in doing this, they learn what works or doesn’t work for their benefit. People are no more valuable than cattle or crickets to them. So, a few hundred or thousand die from some illness or malfunction caused by the latest model of some silly product they tested. So a few insurance bills and lawsuits get together and do a tango. No big deal. But, if these people high on the mountain are forced to breathe the same air or immerse themselves in the very products they are testing at any time, are they not at some measure of the same eventual risk? All because they wanted life to be easier, faster or more profitable? [Hi, could you put King Midas on the line? I think he might have a message for these people.]

How helpless we feel if our do-everything-for-us-but-breathe-sleep-and-eat “phones” or household communication and entertainment devices (better known as PCs or Macs if you prefer) stop working. For some, it’s no bother to trot over to some store and pick up a replacement. For the rest, it can be a miserable, unsettling and who knows how long period of unrest and accelerating discomfort which could explode into panic at any time! [And, breathe.]

So, while we seem to be slowly moving our way up to the times of George and Jane Jetson, living in sky-high houses with flying cars and capsules for everything, let’s remember what we are losing in the process. That sense of calm and appreciation for what the universe gave us. Mother Nature.

Now, I get why certain literary figures–like Adam and Eve, Cain and Prometheus–were punished. They rushed to get something they didn’t really need. At what cost? Adam and Eve lost their innocence and the Garden of Eden/paradise. Cain lost his brother in a fit of violence over senseless envy. Prometheus left Mount Olympus to share the latest technology of the times (fire) with mortals. It cost him his liver and trapped him for an eternity under the torment of a vulture. If each of these figures would have patiently appreciated what they had and worked with others in harmony, progress might be better for all.

But, if you think you can live without that tree outside your door or real green grass producing free clean air to breathe…if you can spend your days sleeping in an electric beehive chamber and risk radiation poisoning…if you would rather worry about pixels and bit rates entertaining you every waking minute than how to interact with people outside your door…if you never need to experience the wonders of the world first hand and within reach…then go ahead and ignore the crumbling environment around you and sit in your hovel with that little glowing screen until the last one ceases to work and you’ve traded your soul for another minute of internet usage. I hope your last “tweet” is a good one.

I say all of this…and, still, I am fretting over my PC screen freezing…

Let’s bring back civilization before it’s too late.

 

~A. P. Writingbolt, 7-28-2013

P.S. Of course, I couldn’t bring this word to as many of you as quickly/easily without a computer and internet service. But, you might already know all of this or someone with similar ideas. Those of you who can say you don’t rely upon coffee/drugs or electric devices every day deserve a salute. As do those who may not even be able to see these words because they are living just fine without knowing how to work a computer (provided they aren’t involved in some other crooked business).




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