Posts Tagged ‘interaction

19
Apr
18

Exit the Social Media Freeway System

*****

Everything internet comes with some measure of traffic. If you feel yourself getting stuck or lost in any of that, if you feel like the loser at a school reunion with nothing to compare, nothing to showcase with a smile, pull to the side, stop the car and get out. Now. Don’t spend another minute putting up with the irritations and discouraging faces around you. Don’t continue to sit in guilt, distress or confusion.  Don’t turn to drugs or destructive behavior as some sort of revenge-slash-self-harm. Don’t keep looking for the off-ramp to satisfaction. Just get off the road and take a few deep breaths where the air is fresh.

This isn’t the venue for making the best of connections.  This isn’t the best art gallery to feature your work.  This isn’t likely the office of the publisher you want to turn your latest fruit of the heart into a bestseller.  I’m not saying these things are impossible here, but the odds are much slimmer.  And, I know slim odds.  I’m tackling them right here with you, steering away from the “mainstream,” trying to exist outside the box.  It’s hard.  No doubt.

But, how many ever achieve anything while in traffic?  Other than road rage and maybe an exchange of papers in the case of an accident?  Other than those rare stories of passersby sparing a crash victim from dying in the vehicle?  How many are making friends in traffic?  I mean something greater than the friendly wave for letting you into the very traffic I am warning you is going to get to you.

Thanks, stranger; I needed a way onto this road to get where I am going…but, wait, I didn’t want this!  Now, I’m stuck.  Again!

Everything internet feels a bit like the rat race to get the latest this or that or fill our “bellies” with what we crave.  And, if you can’t keep up with the speed limit, it can really wear you down or wreck your life.  You might take a break and get right back in it, too.

Why??  What is so addictive about this trafficking.  Heh.  I said it.  This, too, is human trafficking.  It’s not the known definition of the term, for that is just the cover under which so much else goes on unseen.   That’s how moral crime works.  You only see a glimpse of the whole or bigger picture.  There is so much more going on outside your perspective.

Now, let everything I just said wash through your hair and out of your brain.  Let’s get right down to what you’re seeking.

Fame?  Find an agency.  Make a YouTube spectacle of yourself.  Self-publish your books and do whatever you can to get on a talk show or share a table with someone who has her own channel for just about everything and loves bread.

If you seek human connection whether as friendship, love or to feed your soul some other way, reach out to people, at the very least, online as you find them.  Make contact.  But, better yet–and I need to remind myself of this–get away from the glowing screen and deal with people around you.

Want to know what that person is thinking or doing right now?  You know, there used to be this thing called a telephone, technically a “land line,” and you had to use that same scrolling finger you burn up on the glowing slab of plastic-crete you may now hold to turn an actual wheel a few times to reach the person you favor.  And, if that wasn’t good enough, you could put pen to paper and put that in an envelope that went through what used to be called a postal service which then sent the paper and envelope, along with a “stamp” to the person you named on the envelope.  Or, you hopped on a bike, took a hike, caught a bus or drove a car to VISIT the person(s).  Try that, maybe.  You’ll likely feel better and get some fresh air in the bargain, that is, if the air is still fresh when you do.

I’m slapping myself with this one right now (metaphorically), reminding myself to mind the traffic.

 

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16
Jan
18

Untied Day: A NEW Holiday for Singles to Represent and Get to Know Each Other

*****

On February 21st, if you are single, widowed or recently divorced, feel free to celebrate…

UNTIED DAY
(c) (R) AP 2017

How many of you are single and sick of Valentine’s Day and its cousins, including Dragobete? How many of you are tired of worrying about what gift to get someone you like/love, what greeting card will make that someone happy or forgetting one more holiday date just to end up in the doghouse with your significant other? And, how many of you are walking around, looking for love but not keen on online dating sites or singles “bars?”

Wouldn’t you like to go out and know who is single, looking for love or interested in something else, just like you? Wouldn’t you like a sign that tells you more about the person you meet out there? Well, have I got the holiday cure for you.

On Untied Day, anyone who is without a paired heart on Valentine’s Day or a lock on Dragobete can be themselves and let others know a little (or a lot) about who they are. There is no need for worrying about getting a gift, how much you spend, forgetting something that happened one or fifty years ago or being late for a date.

————–

WHAT TO WEAR:

A) A loose tie or ribbon, draped loosely over the shoulders/around the neck. [IE An untied business tie for a man or a hair ribbon for a woman.] If you are capable of wearing more than one ribbon at a time (to display a variety of interests/opinions), more power to you.

AND/OR

B) An Untied Day shirt/patch** with the appropriate color(s).

AND/OR

C) Represent your personality/tastes/interests with accessories and/or color/pattern choices (or wear what you happen to have and take your chances on explaining to curious individuals why you dressed that way). You could even substitute an Untied Day shirt/patch** with one that features an image or message that represents you, something you may already have stashed away somewhere.

**Currently, there are none in print/production. So, for now, you can simply print/reproduce the logo (a ribbon fused with a dress tie in the shape of the letters UNT) at your own expense, provided you give credit to yours truly. [I did come up with the design and the holiday name, after all.] For now, the idea of the holiday may be nothing more than something “trending” if it will be. But, I aspire to fashion tees, hoodies, tanks, sleeveless turtlenecks and camisoles as well as a variety of patches/badges.

————–

Suggested accessory #1: If you want to go one step further, get yourself a good and sticky nametag (or, if you prefer, a pin-on, clip-on or magnetic type), one that either has the words or upon which you can write this message:

HI. I AM ____.

And, in that blank, I want you to put either your first name or a word that best describes you. [IE HI. I AM Fred. HI. I AM silly. HI. I AM frank. HI. I AM shy.] Just don’t put a word like “dependable” or “trustworthy” because you’d have to work harder than most to prove it.

Put the nametag on one side of your (Untied Day) shirt. If nothing else, it helps clarify your “untie” of choice.

————–

The following are suggestive color/pattern choices which you may apply to your choice of Untied accessories. The point is to represent yourself so you don’t have to explain everything to interested/potential mates. If you don’t agree with these explanations, feel free to explain yourself when approached/asked.

COLORS:

BLACK = Strictly business, not looking for romance/a relationship. You are single and okay with it. And, if you are looking for a partner, it’s only for business/work. You’re hiring.

WHITE = Virgin. [You gotta be quite brave to represent this, these days.]

BABY BLUE = You have a son or sons. [For greater accuracy, wear one logo for each child.]

PINK = You have a daughter or daughters. [For greater accuracy, wear one logo for each child.]

GREEN = Newly single; you just got out of a relationship or are new to dating. [Be sure to represent any other factor of that status, including past sexual relationships and children.]

BLUE (any pure blue other than baby blue) = A very emotional person; sensitive. Possibly coping with depression. A sign of caution to potential partners; you need to be handled with care. You might also be gentle with others.

RED = Aggressive; an avid hunter. You have limited patience and are not afraid to admit it. Stop. Don’t bother asking ME a question; I’ll come to you.

YELLOW = Cautious or too shy to say hi or ask someone out, at the moment. You need someone to approach you, first. [At least we know you’re not hostile or superficial. Right?]

ORANGE = The hands-on/tactile type who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. In terms of dating/relationships, you are someone who prefers holding hands, hugging and physically laboring to show you care. [Compare with PURPLE.]

PURPLE = The intellectual/intuitive type who like mental challenges and never stop being students of life. In terms of dating/relationships, you are someone who prefers heart-to-heart talks and thoughtful gifts that may not even be tangible (like planning a trip somewhere your partner longs to visit or frequents). [Compare with ORANGE.]

GRAY = Mysterious; you consider yourself a mystery, enjoy being one and/or like to explore mysteries where you find them. You like interrogation, both giving and receiving.

BROWN = Chocolate-lover. Quite simply, you are in need of the brown (or white) stuff and are letting others know what would put a smile on your face on a day like today when you don’t have someone to love (in place of chocolate). You don’t want to dwell on feelings, who’s happy together or who’s starved for love. You’re not seriously looking for companionship. Just give you some chocolate.

——————-

COLOR COMBOS:

BLACK AND WHITE = Religious and/or marriage-minded. Religion is important to you.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE = Politically driven, patriotic or an activist. You support your nation’s government with pride.

RED AND BLACK CHECKERED = Lover of (board) games and puzzles.

HALF RED/HALF WHITE = You are in a medical field (of work), a surgeon, pharmacist, dentist, nurse, etc.

——————-

PATTERNS (OF YOUR RIBBON/TIE AND/OR ACCESSORIES):

POLKA DOTS = Bubbly, lighthearted or having a good sense of humor. You occasionally clown around and can take a joke (about yourself). Humor is important to you.

STRIPES =
ONE STRIPE = You’ve had one previous sexual relationship (no longer a virgin).
TWO STRIPES OR MORE = You’ve had more than one sexual relationship.

HEARTS =
ONE HEART = Monogamous; you are seeking one partner for a lifetime.
TWO HEARTS OR MORE = Polygamous or open to unconventional relationships.

ANIMAL PRINT = Nature-lover and/or animal-lover. Pick a print that best fits your interest/personality, like a spirit animal. If you think of yourself as a tigress, wear a tiger stripe ribbon/tie. If you are chatty like a parrot, wear a tie/ribbon with a parrot face/profile. If you favor dogs over cats, wear a tie/ribbon that has (a) dog(s) on it.

STARS =
ONE STAR = Divorced/Separated.
TWO TO FIVE STARS = Divorced (#/multiple) times.
MANY (SMALL) STARS = An interest in astrology/astronomy and/or space exploration.

DOLLAR SIGNS =
ONE DOLLAR SIGN = Money-minded; you give great importance to a person’s income and how they spend/save it.
MULTIPLE DOLLAR SIGNS = You are rich and proud of it.

MASK(S) (THEATER, CARNIVAL OR HARLEQUIN) = An interest in role-play (not necessarily role-playing games, aka RPGs). You favor costume(s) (parties) and pretending to be other characters/creatures.

——————-

WHAT TO DO/NOT DO ON UNTIED DAY:

DO:
1– Treat yourself to something you normally push aside because it’s not “frugal,” too flashy to wear most days, not the best use of your time or not the best for your “diet.” [But, see DO NOT #1.]

2– Represent yourself, your interests and/or personality (quirks) with what you wear.

3– Approach someone else dressed for this special day if you like or care to know more about what you see, knowing they are single/unattached like yourself. And, chat with that person, starting with some question or comment related to their chosen attire/accessories. It’s the best and fastest cure to being single/alone on a day like this.

4– Respect the interests of others dressed for this special day if they choose NOT to speak and/or be nice to you. Not everyone on such a singles day needs or wants to kindle a new relationship (with you). Mind your distance, be open to rejection and respect the color code (if the person uses the one I’ve provided). And, if you are approached but not interested in who approaches, respectfully let the person know.

5– Meet new singles in public, drug-free places. [IE A mall, a restaurant, a department store, your workplace or a dog park.]

 

DO NOT:
1– Spend more money today than absolutely necessary to please yourself or buy any material things (IE new clothes or jewelry). You should not be taking any financial risks on a day of love (other than missing a day of work, perhaps). You might know the old expression about money not being able to buy you happiness (or love). I personally do not like buying anything on my birthday; that’s a day for other people to treat ME (respectfully and/or kindly). Likewise…

2– Pretend to be someone or something you are not. Faking is dangerous and often cruel.

3– Assume what someone is wearing for this special day means what you think it does. [See DOs #3 and #4.]

4– Criticize or try to discourage anyone from dressing festively for this special day. You can spare one day from spreading your negativity. Can’t you? Ease up on the uniform policy; think of this as a casual (Fri)day.

5– Look for new partners at a bar or anywhere you might be less conscious of your actions (should you partake in drug use). DO NOT get drunk to loosen up or forget something/someone. You know you are not content with yourself if you do so; you only ignore your nerves/conscience that way. [Then again, this IS a singles day. So, if you fool around, you’ll likely get another chance to dress up next year. But, you might like yourself less.]

——————-

There you have it. Now, get out there (or lounge where you may) and represent your single selves. Remember, this is a day to either be content with your single status–not pursue any new relations–or let others know who you are if they are seeking a partner. Be creative. Be happy. Be free. Be un-tied.

UntiedDay-explanationposter-2018-ap-900sq-1JUntiedDay-logo-2017_RBnW-color-splash-ad-2018_ap-CSPP-900sq-16J

 

[If you would like to be a part of an Untied Day creative committee, feel free to drop a letter in my mailbox. If approved, you can offer suggestions for improving the guidelines and partake in the production of Untied Day merchandise/apparel.]

 

*****A partner post to this one will be appearing, soon, including an assortment of first-draft Untied Day greeting cards and explanation ads/posters you may freely distribute to spread the word/idea (but don’t forget it is a Writingbolt/AP invention).*****

But, here are a few visuals to help “decode” my logo and provide some means of reproducing prints/coloring pages (so you can fashion your own T-shirts and such).

 

 

 

04
Jan
14

Is MONEY Right For You?–A Mock Drug Advertisement

…..

…..

Do you suffer from jealousy?
Do you crave what others have and vow to take it for yourself?
Do you experience uncontrollable urges to dominate the world and/or cause trouble?
Do violent thoughts cloud your judgement, putting others at risk of your restless heart?

Then, you might benefit from a prescription of…

 

 

MONEY

 

 

MONEY restrains thoughts of violence and rebellion by injecting concepts like expense, insurance, financial security, cost, loan, debt, poverty, bankruptcy, discount, dividend, rainy day fund, hole burning in pocket, retirement savings account and wealth into the primitive human brain.  Tests show MONEY has a high rate of curbing otherwise incalculable damage to lives and land from those who cannot negotiate diplomatically, barter and/or survive with what they already have.  MONEY limits resource disputes because MONEY contains “Idonthavetodestroyewol” which alters the mind’s value of things and can significantly reduce death and property damage.

 

But, don’t just take this narrator’s word for it.  Listen to these satisfied individuals acting as customers…

 

Grey-haired older person happily sharing a meal with grand-kids in a well-furnished dining room:  “If I didn’t have MONEY, I don’t know what I’d do if neighbors damaged my property or hurt someone I love.  I don’t have the physical strength to fight anymore.  But, with MONEY, I don’t have to fight.  I can sue the offender and take everything they have in court.  Thanks, MONEY.”

Single mother of two and a half kids pouring her son a big glass of milk in her humbly furnished kitchenette:  “My life has certainly become more complex and restrained having to calculate the cost of everything I do with my family.   With MONEY, I don’t have to worry about what my kids will do with all of their free time.  Now, I have control over what they play with and where they get educated.  Even if it leaves me in debt, begging for financial aid and cheating the system any way I can to save a buck.”

Scrawny, scantily clad prostitute–with a hair color not found in nature–standing on a street corner shortly before sunset:  “I used to feel inferior because of social anxiety and disputes with my parents.  But, now I can trade sex for MONEY, buy things my neighbors would kill for with ease and enjoy going to work every day.  So what if I get abused by bigger men now and then.  At least, I have a social life and not some lousy marriage or failing business dragging me down.  Who needs a nine-to-five job, anyway?  Just drop your pants!  And, let my manager take care of the rest.”

 
Visibly wealthy older man with twenty-something “trophy wife” in his arms beside the pool of his large estate:  Before MONEY, guys like me probably didn’t have a chance with women like this.  We were far too out of shape and…old.  But, thanks to MONEY, you can have any beauty you desire for the right price.  I laugh at people who use dating websites to find love.  Get a real job, you hippies!  She’s all mine!  [Young wife says:]  Yea, I am!  Just look at the ring he gave me!  It’s huge!

Non-white, United States immigrant shopkeeper closing cash register after giving change to a departing customer with a nod and a wink:  “Now, I don’t have to wait for medical care when I or some member of my family is sick or injured.  Even if all I have is a simple cold which could be treated with a healthy diet, liquids and rest, I can see a doctor at any time of day or night, have him tell me what I should already know and let someone else pay the cost.  Thanks, MONEY.”

Wealthy-looking woman caressing a large urn on a pedestal while a maid behind her dusts other large possessions:  “This might not mean anything to you.  But, thanks to MONEY, my clay pot–reproduced by poorly paid laborers after the original was stolen from slain natives–and my ridiculously huge house are worth a fortune which can keep me financially secure well into early retirement.  That’s good news for my legacy.”

Sloppy-looking man with a paint-spattered apron painting a vase of flowers in his private studio:  “I may not make more than a few hundred bucks selling this month’s work of art today.  But, someone who finds it decades later in the garbage can turn around and make a fortune at auction by selling it.  [Chuckles]  How’s that for investing in your future?  Now, if you don’t mind, I have to get back to work so I can keep a failing businessman or con artist off the streets while I struggle to keep my refrigerator stocked.”

Single overweight woman–who hates to cook for one–buying lunch at a fast food chain:  “My ancestors used to worry about how to keep their meals from spoiling and crops not growing.  They only lived to be thirty if they were lucky.  Now, I can go to the grocery store or my favorite restaurant and have previously frozen foods injected with all sorts of unsafe chemical bi-products waiting for me any time I want.  Even if the stores throw out tons of unsold products to rot, I’m sure to live well past a hundred if some man-made disease doesn’t take me down.  And, it’s all thanks to MONEY.”

Smiling married couple sitting together in front of their rather large entertainment system on a white sofa in a room of all neutral colors:  [Wife says:]  “Long ago, people like us used to take home entertainment for granted.  We went from listening to every commercial and subliminal message to hating the sound of electricity.  But now, thanks to MONEY, we have ever-changing technology which keeps us replacing our equipment to keep up with the neighborhood and tuning our brains with increasingly powerful invisible radiation.”  [Husband nudges wife and says:]  “Even if they replace intelligent and/or comical shows with dozens of channels containing nothing but cute pets, repeating advertisements and people’s private lives captured on some hard drive, we’ll keep watching.”  [Wife nudges husband back, smiles and adds:]  “We’re paying for our entertainment every day without having to go to the store and buy unnecessary test products.  And, in a few years, we’re sure to be paying double.  That oughta make some smart businessman rich.”  [Husband says:]  “Just not us.”  [Wife laughs:]  “Yeah.  Not us.”

Visibly distressed square man with equally square eyeglasses sitting beside his computer with a stack of papers on his lap:  “Sure, doing business online is risky.  I could lose my shirt in a blink if some hacker discovers the passwords to my accounts which I change every six months just to stay sane.  But, it beats having to go to the bank, waiting in line and killing some poor, defenseless trees just to transfer funds.  I no longer have to deal with people who might hurt or disturb me.  I can stay at home where I’ll likely never see the light of day, have human contact or get regular exercise.  Without MONEY, I’d have to get off my butt and fight off both man and beast to get what I need.  Survival of the fittest?  Who needs that?”

Sooty future man wearing military apparel and dodging search lights from remote control drones flying over a city street ravaged by robots, missiles and lasers:  “Just think.  I could be sitting at home doing nothing but talking and stuffing my face with people I no longer like.  Instead, I’m staying fit, staying hungry on the run from machines programmed by people just like me who worked for decades to create these robotic menaces while believing they were sustaining themselves and making the world a better place.  Long ago, we encouraged childbirth to amass a large workforce.  But, that became too costly and annoying.  Then, we made people dependent upon what was pitched as ‘social media’ and created computer jobs to eliminate ourselves and make life easier for a handful of wealthy individuals who used their financial leverage to control everyone else.  Now, that’s smart MONEY.”

Balding married man in his late twenties with hair transplant and “successful” wardrobe getting out of his polished two-door car on a quiet suburban street lined with identical houses:  “MONEY doesn’t leave me wondering why I shouldn’t punch or shoot the person next to me for making me mad.  Now, all I need to think about are penalties, lawsuits brought upon myself and how I’m going to cover the cost of living which used to be free from Heaven.  Thanks, MONEY.  You’re a lifesaver.”

 

WARNING:  Side effects of MONEY may include:  Sudden lapses in moral judgement, preoccupation with spending and/or hoarding, bitch-slapping those viewed as inferior, depriving others of necessities, overflow of landfills due to hasty mass-production and wasted resources, lower self-esteem when comparing one’s income to that of another (especially when seeking a romantic relationship and/or commitment), imprisonment, competition for resources similar to that involved in general warfare and internal upsets which could result in more serious medical and mental health problems.  MONEY may cause “Midas” or “Harod fever” which significantly puts you at risk of destroying everything you previously valued for what you think is the love of MONEY.
If you suffer a four-hour erection with visions of gold dancing in your head or experience increased thoughts of jealousy, fear of poverty, greed, theft, cheating, violence and/or disrespect for others (which may include “pimping” and/or slavery), tell your government to stop manufacturing MONEY and seek a better alternative immediately.

 

If you are seeking an alternative to combat, feel your livelihood is threatened by violence or if you’d like to keep bothersome squatters off your property…don’t just sit there sharpening your weapon(s) and/or worrying about someone taking everything you think you own by force.  Ask your government if they can supply you with a prescription for MONEY.

 

MONEY.  It just makes life…easier…

 

…for everyone but you.

26
Aug
13

WordPress Usage Observations, 8-25-2013

In the past month or more of reconnecting with this blog website, I have made some observations about the quality and quantity of people and/or activity. Here is my assessment.

90 percent of posts I viewed receive 0 comments but at least 1 to 5 LIKES.

[Now, that just sounds cold and impersonal. So many go around clipping posts like articles, photos or videos to use as they please. If your post is meant to be like a professional newspaper column and/or you don’t like/want comments, read my suggestion below. Likewise, if you don’t give a hoot about this trendy LIKE system and would prefer people respond on site, you can turn that off in editing the post mode, too.]

50 percent of comments I gave received fair to positive response.

[A fair amount of the good, social, polite and educated people of the world. These are the people that generally stun me with their manners and intimidated by their success/happiness in life. In a way, they are hope for the future.]

25 percent of comments I gave received negative and/or unrelated response.

[Granted, not all of my responses have been the nicest of words. And, I’ll gladly except responsibility for upsetting someone for a good reason. But, for the responses I get from names I don’t even know/see as IDs here who snarl and hiss like gargoyles or bridge TROLLS about going away under threat of fire and brimstone, where is this coming from?

Sometimes it’s a bipolar response. The first response is genuinely nice enough for me to respond a second time. But, the following response comes with a stick of TNT and a note which reads something like: “Today’s disapproval of your vile words is brought to you by the letters F and U.” How do people turn a 180 like that?

There’s nothing nicer than getting online to find mud and bird poop on your page. I say that with the finest of sarcasm. I’ll just go get my hose and scraping tool, now. Meanwhile, you who are so irked by public response and/or do not know how to politely respond, read my suggestion below about turning off comments.]

25 percent of comments I gave received no response.

[In general, these are people not interested in comments or comments from people outside their inner circle. Their blog was designated as a “family sharing page” so that all the people they know personally and professionally can gather in the center of their Whoville and sing carols to irk all the grinches in the outer reaches of the Whotherenet. They come without explanation. They come without visible designation. But, they come with firm reservation in the clique unknown to the outsider. It’s like talking to a TV set without realizing it’s just a TV.]

Here is one SUGGESTION for using the COMMENT feature to those who post here: If you’re not going to respond to comments given by the few daring readers (like myself) to say something and not simply tie a string to what wrote (hoping someone on another trendy website will give a damn about the person LIKEing what you posted while going through every other bit of daily updates and whatnot for all the many “friends” they’ve collected like trading cards, can’t you turn them off? I know some have found a way. Then you can be like a paper newspaper (columnist) and avoid any public response unless someone can email you or figure out where you live and throw something rotten at your door.

Lastly,
98 percent of the time I come to visit this place, I struggle logging into it, posting something new, getting to my comments and navigating in general. [Yet, if I want to log out, that takes no time, at all. That feature is always ready, willing and takes a fraction of the time.]

[Ever since I received my first negative comment from a total stranger with a strangely non-existent ID/source, I have had to go through a gauntlet just to log in. I feel like the uncool guy trying to get in the exclusive nightclub. And, when it comes to making a post, the darn SAVING POST button spends more time spinning its wheels than letting me do anything else. The tools don’t even appear sometimes until I refresh. ]

In summation, while the site appears to be of higher class than some–as with any reputation–appearances are deceiving.

This concludes this report on the status of WordPress from one writer’s perspective. We now return you to regular blogcasting already in progress.

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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