Posts Tagged ‘trust

17
Apr
19

Modern (Cellphone) Chivalry Gone Mad!

***

Can I charge your what?!

Bumping cellphones?

Getting App-y with it?

Have you seen the commercial where pairs of people meet and, without more than a few words mumbled so softly that I could not tell what the freak they were doing, connect wireless devices and pass along a little battery juice, not unlike the new-fangled system of tossing something to someone with the swipe of a finger on the screen, like payments for just about anything imaginable. I thought it was some odd new way to exchange phone numbers without using one’s voice; heaven forbid you have to speak up and ask with real words these anti-social, wireless-technology-infused days. But, I would be wrong.

I hate to be the party crasher, one more time, but what sense does this make?

How is touching wireless devices to transfer battery power any smarter or better than the “old days” of offering to light someone’s cigarette with a book of matches or lighter you opted to carry just in case you had the chance to play Mr. Chivalry and potentially score points with some woman (or man, if you were the type of woman to boldy carry the flame-maker)?

Here’s the catch, though. Back then? Lighting a cigarette or cigar opened the door to real conversation. You know; that antiquated thing two or more people do when they look at each other, speak with their gullets and hopefully, actually listen to what the other people have to say. You didn’t light the cigarette and then ignore the person unless you were just passing through/by the scene and, likely, scoring points with whoever you accompanied, who thought how nice you are to do that for a stranger.

Oh, wait, I get it. It’s like finding someone on the side of the road with a flat tire or no gas in their car. You just give them a lift.

Except, this lift comes at a high technological and personal risk, most likely, even if you think you’re protected. [Because, honestly? These days, I don’t know who is protected; not even the people creating the forms of protection because they’re still human and thus fallible. And, replacing people with machines is just as stupid because humans build the machines…unless there is some mechanical deity out there itching to replace humanity.] But, even the person stuck on the side of the road can turn into a hazardous situation; sometimes the situation can be a trick/trap. I guess you just take your chances (or look away because you “can’t trust anyone”)?

When you share an umbrella to escort someone to their car in the rain, you don’t hold your wallet and all of your personal account info in the same hands. Maybe if we just used the wireless electronic device for one thing, like making phone calls or checking our heart rate while we excercise, this wouldn’t be a concern. But, what good is a watch if it doesn’t also tap into your favorite video feeds, activate every electrical device in your home, track every move everyone you’ve ever met makes via “social media,” start your car and allow you to pay for dinner?

If your device runs out of battery power and needs to be charged, getting a small (or however big of a) charge from another is only going to encourage you to spend more time ignoring others and your surroundings (if you’re the inept type who runs into walls, crashes their car from being distracted, etc.). Granted, lighting a cigarette for someone was also inviting them to chug down more harmful chemicals into their lungs with a greater chance of suffering some tragic fate. But, at least, the smokers were, usually, social. You don’t light a cigarette and then tune out the rest of the world as if you put on one of those “ultra-modern” goggle systems that transports you to some virtual reality.

But, while the device is charging, you’re free to talk with the person giving you the boost, some will argue. And, if that charging time only lasts a few seconds? Nice five-second chat you just had. I bet you, um, er, uh, *clear my throat*…really learned a lot about the other person.

But, maybe you’re done with your device and can recharge when you get home. So, why not give up the juice to someone who seems to need it right now? Well, why don’t I just drop my pants for the person who hasn’t had sex in three weeks and is moaning about it? Can we get more instant-gratification withdrawal?

Why do parents put timers and “child locks” on kids’ devices? To limit their use of said devices for whatever reason. It could be because the kid is too easily addicted to the device and not being responsible (not taking care of homework and chores). Or, it could be because the kid has a curious mind and the adult world at their fingertips, unlike the generation of my youth, and might tap into some very…questionable content.

Well, I think adults could benefit from locking themselves down, too. Though, it seems, when you put a lock in an adult’s face, they try to pick it, anyway. [Better to not let them know there is a lock, at all. Don’t tell the mortals there’s a tree of wisdom they can’t touch.]

How does offering to sacrifice some of your device’s battery supply to another, just because their device decides to run out of juice, help any situation other than some rare instance when some APP or other feature on a particular device is needed (because your device doesn’t have the same feature/APP)? Only in those seemingly small instances might this be some kind of valuable courtesy. Otherwise…

Well, here’s what I foresee in the near “transparent” future…

“Hi. It looks like you’re about to die, there.” [Looking down at the other person’s device.] “Can I give you a charge?” [Why does that sound like the abductor saying, “Can I give you a lift?”]

“What?” [I wasn’t paying attention to anything but my tiny glowing screen. Who are you? Oh. You’re offering me some battery time.] “Oh. S-Sure. Here.”

[Two wireless devices get intimate with each other on some scummy surface. Was it good for you, Android? Ol’ Iphony needs an E-cigarette.]

“There you go.”

“Um. Thanks.”

“No problem. Have a nice night.” [Wink. ‘Got your personal info. Hack you, later.]

Am I wrong? AM I WRONG? When people have to be concerned about what’s in their wallet or what the wallet is made of lest someone scan their pockets? When you can shop in an actual store without taking your money or credit card out to scan it, just walk past some scanning gizmo which sends the bill to your mailbox?

Honestly, you’d think people would see this stuff coming. [And, I bet some do…while salivating in their sleep.] But, I guess, if you’re dumb enough to just nod when the commercials show people needing to replace their “phone” every time they trip and drop it in a sewer grate, I guess you’re gonna think this is cool and normal.

[Oh, how I miss the days when buying a new telephone meant you wanted something new to look appealing on your countertop or desk and didn’t need to be replaced for as long as you chose to use it. The landline never needed to be replaced unless something actually damaged the wires, which usually required a mistreated cat or some foul weather.]

How long is this teasing game of “Put everything into your computing device.” and “Aren’t you going to buy protection for yourself?” going to continue? Is this the new insurance scam? How long before we offer cellphone protection other than a little person shaped like a padlock? What if said insurance service is just the Prudential rock that starts the snowball to (heck) rolling? Just keep turning people into scared cattle. Shake them pockets til you’re bleeding green with laughter. Oh the promises of get-rich-quick business. Make it bigger and faster, and screw better; that’s just the lie you keep selling.

[Or, is making all of this so effortless and open to crime exactly how we break the crime spree, sort of like disarming the bully by denying him/her an emotional response (or, in this case, having everyone respond emotionally so he/she cannot tell who is the victim)? If everything is within grasp and free to take, where’s the thrill in stealing? Is that the logic? So, if we stop wearing underwear and other clothes, we can stop worrying about stains and certain odors?]

So, have fun storming the castles without firewalls. You get one stinking badge of stupidity for being Ignoro Mondoso. Prepare to have your finances die with your wireless device if you drink this poison. And, enjoy living in glass houses; because, soon enough, I fear, walls may have no meaning.

Kudos to all the adult-education facilities racking up student-loan debts and passing out degrees for tech’ jobs so everyone can have a means of tapping into whatever and whoever they want at any time. So what if your cell-madness factory takes out some farmland that could produce healthy food for millions, replacing that with a handful of temporary jobs to make countless replacement parts for something turning people into mindless microwave ovens, soon replaced with dozens of machines and a handful of supervising technicians who just “take the call” when something goes wrong at the robotic plant.

Pretty soon, you won’t have STDs, anymore; at least, not the kind that requires a medical procedure. You’ll pay a visit to your “computer guy” and, if he/she can’t fix the problem, you’ll just get a new “part,” anyway. Pretty soon, you won’t have to call it prostitution or rape. You’ll just excuse me while I bump my device against yours and have myself a good time. How much is a Virgin Mobile worth on the geisha market? If a cherry pops in someone’s pants, does the owner make a sound?

“No problem. Have a nice night.”

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18
Apr
18

Too Many Offices Behind the Screen?

****

Everything is going internet and APP these days.  Or, so it seems.  No one wants to do anything face-to-face, anymore.  Where do you think that will lead?  And, what kind of faith do we have to have to trust those we cannot even see?

I mean, we might chance the occasional online shopping to get something that isn’t available in the local store.  But, if it’s near home, can’t we sum up the courage and resources to go get it?  [Not if we’re going to support drone service, download the app for everything and do what when something goes wrong?  Who are you going to call for help?  Some Uber android service representative?  Some remote control repair person?]

What gets me going on this tangent today?  Well, I’m noticing sooooo many bloggers writing advice columns for just about everything.  They take up probably 2/3 of this blog site, leaving the other 1/3 to personal tales and soooooooooooooooooo many poems.  Oh, and a few artists’ simplest of works.  Look, I drew a pencil.  LIKE it.  And, random photos from people looking to scrapbook life.

I get to thinking…who takes this advice seriously?  Who reads all of this stuff?  And, how do you trust some advisor you never met?  Are you going to consult a doctor who never touches your body or witnesses what you are suffering?   You prefer self-diagnosis and assumption?  [And, what of the advisor who isn’t even legitimately advising but leading you on to some linked sham?]

I forget that’s what we’ve been doing for a long time with tabloid TV shows and magazines featuring countless ads for pills, cigarettes, ridiculously expensive cars and watches, etc.  Magazines are known for this sort of thing.  So many articles and cover blurbs about how to do this and that better than you probably know yourself.  Why ask someone you know when you can read about it from a complete stranger?

Except, with good ol’ magazines and TV, there was nothing to open or click on to give you trouble.  You slowed your life down to read or watch.  You didn’t invite “malware” to shut down your TV or fingers.

Whatever happened to “word of mouth” or consulting your neighbor?

So, what am I achieving by writing out these thoughts?  I dunno.  Who really cares.  You’ve got more important things to do, see and read.  Like all those advice columns.  This isn’t exactly one of them.  But, it might sound like one.  And, while I know I am a genuine heart and soul writing these words, I realize you only know the text on the screen.  Everything else you feel is your imagination (and, maybe, gut feeling if you’re lucky).

 

 

28
Feb
17

My Response to “Achiever Mom” (Carolyn Hax)

*****
You can find my response to this and other letters on the designated page. But, while you’re here, have a read.  [You may find a loose end or two as my response kept evolving over a few days.  I finally just decided to post what I had.]

Achiever Mom is concerned about her son who is twelve years old, not exceptional in sports or academics and void of any interest with which she feels able to relate. She mentions her husband as a socially anxious under-achiever and highlights a moment in which her son supposedly chose to forfeit a spelling bee due to a lack of interest in winning/trying. Claiming she grew up grasping at every opportunity she could, this incident made her angry at him for not being more ambitious to achieve greater status.

Carolyn Hax does a decent job of asking Mom to accept her son as he is and let him find his own way. But, Hax seems to be making the assumption the son bailed on the challenge, knowing it would irk his mom, making the son appear more devious than he may be (which could have a negative impact on what the mother does next).

While overall content with the article/response, I felt there were a few details missing, details that might need light shed upon them to better understand and direct the situation at a crucial stage. This case also touches on a personal one, which motivates me to speak out. Thus, the following response is more about my experience and how it may be related to the situation at hand than added advice.

————–

Achiever Mom, you be careful with that boy. I don’t want to scare you, but soon, he will be entering high school, that tumultuous stormy sea between Scylla and Charybdis that tests youth’s metal. He will face temptation, heavier work loads and peer pressure like he has never known. He will be torn between convention and rebellion, between practical and unorthodox. And, if you so much as twist his wrist in an effort to tell him “how it’s done” or fail to teach him how to accept defeat, you could scar him and the connection you have for life.

If you don’t mind reading a novella, I’m content to sit down and discuss this with you for the moment. Getting all of the thoughts out and answers we might benefit from is a tad hard to achieve in half of a newspaper page. Why don’t you make yourself comfortable, take a deep cleansing breath, maybe fix yourself a calming drink and have a go at this.

[FYI, I speak from experience; I was a boy much like your son. I had a father who (without any “inheritance”) boasted military experience (in “peace time”) and a mother who was the self-proclaimed ruler of discipline and organization (as well as the queen of denial). But, I didn’t bail on the spelling bee. I simply fell short and discouraged myself from trying, again, because I had been built up to think I was smarter than I performed and acknowledged for a skill I must not have valued much (until I was older and learned to care more about the full use of words than just spelling them). I made one mistake and didn’t have the nurturing I felt necessary to continue or didn’t see the logic in trying, again. I had no “failure coping skills,” no interest in being less than the best and, to be quite honest, little to no interest in glory from spelling.

There were many other instances in which I had gut instincts to go one way and my parents insisted I go their way. And, in short, because they only accepted doing things my way after it was too late (after I paid the price of going against my gut feeling) or after lengthy protest and stressing out, a rift gradually grew. In just a few years, it grew to the point I lost sight of the childhood love I had for my parents. And, to this day, that love is razor thin; it’s an obligation and an oath, not a comfort or treasure.

I had a hard time talking with my parents about nearly every concern on my mind. And, there were plenty in my early teens. Certain tasks or challenges were deemed too dangerous or unfit for me before I could even attempt them. Where I wanted to try was not always approved. The more often I quit, the less my parents approved of me; and the more I disliked myself. Yet, I could not see any merit in continuing what discouraged and/or hurt me, as well as what seemed “too hard.” I was told I was a good student, but that didn’t seem the case when it came to learning from/with my parents. Confusion does not make a good foundation. And, when later asked by others why I couldn’t do something, I felt too embarrassed to say no one never taught me or that I was afraid to learn. Nor could I easily take what others taught me and apply it at home without my parents objecting strongly.]

Your last little paragraph kind of says it all. You are a tightly wound violin string ready to snap at the kid for a “mocking bow” and potentially never succeeding at anything. You may say it was so, but I don’t know and doubt he was mocking. Nor would I be so harsh to assume he will never succeed at anything; that’s just devastating talk. Get that junk out of your head, doing a weekly sweep if necessary.

[That reminds me of a time when my mother thought I was “faking” weakness/illness/injury. I was actually physically, mentally and emotionally hurt; and she thought I was faking. I don’t remember her saying so when I was in the moment. But, hearing her thoughts, decades later, hurt almost as much as they would have had I heard them as that kid. It explains why I felt so abandoned and helpless at the time, left to fend for myself like a baby bird that fell from the nest. Yet, I didn’t do so well fending for myself. Had I been a bird, I probably would have died or been eaten.]

Whether or not you shake your head at my earlier assessment, let me ask you a valid question (or two). How successful are you, really? [That might have shed some light on the situation.] Are you the “breadwinner?” Are you at the peak of your career path? Or, are you “content” with much less than you yourself could have had yet wishing–as many do–for your children to “have a better life” while losing sight of what you experienced?

Understand that some things never change; but others do. Tools that were available when you were his age are not the same now. Opportunities you had then are not necessarily available now. Others you did not have are. Circumstances are slightly different.

———
This next portion is going to sound much like what Carolyn said with a few different words. You might find a few new perspectives. But, you can skip past it, if you prefer.

Instead of focusing on the word “succeed,” right now, put the phrase “stimulate the happiness of others” up over your work space and do everything in your power to guide your son toward what makes him happy (not what makes you happy). In time, I would guess (I mean, what do I know?) this will turn into success once he feels good about what he can do before assuming he can or must be successful.

Teach him a lesson my parents had a hard time–if not failed at–grasping: how to experience failure and deal with it. Don’t teach him to fear failure and fear trying things you feel he isn’t fit or right to do (like laundry, cooking and other household chores), just because he doesn’t do them your way or makes a mess. [Maybe there’s a reason he doesn’t follow directions well; and it doesn’t have to be a “disability” or “attitude problem.”]

The scariest part of the coming years could be letting him do what he chooses and being ready to cushion any blows that come from those decisions, not letting him take over your house and lifestyle but allowing him to mold himself rather than have you pick the shape he takes. If there is competition, let him decide to enter or avoid it. Encourage him to discuss what is happening in his life without framing the moment with past experiences and assumptions/predictions. Then, if you see an opportunity for him to take a chance with good odds, kindly nudge him.

Say something like, “Hey, you’d be good at that. Why don’t you give that a try?” And, leave it at that. Or, provide the tools/supplies without any pressure to use them. [If you must, try a little negotiation. Say you’ll do ____ for him if he does ____ for you (for himself). And, don’t cave if he resists. But, don’t deprive him of necessities, either. Don’t take away his ability to connect with friends, regardless what he has done (and not from what he MIGHT do).] If he turns away from the challenge, don’t fight his decision. [However, if his life takes any scarier turns, if he withdraws so much from interaction, chores and challenges that his life seems in jeopardy, other action will become necessary.]

———

The first line of your letter that jumped out at me was where you mentioned your son being nervous and not wanting to be there. [Actually, the first was his saving grace, his sense of humor. I seem to have survived this long with that little life preserver, myself.] While nerves and refusal may be signs of weakness one could halt by pushing the weakling into the fray of battle, it might also have been an area of achievement he had little interest in pursuing. And, pressure to do something we do not instinctively favor could be unnecessary pressure, like peer pressure. Just because our peers tell us we’re uncool for not doing what they do; that doesn’t mean we can’t choose to do things differently.

Some adults might recall being kids pushed to take up musical instruments but, later, giving up these lessons to take up medical or financial jobs. They might look back and question their parents’ pressure to take interest. [Or, if they are so fortunate, the former kids might integrate those lessons into adult life and be some amazingly, envy-worthy, diverse people.]

[I personally was adept at math because I had a brain apparently gifted at absorbing equations. But, would I pursue math contests? No way. Too boring. I’m a creative spirit. There is no creativity in math, other than creating problems and, later, solutions. I don’t mind problem-solving. But, I guess I have little to no interest into imagining problems in terms of numbers and variables. My mind is more geared toward seeing social, arrangement/composition or regulation problems around me and figuring out solutions.]

One other thing about your letter that sticks in my mind: You briefly mention the husband being socially anxious and an under-achiever who struggles to get jobs. Yet, you love this guy; you married this guy, right? [That may be a tiny weight off my shoulders, an ounce of hope.] But, how much do you love him? And, could it be your marriage is merely another challenging opportunity you took upon yourself? Did you enter this family structure like a school contest, hoping to work your way up the ranks from district to state, mold the members like clay sculptures until they won the blue ribbon at the county fair? In other words, do you love your husband (and your son) for who he is, for being part of your life? Or, do you see them as works in progress you just haven’t been able to fully improve to the best of your ability, yet?

What would you say or have done had your husband not “inherited” any money? Would that have any impact on you marrying him? Was the money or family status a push toward the thought of a stable future/home?

I wonder, how does your husband feel about you (and the kid/s)? Do you have more than one child? That too could be a big factor in this pressure-to-achieve situation. For instance, how does this son get along with his siblings? How “successful” or “driven” are they? Might this son feel pressured to be like them when he is not?

[I knew a few “only childs” and saw how their parents treated them like pet projects, like singular rockets filled with hopes of greater success than any family of six or more could achieve.]

How would the husband feel being labeled an underachiever? Does he accept this like a healthy bowl of bran cereal to stabilize his diet? Is he comfortable not doing as much as some, accepting that some people are tortoises while others are hares? Or, do the words cut a little deep, leave him a little less eager to try?

———
Here comes some more advising verbiage. Again, breeze past it if you’d rather read more unique material.

At twelve, your son is at a crucial time of development, sure. [Heck, every year between birth and whatever number you want to use for labeling adulthood is crucial.] And, you could fortify this by giving him a swift kick into some regimen like boarding school or a “balanced diet,” and trust this will keep his back straight, his shoulders back and his elbows off the table. But, what is more important is a trusted family member fortifying him with experiences, both good and bad.

He needs to be free to try things, learn how to do them both your way and his own way and experience failure to learn from his mistakes. You’ve probably heard similar advice elsewhere. It just might not have stuck with you or found purpose. Well, I’d say the purpose has been found. It’s your son. And, he needs his mother to still catch him when he falls but to let him fall, as well, and learn what comes with failure, including the steps to recovery.

A parent who is driven by only success and grabbing every opportunity might not be relaxed enough to say, “It’s okay if I don’t have any interest in ___. Maybe I’ll give it a try; and, if I don’t like it, that’s fine. I’ll do better at something else.” You might get upset if you take on a crossword puzzle and leave half of it blank. You might cut interests out of your life because you did not excel at them. Or, you might think you have to be good at everything.

———

Which brings me back to the father in the picture. What’s his input with the son? How does he nurture the boy? Is his method annoying to you? If you answer the last question with some form of “yes,” that says plenty. Maybe a lack of desire to compete and excel could be directly or subtly linked to an unhappy union in which two committed lovers–role models for the boy–are anything but encouraging images at the finish line. The boy might not want to complete the race because the prize at the end of the road is not worth his time/energy. [Or, maybe, it’s not you he’s looking at but other families falling apart.]

———
One last push to sound competent and professional. These moments just pour out of me like a leaky boat. It’s the chatty therapist in me.

Get to know your son and his interests. [If at seventeen he still likes the cartoons he watched at five or keeps a stuffed animal on his bed, don’t harp on that being a bad thing.] Let him decide when it’s time to keep or part with something. Don’t assume his decisions or ways are bad ones. Teach your son how to pick himself up and try, again. Don’t insist he must continue or be smarter or more successful than he feels fit/able. Or, live with the possible failure of staying connected with your son; accept that he will likely cut ties with you or resent you if you push too hard or fail to fill in other gaps.

You can’t guarantee success no matter what method you try. You, too, must be able to cope with “failure” and still find happiness, contentment. Otherwise, this life is a miserable one.

———

Phew! And, breathe. [This is just the tip of the emotional iceberg for me.] If you manage to find my lengthy thought process here and wish to continue, feel free to contact me.

18
Mar
16

A Bright Idea and No One to Tell

*****

I had another grand brainstorm this morning.  But, it’s the sort that could be a real money-maker.  And, as I consider my options for who to share this with, I conclude none are trustworthy enough to tell.  So, here I sit with this great idea–which may not amount to much with the wrong “committee”–and don’t feel like spilling it to just anyone.  Great.  Add it to the weight already on my shoulders.

08
Mar
15

Tragic Personal Update

I’ll keep this brief as it’s hard for me to resort to pecking with one hand…

I fell on icy snow in a most foolish way.  It’s my fault I dislocated my left elbow.  I didn’t get immediate care…it’s a complicated story.  I saw lots of “professionals” with differing answers.  I had too many useless x-rays.  I was put under so strongly, I thought I died and didn’t sleep the next night.  I thought I’d dodge surgery and ended up with the worst news next to amputation.  My family is too trusting to support my doubts and all I have to help.  I am miserable, feeling hapless and helpless.  And, I can’t help feeling like people took advantage of me.

I’m not me…am I?  I don’t feel like my usual self, and that arm doesn’t match my right.

15
Sep
14

As If They Were Nothing

AsIfTheyWereNothing_wallppr-ap1200750-1J

My parents saved so many pieces of their growing past and oodles of things they thought might be worth more someday: their first set of kitchen furniture, tea sets, light fixtures, quilts, suits and figurines of all sorts. But, the things I valued the most they threw away as if the former were nothing.

Trust. Love. Acceptance. Patience. Empathy. Talent. Effort. Friendship. Teamwork. To name a few.

‘Leaves you feeling all warm and tingly inside; doesn’t it?

11
Aug
14

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

Have you ever heard someone say that about some machine, toy, phone, “doodad” or gizmo? You know…the title of this piece. It’s something I haven’t heard myself in a while. But, that’s just because I am no longer a kid surrounded by elderly folks. Those who said it to me have passed on, already. But, the message still rings true now and then.

There was a time not too long ago when adults of the ’60s looked at the toys and technology of the ’80s–particularly television sets–and said, “They sure don’t make them like they used to.” This was shortly after Americans took a break from bitching about the “China-men” making inferior products. But, even today, if you listen to some of these millionaire business types, where would they be if they didn’t have their production lines overseas? Not too long ago, there was a big stink being raised about lead paint on toys. Lead paint; something I haven’t heard about since childhood when there was considerable concern about kids eating paint chips from older houses. [But, if you get me started on lead paint and the Chinese labor force working for the U.S.A., we’ll be here all week.]

The point I am slowly trying to make is…

If you look at modern technology–everything from lawn equipment to household appliances to your “newfangled” flat TVs and razor-thin-ready-to-snap-at-any-moment computers–you don’t see many–if any–lifetime warranties. You’re lucky if you get a five-year warranty. What amazes me is how some manufacturers will avoid a fuss and let you have a replacement (sometimes at an additional expense even if it’s considerably smaller).

Back when, replacements didn’t come so easily. You didn’t trade in a $100+ phone made from nuclear waste that does everything from flash a light under your bed to manage your banking/spending every two years. You bought a phone that plugged into the wall and was glad it was still working when the power went out. Now, you drop your “phone” (and I use the term lightly) in a puddle or on the sidewalk (because you have to have it with you at all times), and you’re lucky if you aren’t forking over another $200+ for a replacement.

[You see how the price shot up in just a few years? There was a time when you expected a fairly standard price for a phone. The technology didn’t change in two years, and what you had worked just fine if you didn’t take it outside and throw/drop it everywhere, you klutzes. AND, your hand didn’t vibrate or glow in the dark after holding your phone for a few hours. Okay, so maybe I am exaggerating about the hand glowing in the dark.]

There was a time when you bought something with little fear of it not working in as many as ten years or more. You trusted a name that built a reputation for itself. You trusted the materials with which the item was made.

There was a time not so long ago when cash was so scarce, they called it the Great Depression, and countless lives were in financial jeopardy. Back then, they didn’t have “smart phone plans” to worry about. They didn’t even have video entertainment. How in the world did they live?!…you kids might ask. Well, I am fairly sure there was probably the same business scheming going on then as it is today. It just came under a different label as it drove people broke. But, whatever it was, I am sure it lasted the people a few more years than a computer telling its user, “It’s been two years. Replace me.”

You know what piece of technology hasn’t changed much since the dawn of time? Mankind. We may have lost some hair and body mass (ha). We may have learned to stand up straighter and use different words now and then. We may have changed the way we eat our food, dress and clean ourselves. We probably earned a longer life expectancy from working less and sitting on those asses people have been pointing and shaking their heads at, lately. But, we can be just as dumb as our ancestors.

How dumb are we? Well, we’re so dumb that we will slap anything on our skin or trust another human being to make us look young, “pretty” or “handsome.” We’re so dumb that we take pills as directed by other humans only to suffer side-effects we should have seen coming (but we didn’t…because we’re so dumb). We’re so dumb that we will burn a plant in our mouths or wash one down our throats to fight stress only to risk the lives of others around us and put that stress on our bodily organs, anyway. We’re so dumb that we move just like cattle as we chase the latest things because the ones someone stopped making last summer are now obsolete.

Can you replace your grandparents or siblings so easily? I think not. No matter what insurance policy you buy, pill you take or defense system you install, you don’t have a lifetime warranty or even a two-year warranty. Your number could be up tomorrow. [That’s another fairly old piece of lingo, by the way. Your number being up. For those of you born after the cellphone, it means “you could die.”]

So, the next time you think about buying some new gadget, trinket or Macintablet or reach for a fresh (or freshly charged) battery pack, remember what ol’ Writingbolt just told you. You can either drain your bank account (which was filled with your life force applied to that thing called work…of whatever kind you employ) every few years chasing stupidity. Or, you can wise up and rethink the way this world appears to be going. Buy something more reliable. And, invest in those around you who are worth more than any self-destructing wireless “life-distactor.”

Maybe it’s time we all slowed down to think instead of trying to be the one who throws him or herself into a wall the fastest. Yeah. That sounds dumb. Just give it time. I’m sure it’s out there on YouBoobTube, already. And, it’s getting a billion hits.

There was a time when hits were something your older brother…




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