Technology, love it or hate it

Like many Americans, I embrace technology. The cell phone and internet are on the top of the list for most people.

I have often wondered how I got along without the internet for 35 years before this mysterious thing crept its way through our telephone lines.

Nearly everything I buy is now online. Just last month, I blew a tire on my classic 67’ pickup on a Sunday afternoon. On Monday, I ordered a new tire online, which was thirty dollars cheaper than the local tire store and I received it the next day. I mount my own tires, so by Tuesday evening, I had a new tire on my truck, saved thirty bucks, and never left the house.

If there is a negative to buying online it would be the slow death of many brick and mortar stores that dot the landscape of many small towns.

Researching is probably the greatest thing I love about the internet. Sitting in my recliner with my laptop, I can rival Einstein on the Theory of Relativity.

Have you ever wondered how satellites stay in a Geosynchronous orbit? Or why we can see a star shining in the night sky that flamed out a thousand years ago? Go ahead and ask me. I have a self-proclaimed Internet Doctorate on the subject.

Now let’s move on to the cell phone. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with this electronic beast. I can think back to the times when I needed it most, although they weren’t invented yet. The time I was shot through the arm in a camping accident and had to walk three miles for help. The time I was stranded on an island all night in a blizzard with windchills of-75 degree below zero before being rescued by a military helicopter. Or the time I fell out of a tree stand and broke my ankle and had to crawl across a field to my truck.

Oh, how I wish I had the electronic beast in my possession at those times.

But, my problem with the cell phone is, everyone expects me to be at their beckon call. Lord help me if I’m out working on my farm and intentionally leave my phone in the house. Or the times I leave it in my truck overnight and didn’t realize it until the next morning. My Gosh, some callers were on the verge of calling Search and Rescue because I didn’t answer the ring of my electronic beast! I simply look at my phone as something for my convenience and not theirs.

I’m constantly amazed at how people coddle and baby these little beasts. They take it to bed, to the bathroom, to church, and inside a theater.

I can’t help but laugh when I’m traveling. The instant the plane touches down, I watch in amazement as the army of travelers turn on their electronic beasts and get their fix on Facebook, Snapchat, Emails, and Twitter. Some people actually have withdrawals until they get that “fix.” I listen to all the dings, rings, vibrations, bongs, bings, and jingles as their phones play a bad symphony throughout the cabin of the plane.

Once inside the airport, walking through the terminal, I seriously wondered if I should don a helmet and shoulder pads because of the danger people pose while walking with a phone in their face.

Look around the next time you’re at the terminal gate in the airport waiting for a flight. Whole families sitting together, not talking because they have a phone stuck to their face.

Last week, while in Lake Fork, Texas, I watched a father and son eating breakfast at the table beside me. The boy was a teenager, about my son’s age of thirteen. Undoubtedly, they were going fishing for the day. Other than speaking to the waitress, while she took their orders, they never said a word. I was saddened as they sat there playing on their phones the whole time. I couldn’t imagine my son and I not conversing with each other before a day on the lake. After watching this scene for awhile, I turned to the gentleman I was having breakfast with to tell him what I witnessed. He stopped me short and told me to “hold on,” so he could finish his Facebook post! Go figure…

Ask yourself this question… Do you control technology or does technology control you?

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