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WHY TECHNOLOGY MAKES ME STABBY

I am getting too old and cranky for technology. It honestly makes me want to punch a puppy most days. No, not really. I LOVE puppies, but you get it. I know you all feel the same way at times.

You see, I come from a childhood where “technology advancements” meant dad didn’t have to get off his ass or put his beer down to change the channels. The remote control came out for TV’s when I was a kid. He did, however, need to get up to adjust the RABBIT EARS (antennae, for you young peeps- they were these sticky uppy wires that were sometimes wrapped in tinfoil so you could tune in the 2 available channels on the TV screen without having it full of “snow”) that perched tackily, on top of the TV. We also eventually had a TV that had “colors” other than black, white and about 50 shades of grey. I was so excited the day I discovered that Grover and Cookie Monster were both blue. But, I digress.

Today, I learned that the new IOS means InOperableShit. I am angry with whoever came up with it.

My guy gifted me his iPad mini so that I could use it to play the videos on my workout app. He wasn’t using it for anything and saw me struggling trying to watch videos on my iphone. He charged it up, brushed the dust off and handed it to me, all proud of himself, and said “Here, honey. Now you can use this for your workouts and writing”. What a nice gesture.

I spent the next few hours transferring all my apps onto the iPad and kept receiving notifications that the “Apps were not the newest version, download anyway?”…. SURE! What could go wrong?

EVERYTHING CAN GO WRONG!

The videos won’t play, the games won’t work, and Medium looks weird. I can’t read my emails, and the stupid iPad shuts off randomly. It still has the 9. something something IOS on it. So, I did what we all do as intelligent adults of this century. I GOOGLED. After 2 whole days of trying to figure out how to get the latest and greatest InOperableShit (IOS 11) on my iPad, it turns out, I CAN’T! Are you freaking kidding me?!?!? This iPad is only a couple years old and “unfortunately” Apple writes, “the iPad2 mini that you have is incapable of supporting the latest InOperableShit”. Well, now isn’t that a punch in the throat, kick in the ass, slap in the face, tidbit of information?!!

So, let me get this straight, Apple people, YOUR little machine that costs a small fortune, is INCAPABLE of supporting YOUR latest InOperableShit. Well, now, isn’t that awesome!

So, I was thinking about TECHNOLOGY and what it means now and here are a few points I came up with:

> When new technology comes out, you have zero time to understand it before it becomes obsolete. New technology becomes OLD technology literally while we sleep

> The money and time we, as human beings invest trying to understand or update to new technology robs us from precious time that we can be spending doing so many other things, like reading a paperback, running, or sleeping.

> Our landfills will soon be full of nothing but Tablets from the early-mid 2000’s, TV’s, cell phones and computers, as they become obsolete overnight.

> We can never purchase someone else’s used devices. There is no use and no reason to. You cannot re-register most phones, iPads are actually worthless and useless if you cannot download the new InOperableShit. I have two now, that either don’t work, or the apps won’t work on.

> IOS is some kind of satan tool that keeps us from understanding what happens within our devices. Promises of fun new “ways to make your device better” turn into your phone being an asshole and locking up, OR you find out what the new update does, just in time for the next IOS to come along.

> Don’t get too attached to your “cool new device”. One day, it will be as useful as a wart on your pinky toe, and just as frustrating. Probably a week after you spend a fortune on it.

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We used to climb trees and hand write. We used to play street hockey and hopscotch. We waited for our moms to yell down the street at supper time, not text us. We used phones as telephones, and got in trouble for being on them for more than 5 minutes in case someone else was trying to call us, because we only had one phone line (unless you shared a party line with the neighbors). We played outside games like hide and seek, leapfrog and skipping. If we wanted to play with our friends, we would jump on our bicycles and ride to their house, and knock on their door unannounced. We read paper books, and went to the library to get more of them. The coolest technology I had was an Etch a Sketch that drew straight lines, and you could shake it to erase the entire thing, and use it again and again (without updates). And we actually TALKED with people.

Even when the technology of video games started to emerge (Ms Pac-Man, Tempest, Pinball, and Space Invaders), we would walk to the Arcade and talk with friends. It was a huge social venue and an evening out of the house. Those games are timeless and never needed an Update.

Everything was simple, easy and accessible.

Kids text each other and play “games” with each other through video chat. They never need to leave the house. They don’t handwrite anymore ( it has become obsolete in school). Kids at daycare programs have “screen time” so they can play on phones and Ipads. No-one “phones” anyone anymore. They text and get angry if the other person doesn’t respond immediately. Kids know the frustrations of technology becoming obsolete, but don’t know how to play hopscotch, or skip rope. Even reading is all “screen time” now. Its a sad, sad world when you think about it. Most kids don’t know the smell of a library book, or a new paperback.

I just heard on the news the other day that there are countries that want to allow FREE RANGE PARENTING. This, made me laugh.

Free Range Parenting, is ALLOWING your child to do things independently, such as ride city transit, walk home from school, or go outside alone. It gives children the freedoms to go to friends’ houses and play, or go to the park. And, the countries are willing to allow this for children over the age of 11….BECAUSE THE CHILDREN ARE EQUIPPED WITH GPS OR CELL PHONES!

Let me repeat that…THE CHILDREN ARE TRACKED VIA GPS OR CELL PHONES!

We, now live in a world where children are ALLOWED to be unescorted by adults because they are TRACKED…….WHAT??? At that age, I was walking 3 blocks to my mom’s friend’s house to look after their new baby, ALONE. An 11 year old girl, alone, with a baby, and NO CELL PHONE *gasp*

We all lived so freely when I was a kid. All of my friends survived, even without bike helmets and GPS. We lived without carseats. We lived without cellphones. We lived without being tracked by technology. We lived without helicopter parents. Parents didn’t come watch us play hockey or soccer, or baseball. We just went. We rode bikes and went swimming in rivers, and played at the park. We just LIVED.

So, when I heard about the FREE RANGE PARENTING, the first thing that came to mind, was….

WHAT IF THE CHILD’S PHONE DOES NOT SUPPORT THE LATEST IOS.11.1?? WHAT IF THE GPS ISN’T UPDATED WITH THE NEWEST MAPS? How will these parents locate their child? Could you imagine, if the child put the cellphone or tacking gadget down, and went to play a game, like baseball? His or her parent texts and there’s no immediate reply? Oh My God! -I am sure you sense the sarcasm.

Technology is becoming what defines us as humans. It is beating us at our game of “LIFE”. My fear is that eventually, humans will be as useless as the previous IOS update and we will all forget, how to…human.

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Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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