Welcome to the Future

This was handy.

I didn’t get a cell phone until my freshman year of college. 325-660-5435…I will always remember that. (You can try calling it, but I can’t confirm who will answer – if anyone.) It was a wonderful item to have – digital, black and greenish gray screen, pocket-sized. I didn’t have text messaging, camera, speakerphone, or “apps.” I believe the closest thing to text messaging was AOL IM – remember that?!?? It was brilliant – my screenname was cherrylime2001. Don’t ask…You could talk to people for hours – be way more honest with them typing than you would face-to-face. Or in my case, your friends could be way more honest with them (on your behalf) than you would be face-to-face. This caused for some “major” misunderstandings with my crush-of-the-week, or a member of the reoccuring-crush-of-the-month club. But it was what we had…and we LOVED it.

My “twin” (everyone thinks we look alike – but we don’t look anything alike…duh) and I were talking the other day about how she was without her phone for 3 hours that morning. She didn’t admit this to me, but I think she had a minor heart attack during that time frame. Being without her phone for those 3 hours, she missed out on 7 text messages, 2 phone calls, and 15 emails from her office – she was out on the road. She sent out an email from her work laptop explaining to certain people in her life that her phone wasn’t working, but that she would be in touch.

You know what?!? The world did not end. Her car did not self-destruct. She did not become infected with the plague or polio and no one (sorry my dear Plutfabe) put out a missing persons report. She did manage, however, to find an AT&T store in Odessa, Texas, to reset her phone. HUGE sigh of relief. Crazy part is – the majority of us have been there. One day, my (ghetto, but free) cell phone died and I drove around town for about 45 minutes looking for a car charger. I then proceeded to sit in my car while it charged and toted the car charger with me from my car to friends’ cars, just in case. I sold my Blackberry recently and now have my favorite phone (LG Shine) back. When I had my Blackberry I could “google” anything. I “facebooked” quite consistently, and “tagged” all applicable friends when necessary. I could send my friends and family a video of what I was observing at that very minute and “youtube” it if it was that good. I could even read my daily devotional through my “favorited” pages on the web browser.

We know what those “verbs” mean. My 18-month-old cousin can unlock his mom’s touchscreen phone. Instead of waiting to convert the VHS tape from the video camera, or even waiting to plug the camera into the TV jack, my little cousins can watch themselves immediately after their parents record them on their video phones. “I wanna see, I wanna see!” They are watching what happened in their life 20-seconds prior.

What does this do to us?

On the positive side – we have so much information and so many opportunities literally at our fingertips. I think about the Haiti earthquake and how much money was donated simply by people texting a certain code or word to a specific number given to American Red Cross, or Salvation Army, or Compassion International.

I think about the prayers that are going up every week/day for my dear friends’ daughter Eleanor, who is receiving chemo treatments, because of Facebook status updates.  It truly is remarkable what we can update every second so that people know what is going on in our life and around the world. Skype alone baffles me. I think about the podcasts I listen to and what incredible insight and wisdom and Truth I receive from pastors all over the world.

What do you make sure is plugged in and charging when you go to bed at night? What do you check when you wake up in the morning? Could you keep a normal heart rhythm if you didn’t have your phone for an entire day or even half-a-day? If you didn’t have internet, would you still know what is going on in the world? What do the modern-day technologies do for you and your family and your relationships? Do you KNOW these people better or worse? Are you participating in Life (with a big L) fully or is it draining away?

Just some thoughts to ponder…start a conversation even. Thanks for listening!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom/Madre/Mamasitto
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 10:33:03

    Jo,
    Touching video and thanks for the reminder about what things are really important. Keep writing. Love your thoughts.

    Reply

  2. Katie
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 14:25:33

    “Live with a big L” – I love it. Fortunately, because of the nature of my job – I don’t feel too plugged in. I leave my phone at home, and only look at it once or twice from the time I get home and go to bed. HOWEVER, the computer has become by best friend in the last few years. I can’t IMAGINE not being able to check my email before I go to work or at lunchtime. It’s weird to think of life before email…maybe a tech detox is in order for me. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Christen
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 21:21:53

    Well dear twin (we don’t look anything alike) I am glad I could be an inspiration to you. You are right about one thing though I think we could all take a break from technology unfortunately now their are jobs, like mine, that really wouldn’t be able to happen without it. Its a blessing and a curse. I do know that sometimes when I am home or with friends I need to be aware of how attached I am to my technology and put it down and invest in the people in front of me.

    I watched this show on TV the other day when I was out of town about these couples that were so attached to their phones and computers that they literally never had a face to face convo. When they would be home together they would still be texting, e-mailing and barely talking to each other. This is a good reminder to be more aware of those around me.

    Reply

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