A couple of days ago, I experienced a modern catastrophe. I dropped my smart phone in the toilet, effectively ruining it and causing the need for an over-night replacement (thank you, year ago me, for getting insurance which mostly covered the cost of this). A few hours after that, my laptop imploded or something….the hard drive went haywire, and since I only purchased the darn thing about 9 weeks ago, it is covered by the manufacturer….so sending it back to the makers…fix it bitches!! All that is well and good, but I was left without internet connectivity for 24 hours. It was scary.
Funny thing is when you deal with the customer service or help desk reps of the various companies that support your product’s issues/problems, they seem to think you live in a big house with a picket fence, a computer with internet access in every room.
Yeah, right. Hey, I am a house/pet sitter; I live my entire life out of bags–luggage and laptop bags. I do not have a land line, or more than one computer. I do not even have a tablet or ipad thingy. I need to live light, simply, without having too many things to track. I know folks with iphones, ipads, laptops, AND home computer(s). Too much for me to carry around…smart phone and 1 laptop are my limit! But this idea seems to confuse the customer service reps. One guy kept trying to send me an email to expedite my repair process, not understanding my access to email and a printers were quite limited at the moment.
I griped about this at this guy, only to hide my real fears. 24 hours without being able to connect was scary. I cannot even remember a few years ago, driving even 30 minutes away, not to mention further, without having a way to call someone if I had an accident, a problem, a disaster. I mean, I used to consider the hour or so I walked a dog sacrosanct, I would have never used a mobile phone during a walk…that was time to be one with nature, all that crap. Now, I worry that I may fall in a ditch, get hit by a car or something, so I carry my phone with me, I can call 911 if need be.
When did I get so paranoid, turn into such a scaredy cat? Why is this such a big deal, I mean, I endured cancer, loss of connectivity should not scare me, but it does. Why?
My theory is the dual threat, both kind of health related. For starters, modern life means being connected all the time. Think about Facebook and all those social network apps, so one can tell friends their likes, locations and everything else, at all times. I still kind of have a hard time with the fact Google+ and Facebook only want my real name, and sell their product to me with the concept of letting my friends know what I think about every page on the internet I visit. Seriously? I don’t want all my thoughts, likes, locations revealed every single moment (odd thoughts coming from a blogger, I know, I know).
But then I think about safety. If I were to get kidnapped or something, my phone can reveal my location…does this not make me safer…and make the plot of the upcoming film The Cell pointless? I think about, especially, those life alert commercials Remember that old commercial ages ago, with the elderly person lying prone on the floor screaming “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”? That commercial is still sort of around, in combination with one featuring an elderly lady saying “all senior citizens should have Life Alert”. I’m not sure if these ads are for the same product or different ones, but the idea, the concept being sold is this: you can remain independent (as in, not having to move into an assisted living facility, for instance), yet, you have the ability to get help if age causes an accident. You, consumer, can have freedom AND security at the same time! Believe me, I get it, I will get Life Alert when the time comes.
The second threat, is sort of related, for those of us not quite senior age, but living with health threats. Cancer wrecked my sense of normalcy; I have an unnatural sense of being under constant threat. I know, logically, that cancer will not jump out from behind a tree and “get me” while I am walking a dog. But I was irrationally fearful of just that for this 24 hour period. Insane!
Of course, getting the replacement phone in my hands, while a relief, then sent me down a rabbit hole of trying to remember all the apps I had and how I set everything up on my phone in the past year, which is a special hell for cancer patients still struggling with memory issues after chemo! I feel like some old fart complaining about change and new technology. But the truth is, I like new technology, and I am not really averse to change. It’s just soooo hard to remember how I had it set up, and how to do it. And don’t get me started on the fact that I’ve had to purchase a tiny netbook for back up since my laptop is dead and all my files are on a flash drive…infuriating to have all your info with no place to plug it in to read it! I have not quite made the leap to storing all my stuff in the cloud…but even if I did, I would have to seek out a machine to open said files–yes I could use my smart phone, which is too tiny to read, OMG, I AM old. And speaking of tiny, I am typing this post on the tiny netbook, because, I tried, I really did, to hand write my thoughts to post in a week or so. But I discovered the past few years of typing everything has rendered my already horrible handwriting absolutely unreadable.
Argh, I hate change. Wait, what? OMG, I AM OLD.
OMG I hate it!