Technology will not dominate my life unless I let it.

Once upon a time in an age not so long ago the only ping that caused me to jump into action was the sound of a microwave.  These days I seem to respond to a cacophony of sounds that interrupt my thoughts, meetings, training sessions, travel, rest periods and down time.   Bleeps, trills, ring tones, bells, silent buzzers that in reality sound like a swarm of wasps, music and ‘humorous’ sound bites assail my ears and demand my immediate attention.   The emergency services could learn a thing or two from my average response time  because I if don’t find a phone or pick up within a nanosecond the person trying to attract my attention will die of  impatience. Either that or there will be complaints, feelings of rejection and/or demands to explain myself when I do manage to make contact.

Most of the world possessed a mobile phone way before me and once I’d caught up they got ‘smart’.   Friends, family, acquaintances, residents of some of the poorest countries in the world and small children all give me that ‘look’ when I pull out my basic model.   The ‘look’ that says – “How can you function and continued to live without the latest thing in technology”, “man you’re sooooo old-fashioned”, “seriously dud,  can’t you afford to buy a new one?”      Of course, thinking these things would mean that they actually have to  look up from their endless finger traversing and screen pointing to notice what I’m doing.

I’ve always been resistant to owning a mobile.  I like my space and alone time therefore, I  don’t  like the idea of people having instant access to me and expecting an immediate response (unless it’s an emergency of course).   And now with smart phones linked to social media sites it appears that I am able to know everything about your life and you mine.   But I don’t want to be informed that you are on your way home and 2 stops from the station, I don’t want to discuss what you had for breakfast, I don’t want to see the latest boy you are dating on-line’s lunch box and I don’t need to know that at 12.30am you were in at MacDonalds drunk eating a big Mac with a bunch of our friends when you didn’t even bother to invite me!

My first mobile was purchased when I started a job that involved a lot of driving in the unpopulated countryside of Yorkshire, mainly because if I broke down it was a long, long walk to the nearest village for help!  Almost  immediately after my acquisition my boss at that time began to call me when I was on the road.  My desperate attempts to answer the phone and prove that  I was indeed gainfully employed and not having a snooze in some lay-by caused me to nearly crash on several occasions (this was before hands free).  One night the boss rang me after hours.  It was a dark, wet English night and I was staring into a wine glass of full bodied red snuggled up in front of  my fake coal gas fire.  She seemed to think it was a reasonable request to ask me to comb the city for an old demented lady that had happened to wander off from her home.  Now Sheffield is a big place, social workers are not trained trackers and being a Cinderella service we don’t  get overtime.  I told her to call the police!    Not long after a friend berated me for not picking up and, to my mortification, I actually apologised to her for being on the toilet at the time.  After these incidents I decided that I needed to take control – I put the phone on divert or turned it off – depending upon my situation.

Do I give the impression I dislike technology?  Well that would be wrong.  I think  it’s wonderful.  It saves time and money, keeps me in contact with loved ones, allows me to access new information and educate myself, opens new doors and opportunities.  But it is just a tool and as such should enhance my life not dominate it.

40 thoughts on “Technology will not dominate my life unless I let it.

  1. Interesting that this post of yours got less ‘likes’ than many of your others. It gets a giant ‘LIKE’ from me. Whether mobile or the old dial-up wired-in version, phones have always been optional for me. If I hear it ring, I consider it a request for my attention not a demand. I enjoy being in contact with others, but to me it’s very important to live in the moment I’m in. I’ve chosen where I would like to be and what I would like or need to do at that time. Also, it took me forever to decide to blog since I wondered who would care what I’m doing….and I agree, what you had for breakfast does not a blog post, tweet, or FB update make. But the means to share like-minded or new thoughts and experiences, moments of beauty or humor, emotion and caring in nanoseconds across the world is an incredibly awesome and even humbling priviledge that I wouldn’t want to go back to living without. Technology rules!!…just not my every waking moment. 🙂

  2. Great post and captures my thinking as well, I have yet to jump into the smart phone revolution. I dislike using a regular phone at the best of times, so having a mobile so people can contact me anytime pains me. I often just let it ring to voice mail, if it was truly important they’d phone back I believe.

  3. I use mine as a prop a lot. If I feel uncomfortable in a public place on my own I get it out and pretend to text someone.

  4. Great post. When you have a mobile phone some people think you are accessible 24/7. I call screen, ignore, explain to my work colleagues it’s a personal not business phone, & use the off button… but as my phone is mostly on silent because it’s bad form to have mobile’s ringing in the office, I forget to turn the sound on A.H. and miss lots of calls because I don’t hear it ring… oh dear 😉

  5. Ahhh techonology ruining our world. I cant say Im not one of them. I do not have a smart phone. My phone is dumb. 😀 However, wordpress really occupies most of my rest time. With the IPad, it even makes it easy for me to get attached to virtual world esp. with all the subliminal sounds. What everyone really needs is balance. WordPress has become a habit of mine, but I still go out and travel. Whenever I’m tasked with something at work, i dont let wordpress fully getting in the way.

  6. I totally agree with you. This with mobile phones can drive me crazy. Not so much that they are being used for talking … it’s all the silly ring tones. When I heard that airlines was thinking of allowing mobiles – I clenched, the only free mobile zone just now when travelling. Some trains has quite wagons – but not big enough. I’m so happy that I don’t need my mobile except in emergency – hardly use it at all. When I was working it was more or less glued to my ear … it’s nice to have my life back.
    My Nokia I use now is 15 years old .. and it only rings and I can send text.

  7. I blogged on the same topic; when I don’t answer I seem to get these increasingly desperate texts. Why aren’t you answering me? Text me back. Why aren’t you texting me back? What have I done wrong? And so forth and so forth. Irritating! 🙂

  8. I am so with you on this. It too me a while to catch up with technology and I’m still learning but it’s important to remember who’s in control. Thanks for sharing this excellent reminder.


  9. My husband and I have decided to place a basket by our front door and have all visitors place their phone there when they walk in to our home; otherwise we have little conversation and a lot of texting going on.

  10. it is so sad to see a group of people sitting in a restaurant, staring and stabbing at their phones, while ignoring each other. It happens far too often.
    I too agree that technology is wonderful–as long as YOU control it.

  11. I just turned off my smartphone and bought one to top up; what a joy to not have social media constantly interrupting my living of life. Such a timely post. Life is a bit quieter again, which is just wonderful.

  12. There will always be those whom use our technology for good and evil. Others like the couple I work with, have mobile phones, not smart phones, have no interest in the Internet and are totally computer illiterate. It’s strictly they’re choice of course. But they are two very happy people too.

  13. I think a lot of people love to interact with others from their heart, and me too, in whatever ways, as long as the tools that can serve my heart, and I have my focus on this group of people only, others, are always in the tiny mini minority, at least in my eye.


  14. Great post! My husband and I laugh whenever we get on an elevator together and no one looks up from their devises. Love the convenience but the lack of face to face social interaction disturbs us.

  15. Oh you have hit a chord here… 5 years ago I vowed I would never get caught up with modern technology ( don’t even know if I have spelt it right!!!) But…. now the first thing I do when I wake up in a morning is reach for my Iphone and check how many “likes” and “comments” I have received about the previous days blog…How tragic is that????

  16. You are so right!
    My mobile phone is not basic but not smart either and I am quite accustomed to those ‘looks’ 🙂 Even from my grandkids who don’t own one but know everything there is to know about them! While I have been tempted to switch to a smart phone to be able to cope with blog traffic better, the fear of every aspect of my life being invaded is holding me back.

  17. Good on ya’ girl! Couldn’t agree more. It’s taken years, but at last people I know are beginning to get the message – if I don’t pick up after a couple of rings, I’m otherwise engaged and will get back to you when I’m in the mood to …
    In my opinion they, and their operators, are so invasive, intrusive and downright rude … 🙂

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