Saturday, February 23, 2013

The downside of cellphones

One of the worst side effects of having technology available round the clock is the disappearance of a little virtue known as patience. I know I'm significantly less patient than I once was.

Years ago, I was able to wait for things. I remember having a long commute to work and thinking of thinking of it as "the work to home transition". When I was stuck in traffic, I had a ritual: I would pop in some Bob Marley and chill out. I had no way of letting them know I would be late; this was before cell phones were commonplace. Since there was nothing I could do, I didn't get impatient or upset. I just went with it.

Ironically, it was AFTER I got a mobile phone that I got more stressed out in traffic. I'd be frantically trying to dial and keep an eye on traffic all the while petrified that I would crash. And God forbid if nobody answered at work! I'd be paranoid that nobody was going to check the voicemail. The only thing worse was somebody answering. I'd hear all the chaos in the background and feel guilty about being late. Then I'd become all agitated and impatient with the two guys involved in the fender bender that had caused the delay. Even Bob Marley couldn't help. In the end, technology achieved the exact opposite of its intended goal.

Flash forward to today. I live by the frickin weather channel.Com all winter. I spend time looking up the most pointless information, like "what happened to the kid from About a Boy".  I see absolutely no reason why I shouldn't know the answer to every little thing I wonder about all day long. And I'm not even one of those people connected to their phone 24/7, taking pictures of their Starbucks cup and Instagraming it to the world. I cannot imagine what it's like inside their heads!

So today, when I was out running errands, I ran into one traffic jam after another all afternoon. On top of that, I discovered that I had left my cellphone at home. Well, I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself. I couldn't return phone calls. I couldn't check text messages. I could only sit in my jeepy-jeep and be agrevated and impatient. Then, Bob Marley came on the radio. And I remembered what it used to be like in a world without cellphones.

And I chilled out to Bob Marley for a while.

2 comments:

geekhiker.com said...

Awesome post. I know that impatience well though, after my travels, I find myself more patient than before. Perhaps a little too much so.

Maybe you should "forget" cell more often. And stock up on Bob Marley in the jeep. :)

liaam ray said...

I think everything is made for comfortableness so it surely has some side effects......

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