Thursday, September 21, 2006

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." ~ Albert Einstein

I'm annoyed by people who mangle the quotations of others in an effort to communicate their own ideas.

With the mea culpa tidily handled, I say: It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our sanity--or at least MY sanity.

O.K., you got me. Linda would never resort to such a cheesy lead-in. I confess, I am a guest; guest blogger, that is. I'm Cyndi, Linda's friend, alter-ego, former dispatch partner and part-time conscience, in no particular order. Linda is taking a well-deserved day off. She has kindly allowed me to achieve my 15 seconds of fame via today's post, and for good reason. It is, after all, my sanity that is challenged, but for a change it was not one of my own three kids who sent me plunging down the abyss.

Nope; this time it was Linda's dear Amanda who gave me the hearty shove.

Mind you, most of the time I adore Amanda. She's a great kid. We share certain traits; sensitivity, a love of various arts, a flair for multitasking, and California birth certificates (I had to throw that last bit in just for Amanda. Yo Cali-girl!).

Yep, Amanda's a great kid who somehow felt it perfectly reasonable to tap into my conversation with her mother this afternoon to let us both know that she absolutely had to have the telephone line cleared right away because she had to make a call of her own.

So far, no big deal, right? Sure, Linda and I live some 3,000 miles apart and converse only a couple of times a month, but we were barely in the midst of invoking world peace or ending the threat of global warming when said interruption occurred. Granted, my 14th birthday passed sometime around the time Cleopatra was batting her lashes at Marc Anthony; still, I can vaguely summon that feeling of urgency that drives adolescent talk fests. Finally, it hasn't been all that long ago that my own daughter passed through the age in which a five minute delay in making a phone call feels more like five years of agony.

Given all of this, I thought Linda's response was quite generous, mom-wise: She offered Amanda use of her cell phone to place her call. And Amanda said ... no. Nope. No thanks; only the landline phone would do, because she needed to place a three-way call, and apparently this was not possible on Linda's cell phone.

What I said at this point is ... well ... probably best not repeated here.

Mind you, Ms. Amanda already had possession of the family computer at this point, yet she wanted the PHONE too? For a conference call?

I hereby nominate Linda for Mother of the Year for ever so calmly suggesting that we hang up so she could call me back on her cell phone. Problem solved; so why does the whole thing still stick in my craw hours later?

Answering machines, Call Waiting, conference calls, email, IM's, blogs, Cell phone, texting, Blackberry/PDA, Pager (yup, some of us still carry those along with the rest of the stuff). My purse runneth over, but I don't feel any more in touch than I did before most of this stuff was available.

So I ask you, gentle readers: Am I the only one who thinks that the whole communication thing is getting out of hand? What would Einstein do?

Personally, I'm in favor of leaving the electronic gear in the hands of the teens(or the cats) and heading for a secluded beach; margarita in one hand and a good book in the other.

See y'all there!

Note from Linda: Thank you, Cyndi! I appreciate you filling in for me as I never would have gotten to the computer before 10:00 p.m. last night as Amanda had it tied up so she could work on her Naruto AMV while IM'ing her friends and still making that three-way call of hers. At least she has inherited my outstanding multi-tasking abilities! Oh, and thanks for the nomination for Mother of the Year though we both know I'd have a snowball's chance in a very warm place of actually winning it - were there such a thing!


  1. Anonymous9:32 AM EDT

    Of course technology has gotten out of hand -- why do you think the Blackberry is now referred to as the "Crackberry"? I watch the people at my job who have all these gadgets and wonder if there will ever be a time again when I'm sitting in a meeting not forced to watch someone's thumbs going crazy the entire time. Ugh! Always connected... not for me thanks.

  2. Anonymous2:08 PM EDT

    Linda: You are far too modest. Of course you would win this Mother of the Year thing. It's my contest, and you are the sole nominee!

    Helen: I'm with you. I've got all the junk, but detest carrying it and largely ignore it. It drive my husband nuts. He loves the gadgets--arms himself with everything avaiable and actively uses each one. He even had one of those wristwatch-type PDA's for awhile. I ask you--who in the heck can actually READ a spreadsheet that is less than an inch in size? Unbelievable. He bequeaths his outdsted (like older than six months) gadgets to me. I let them die a natural death lost on my desk or in the depths of the purse. Heck, I have problems even remembering to charge my cell phone; thus, it remains home far more that it really should. The pager is a must and thankfully runs on batteries or those who REALLY need me would never find me. I like it that way!

  3. I agree with you both completely. There are days when I will either deliberately leave my cell phone at home or walk out the door without it accidentally because I just don't want to be THAT connected to things. I have a pager from work but I don't even really like carrying that with me either though I know it's a necessary evil. What on earth did people do before all of these gadgets? Were Thoreau alive, he'd be having a field day with this!


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