Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hooked on the electronic opiate

It was slow, subtle and devious in its seductive luring.
You don't even realize it at first, but every day the need grows more and more. Every day it gets embedded deeper into your brain until you can not possibly live without it.
The thought of not having it for even a day is more than one can stand.
I didn't start out to become an addict – does anyone? I did not mean for it to become so important in my life, but alas I have joined the masses who are hopelessly addicted to their stupid cell phones.
I resisted a long time before getting one of the infernal contraptions, but with the kids getting older it was just an easy and efficient way to communicate and keep in touch.
A quick text, a short phone call no matter where they are and you know where they are.
It took a while, but eventually, I caved and became one of the millions carrying a small transmitter in my pocket. 
My first phone was very simple (like me) and very basic (like me) but after a while it was very old (not like me, I am a young pup of 49.)
My phone was at least five years old. In phone years, that is an ancient piece of equipment.
My kids all had fancy smart phones, while I had the phone technology I had was equal to that of a petrified dinosaur turd.
My wife even got rid of her old phone – that was almost seven years old – and picked up an iPhone.
Now, everyone in the family had one but me, so I decided to take a quantum leap forward in technology and get one of the latest and greatest.
This thing has more gizmos and gadgets to it than the Apollo spaceships.
I still haven't figured out everything it can do, but I am working on it.
At first, I was kind of coy with it. I could take it or leave it – much like my old phone. I only used it when I really needed it and would leave it in my coat pocket the rest of the time, but then the electronic opiate began to get its hooks into my psyche.
It is much more than just a phone: it is a small, portable computer that could access the Internet, texts, emails, games, take pictures, record video, act as a GPS and even make a phone call if you needed to.
Soon, I was like one of those mindless techno-zombies you see staring down at the little gizmo in their hands, oblivious to all that is happening around them.
OK, I may not be quite that bad – not as bad as my kids anyway – but I do spend a lot more time with this phone than the last one.
The old one I would often leave sitting on the counter when I milled about the house, but this new one has put some sort of voodoo spell on me where I have to carry it with me everywhere I go.
And not just for the communication aspect of it, but my phone has all sorts of cool games on it, and that is a significant draw for my attention.
Waiting in a doctors office? Dig out the phone and play a game or two. Who cares how long I have to wait, that will just give me more time to get Scooter to level seven.
Passenger in a vehicle? Get the phone and play a game. You will have plenty of time to talk to the driver when you get where you are going. Besides, you would not want to distract them with all your mindless chatter.
Remember kids, safety first.
It took several years, but I have finally given in to the electronic mistress known as a smart phone.
I believe it was Albert Einstein who said he pities a world where people spend more time interacting with a machine than each other.
Welcome to the 2000s, Al.

Copyright 2014 Darren Handschuh

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