Not too long ago a patient came in with the complaint he no longer ‘saw his children’ as they are continually texting or on Facebook or Twitter – he doesn’t know which. My glib recommendation for him to cancel their phones and remove their computers didn’t go over well.

I am suspicious of technology. It may be a simple case of ‘We fear what we don’t know”. I think some of my antipathy comes from reading science fiction in which nasty machines enslave humans or turn them into intellectual pygmies. I’ve seen 2001; I know what happens.

Perhaps it is the influence of a roommate in college, whose computer took over his life (and our room). He never went out, but stayed glued to the screen. (By now he probably is a multi-millionaire in Silicon Valley)

Whatever, I prefer a low or no-tech life.

I have to carry a cellphone around for work’s sake. It went kaput six months ago. This obligated me to get a new one. I made an appointment with the Verizon service man. ‘Man’ is a loose term as he had spots on his face and braces on his teeth; the wisps on his chin suggested he was entering puberty. He looked at my old phone with a cocked head and odd expression, as if I had shown him a farming tool from 19th century.  He began his sales pitch, telling me about all the fabulous new phone options,with their multiple functions.

By the way, when people start talking ‘tech talk’ I become a Peanuts character talking to an adult, the type that sound like a warbling trombone.

I interrupted him to explain I wanted a phone that made and received phone calls AND NOTHING MORE.  At first he was frustrated/stunned; then he calmly tried to explain my phone was quite out of style and no longer available. (5 years is apparently ancient in tech life). I asked if there was a cellphone that allowed me to warp time and space – that would be of some use. In the end I bought the most basic phone – it still has all sorts of devices to it I don’t use because I can’t figure out how to use them. I managed to take a few photos, which are lodged in the phone. I am unable to get rid of them; so I dare not try any more.

Happily Brother #3 is a wiz at technology; when I get stuck with my Mac (OK I make an exception I like a laptop) with something I can call him. Clever man, he can fix about anything.

At the moment I trying to figure out why I can’t merely stick a cord into the wall at work to get my Mac to connect to the internet so I can read blogs at work.

That would be of some use.

I may become the last man on Earth without an iphone, or reads paper books. Still,  I won’t be part of the Borg or the Matrix !!


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