People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?

People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?

I agree. On coming up to the cottage this weekend, I felt compelled not only to bring my Blackberry, but I also brought my camera (which is handy at the cottage), my digital voice recorder, my iPod and my laptop. I figured I could get some writing done (as I am doing sitting in peace and quiet in cottage country). Catch up on a few blog posts that I’ve been meaning to write, some I have written and just need to transcribe to electronic form. Catch up on some emails that I’ve been meaning to write and clear my head. For me, that means detaching from the network and start with a semi-clean slate on Monday when I reconnect. My Blackberry does get reception up here, but I’m keeping it on silent and only using it if I need to get something off my head, like an idea I’ve just had.

In general I know that I have become much too dependant on technology. Sometimes to a point where all of it just makes my job harder to do and I spend more time trying to fix it or to find a better way of doing it than if I just sat down to do it.

A few years ago, we had the massive blackout on the eastern seaboard of North America. Friends of mine were jonesing for their cell phones to work. I was actually impressed with myself because I didn’t feel the need for my cell phone nor the internet. I made sure my family and close friends were okay and life was good. The barbecue still worked and food was defrosting, so we had friends over who didn’t have very good ventilation in the summer and we all ate together. We found things to keep us busy, but we connected with each other. I mean really communicated with each other face to face.

I know that I can actually detach myself for a weekend, maybe even more. I only keep up with everything because it will be less to deal with when I come back. Besides, writing these is fun. So vacation mission accomplished.

UPDATE: Of course I couldn’t upload this while on vacation, but I managed to go through all day Saturday without turning on the laptop, except to view some photographs I’d just shot. You’ll see those soon too…


Tales Of The Laundry Room

My apartment building has only four washers and four dryers. Since I moved in on Thanksgiving last year, I’ve never really had a problem. Most people are courteous enough to move their laundry in a timely fashion. I’ve had to wait once or twice, but that’s because it’s been busy.

Today, I write to you from my Blackberry after having waited 30 minutes, 20 of which I’ve been seated in this chair,for the person who has taken up three of the washers and has not bothered to show. How do I know the timing you might ask? Because the fourth washer read 30 minutes remaining when I first came down. All the others read zero, meaning they were done.

Okay, so I’ll go up and get my third load since I know they’ll all become free at once, so I might as well do it and get in before the rush. They’ll probably be here by the time I come back. Nope.

Well, I’ve been meaning to take the recycling out, so I’ll go do that and give them a few more minutes. Still nothing.

By this time the lone running washer reads 20 minutes remaining. Surely 10 minutes grace period is reasonable, much like at a parking meter. I decide to wait until the person shows up because it’s bound to be any minute now.

The lone washer has now stopped and for the last five minutes or so, I’ve been staring at four occupied washers and I could have had my stuff in the dryer already.
I know what you all must be thinking: why don’t you take their stuff out and start doing your own? Well, there are a few good reasons why I don’t:

    1. I don’t like the idea of going through someone else’s, albeit clean laundry;
    2. I’m lazy;
    3. I’m going to make them feel guilty as sin;
    4. And if not for their ignorance, I would not have had time to write this wonderful blog post.

I just spoke with the girl who was using the lone washer, who just brought down another load and she can’t believe my patience. At least she asked if I would mind putting in another load. Of course not! She was there before me and at least had the decency to move her stuff within 10 minutes of it finishing. I told her that if I finish this post before they come down, I might consider moving it. And for those of you keeping score, it’s been at LEAST 45 minutes since they finished. I will not be responsible for their things…

UPDATE: Finally did move the laundry of the offending tenant. Even used one of my baskets to contain most of it. Decided not to put laundry in dryer because knowing my luck, I’ll go back and they still won’t have moved it to the dryer. Considering when I go back down putting their stuff back in the washing machines just to see if they’d notice! And yes, I did set a timer to go back and get my laundry when it’s done.