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You’re the First the Last My Everything



I have been absentee because I could not figure out how to convert my comcast to Xfinity. And my teenager is away at college. I’m not going to write about how technology is destroying us and writing and poetry and daydreaming and masturbating and basketmaking and flag folding and watching ants carry crumbs across a mountain that once was a mole. Have you ever changed the part in your hair? Do you think you really know a person? Yes, I love my fucking phone. I love it. Get over it. Do I take it out while people are talking. In the middle of dinner? During an MRI? Do I sleep with it? Play Bridge on line all night like some nocturnal animal with slow eyes.

What’s your relationship to your technology??

14 Responses

  1. What’s technology?

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. My phone is like the part-timers at work, I like them and need them but I don’t know them very well.

  3. Love/hate. I talk to my technology. I have irrational anger towards it when it doesn’t work fast enough – usually when I’m in a hurry. I’m drawn to it like a meth addict to a fix, and just as dependent on it.

    Damn it all to hell.

  4. Have I ever changed the part in my hair? Yes, in college. Did away with it and let my hair go all wild, a huge Angela Davis-like nest. It was awesome. Then I started going bald. Now it’s like the whole top of my head is a part.
    My daughter makes fun of me for my lack of “electronics”. I tell her the only electronic I have is my electric guitar. I could live without it I suppose, but I do like making noise.

  5. I live in a rural valley in Vermont, and thus have no cell signal. I have a flip phone for work travel, but that’s a couple of days a month. I have friends whom I see once a year, and within fifteen minutes or so of our beloved greeting, they have their phones in their hands again, with me as the secondary partner.

    Re: the flip phone. When on rare occasion I upgrade my phone, I tell the shiny youth of Verizon that I want a telephone. I don’t need a tablet computer or a camera or an MP3 player, I have those. I want a telephone, with the best voice quality I can get. Usually, that’s met with bewilderment, but one young man was particularly helpful. “Well, you want a flip phone, because that puts the greatest distance between the earpiece and the mouthpiece. And you want a Samsung, because their electronics are really solid.” He could have stopped there, but then continued, handing me a phone and saying, “And this one has the extra-large keypad, and the one-button 911.”

    Yeah. Thanks, sonny.

    That said, I do spend unnecessary hours in front of my computer, and finds that it makes me distractible and incapable of focus if I do it for too many weeks. Just for fun, look at your browser history some day. My Chrome history for yesterday shows 181 unique web pages, total time online of 241 minutes (4 hours). That’s a disease, in both the hyphenated and unitary forms of that word.

  6. Never changed the part, but I have shaved it, buzzed it, or let it go long and curly.

    I too have a love/hate relationship with my phone and computers. Having used bottles of White-Out, miles of correction tape,and changed ribbons on Remingtons, I adore word processors. Using Google for research is like living near all the great libraries, and being able to have a gin and tonic while you browse.

    Old school, I don’t use the phone at the table, or while shopping, or when the car is in motion. My last car crash was years ago, and I’d like to keep it that way.

    I use the phone before sailing inshore or near shore to check the weather, and have used it to fix my position in fog, but most of the time I use a chart and compass. I rely on GPS in the car, but on the boat, it’s for backup and confirmation. It is a tool, but if overused, can dull some basic skills. Then what do you do when the technology fails?

    Last year, a friend and I sailed to an oyster bar-the kind where you drink, not where they live- and drank ’til we nearly dropped. Prudence demanded that we call Lola to fetch us, so we left Elsie (the boat) alongside.

    Next morning, first light, I went to bring Elsie home. Many things went wrong, the wind grew foul and fierce, and a two hour sail became ten. Cold, wet, out of coffee because I spilled it, I ran aground, but in the best place available, But Lola knew where I was after things started to go wrong, and that I was not missing, but late.

    I finally got unstuck and sailed home, through a narrow canal, a ninety degree turn, and up to the dock. I came in the front door, the sailor home from the sea, sort of, and went straight for coffee and Bailey’s. But that phone kept Lola from wondering or worrying, and help was at hand if I’d needed it.

    • Yes, I like technology for all these modern reasons. I do limit my daily screen time to under an hour and, when I’m writing, the internet’s off.

      What seems to be a problem for many is a Facebook & social media compulsion. I once asked a longtime friend, who couldn’t lose the phone, if she’d rather have lunch with her phone or me? She laughed. I believe the phone won. Now, I keep my distance.

  7. My relationship with technology?
    Mistrust…and dependency.

    (I do enjoy texting with my kids. It’s a connection, their way.)

  8. I’m enjoying the irony that we are kvetching about technology via a blog site. That said, I, too, am a flip-phone owner. It is lovingly referred to as The Stupid Phone. Minimizes access to all those other sirens of technology; insures I don’t miss a sunset, a bit of overheard, inappropriate, conversation and the company of friends. For me, it’s just equipment, not an appendage.

  9. “What’s your relationship to your technology??”

    Recalcitrant, though yielding as appropriate. I know very little about my smart phone. It’s an Android (I think) and that means its apps are easily hacked (I think), so I have added very few apps to it. I carry it with me whenever I leave my building, just in case. I mean, it’s handy. Sometimes I’m out and I want to check a train or bus schedule, or a map, and with my phone, voila! thar ’tis. Also, and this has been the best feature it has for me, it has a camera that shoots stills and short viddies. Digital imaging has revolutionized photography, and I don’t think I’d want to be without it, even though all I can afford is the equivalent of what the Brownie was a century ago. But what a Brownie! and what a century!

    Word processing has been as liberating to my writing as digital imaging has been to my photography. Almost everything I compose — write, that is — I do on my computer. It’s what nowadays is rapidly becoming an old-fashioned computer, with a mouse and a keyboard, but it suits me fine. Long gone are the days of first drafts and second drafts, etc. Composing by computer I have working drafts and final drafts — but the final drafts are still drafts; that is, easily modifiable when modification they need. I so do not miss the days of typewriters and white-out.

    Nor do I miss the days of oversize envelopes, trips to the post office, and International Reply Coupons. These days, if a publisher won’t accept electronic submissions, I won’t submit (except for NOON, which still accepts only snail-mail, but has published me for five years straight, so snail-mail will do, thank you).

    I still have a cathode-ray tube teevee. I don’t have a tablet. Netflix I still get on DVDs. I don’t have cable (haven’t had cable since Carter was president). I listen to music on YouTube, and sometimes watch documentaries there, too. But I also have a CD player and a turntable. I have a time-burning jones for Facebook. I read a lot of stuff in downloaded PDFs.

    What the is is, I’m as reluctant as I can be to adopt a new technology, but I’ll do it when it seems the thing to do. There’s much more in the marketplace than I can afford, in terms of either time or money, so I protect myself as much as possible from wasting either.

  10. I’m all in. I’ve started using voice-to-text to draft scenes and make notes on my iPhone, and I read most of my books via Audible.

    I change the part in my hair every day. Sometimes, in desperation and battling a fiendish cowlick, I will change the part at lunchtime and hope for a better afternoon.

  11. True: playing with your iPhone produces the same endorphins as falling in love.

  12. I think it has made me more impatient. I’ve also noticed people becoming impatient with me when it seems they didn’t so much in the past. My response is, I’m not a computer! It could be that I’m just slowing down. Or am I slowing down because my phone does all my work for me. Yeah, admiration/confusion.

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