January 20, 2013
My technology, why have you forsaken me?
Generally speaking, I’m a guy who does well with new technologies. I adapt to new programs and new phones better than most. Misbehaving computers usually start working right as soon as someone tries to show me a problem.
I’m technically inclined, you might say. As such, I know how ridiculous this statement sounds: My technology is out to get me.
I don’t want to sound paranoid or anything. It’s not like I have HAL 9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey” calmly responding, “Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” Still, consider the evidence before you send me off to the nice men in white coats.
Exhibit A: My dishwasher. Two weeks ago, we noticed a certain squishiness out of our wood kitchen floor. When you stepped on certain pieces, little drops of water pooled up between the planks.
When a crew started pulling up the floor to dry the subfloor, we discovered a small river flowing between the dishwasher and the lowest spots of our first floor. We discovered the dishwasher was happier washing the underside of the flooring than the dishes inside it.
Exhibit B: My car’s speedometer. My Civic has a nifty digital display for the speed. I faithfully set the cruise control at 60 mph when driving in the country.
A deputy with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office informed me my Civic was wrong. What read as 60 on my dashboard was 67 on his radar gun and his car. The deputy was kind enough to charge me a mere $110 for his diagnostic services.
Exhibit C: My phone. Work recently provided me with a new mobile phone, which greatly improved on the features of the crank phone I previously carried.
It also turns itself off whenever it decides I need to focus on watching TV at home more than, say, answering important phone calls from The Lima News. I don’t realize it shut itself off, still with plenty of charge on its battery, until I pull it out to text, email or call someone.
Exhibit D: My Internet connection. We had fantastic Internet service at our home since the day we moved in, until a few months ago. Now it stops, several times a week.
This may not sound like a big deal in most households. We’re a bit tech-addicted here. If we had to prioritize utilities, we’d likely suffer through losing cable, water and sewer before we lost Internet. Without it, it’s like we’re reliving scenes from “Little House on the Prairie.”
This technological revolution around me has its benefits. You learn to focus on the people closest to you. You realize how much more important the relationships in your life are than the gizmos.
Still, it’s pretty handy to have operational technology around you. For instance, I’m able to write this column from home many Saturday mornings. I’m just about to use that technology to send in this column you’re reading now and go play with my kids, as long as that Internet connection holds up.
“Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”