I’m an addict

I got talked into accepting an ipad as a gift. Two or three years ago, Mr. Nobody and my brother double teamed me on accepting this wonderful device into my life.

Mine is the second generation. There will be no replacement.

There is little sarcasm in the words “wonderful device.” It is. All you have to do is wonder about something, and the answers are at your fingertips. I love that. For a person like me, it is that most wonderful place…….a library with no people. It takes short videos. It stores and plays music. I can do email, read the news, play games and puzzles, check the weather and maps, and no doubt many other things.

Not to mention all of the fantastic specialized applications (apps) you can buy or download for free. I have yet to buy an app.

Several days ago, I got notice from Verizon that I was at 75% of my data plan. A few hours later, I was at 90%. This was two weeks before the cycle started anew.

This technology is addictive. At least it is to me. My usage – when you count the ipad as well as the desktop – was, how do I say? – becoming a problem in my life.  I must admit that I have ignored actual people and events to look at a screen. 

I got to the point where I carried it everywhere with me, and would turn it on just out of habit, just to entertain myself when I was alone with my thoughts for a second. Incremental changes here and there along a two or three year timeline, it becomes second nature.

Plus, we recently hooked the desktop up with the same internet provider, and have to connect and disconnect for every online session. Every session is timed to the second. Put the two together and I got bitchslapped.

So, I decided to try an experiment. I put the ipad into a drawer. And I felt actual physical withdrawal, acutely similar to the withdrawal from cigarettes. It’s been a few days, and now I find myself trying to justify taking it out “just for a minute” to myself. Fortunately, myself is a real bitch and I haven’t yet succumbed.

I’ve toyed with the idea of unplugging completely.  To stop reading news, to stop being aware of our constructed world and our destruction of the natural world, and to just be.  I can’t do it.  At least, I can’t do it at this point in time.  I must stay connected at least to stay connected to family and friends.

So I’ve confined myself just to the desktop, which requires planning aforethought, since Bubbles the dog cannot do steps, and the desktop is on the lower level. My routine is to come downstairs and go online while drinking my morning coffee. I check it again in the evening before bed. Maybe once in the afternoon, depending on the day. I seem to be averaging about 40 minutes or so each session. I have no idea if that is a little or a lot, but it seems to be working.

Since I put the ipad into the drawer, I’ve read two novels and am reading a book a friend sent, ironically about, in part, the failure of technology. (Wait, what? Technology is god, isn’t it?)

I don’t think that is accidental. I have noticed a definite shortening of my attention span. I used to be a voracious reader. That dropped to practically nothing once getting the ipad.

On the other hand, I can’t see leaving the ipad in the drawer indefinitely. At least, that is what I’m telling myself. Like a true addict, I think I can use it and not have it use me. Maybe I can. Until I see some evidence of that, though, I think the best course is to keep it in the drawer.

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We finally made it to the local farmer’s market and I was delighted to be hooked up with two locals for meats.  One for beef, another for beef, pork and lamb. If I can find someone with chickens and rabbits, I would be thrilled. We’ll see.
Nice location, music, variety of vendors. Good vibe, mix of ages, no other diversity.

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Is this odd? I have seen no mammals for three weeks, other than the bats, which I haven’t seen lately. No squirrels, even. Seems odd to me. Lots of birds, insects, skinks, frogs and toads, even a turtle and a snake. No mammals.

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6 Responses to I’m an addict

  1. Chris says:

    Then of course there is communicating with me

  2. witsendnj says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the shortening attention span! I haven’t read a whole book cover to cover in I don’t know how long. It is rare for me to read anything that wasn’t written very recently, but I think that is because things are happening so fast. The changes are coming on like a tsunami. And walking in the woods is scary to me now. I used to long for quiet, but by quiet I meant a lack of mechanical noises. Now there are almost NO noises, other than the wind. Buzzing insects, singing birds, rustling mammals. There are a few. But so few, it is creepy. Thanks for this post.

  3. Random thoughts says:

    I don’t know how to respond. If only I had a resource that I could consult that would provide possible responses that I might choose.

    Ironic that reducing your dependence on technology would coincide with a loss of mammals in your immediate surroundings.

    So, was Steve Jobs a pusher?

    So, how would a technology addict use the twelve steps when the first step is accepting a higher power? Or is it “more power”?

Thanks for reading!

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