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Musings Of A Tech Adict

December 31st, 2008 1 comment

You’re at Thanksgiving and your sister is cooking in the kitchen with your wife.  Your daughter is reading next to you on the couch, and with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over, the TV is firmly set to whatever channel is showing the NFL.   Where are you?  Sitting out the couch with a laptop on your legs setting up your new blog.  You are a tech addict.  …and you are in trouble with your wife.

Other signs you’re a tech addict?  You mother asks you to look at her digital camera to figure out why it doesn’t display the battery charge.  Your brother-in-law, who’s house you’re staying in for the holiday, tells you he’ll show you how to turn the TV on using the four remotes that control the TV, Playstation, cable box, etc… then remembers who he’s talking to and figures you don’t need any help.  Your brother, who’s computer is besieged by MS Antivirus (which is actually a very tenacious computer virus) asks if you have his operating system install disks so he can reinstall.  He asks you because you have almost your entire family’s install disks, and because you’re the one that built his computer from scratch.  If any of this hits close to home, just keep in mind that there is no hope – only acceptance.

This blog will detail the thoughts and experiences of a man who cannot keep away from the internet lest he go into information overload withdrawal.  That poor addicted soul would be me, and yes, I’m declaring there is such a thing as information overload withdrawal.

When you think about it, technology has changed every facet of our lives and how we interact with the world – something every technology pundit in the world has opined at one time or another, but to really get what that means, go ahead and hit the circuit breaker for your house.  Just try to relate to your family for ten whole minutes without a TV, DVD player, PVR cable box, (take the battery out of your cell phone/PSP/Nintedo DS too – no cheating!), and everything else that can come between your family and a good conversation.  This is not to say that families would be relegated to staring matches without all this stuff – my family manages to converse pretty well with the help of a game we’ve been surreptitiously playing for decades now of how many jokes, rips, and cracks you can make against every little thing anyone says.

The point is that most of how the family interacts these days involves computers. For example,  it’s now my turn in a game of bowling on a Wii and a copy of Wii Sports.  For playing that, I’m rewarded by being creamed by my seven year old daughter, who somehow managed to figure out the exact swing of the arm needed to get a strike almost every time, beating out the rest of my hyper-competitive family (much to their eternal chagrin).  Does someone want to take a walk?  – check the temperature on weather.com.  Going to someone else’s house before calling it a night? – directions from maps.google.com.  Wishing good friends a happy turkey day? – texting on your cell phone can unobtrusively convey the missive.

General conversation while everyone relaxes on the couch in the living room watching a few of us play Wii Golf consists of neat things they’ve seen on YouTube, and how Wii Fit would be a really good thing help lose some weight and retain our girlish figures.  Then, with a quick trip to Facebook, I get to wish my best friend a Happy Thanksgiving in real time while he tells me something I already know – that pierogies made by true polish immigrants are some of the best food on the planet.

Coming back around to the point of this post,  we, the tech addicts of the world, are the ones that grease the wheels of our brave new technical lives.  We iron out the little glitches that keep our mothers from sending email (the “send” button is at the top right, mom!), our siblings from self-destruction (did you really have to download the torrent for that mp3 with the file name ending in “.exe”?), and our mothers-in-law from chucking their laptop out the window (“Why did they have to change it all again!”).  We’re the ones that get the questions at family gatherings now that used to be spent on your relative with the medical degree.  It’s no longer a matter of “I have this thing on my arm – could you look at it?”, but a matter of “My computer freezes up when I open Quicken – could you look at it?”.  If you’re a true tech addict, questions like that are greeted with a mixture of exasperation and not a modicum of curiosity.  After all, without that almost pathalogical curiosity, we’d never have become tech adicts, now would we?

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