It turns out that my new “smart phone” is only as smart as its owner. I get daily messages that I need to enter a password to get to my Google account. I didn’t know that I have a Google account and have no clue what the password might be. I have a gmail account but that doesn’t seem to work. I’d like to just have that message stop appearing but can’t figure out how to do it.
The phone is loaded with all kinds of apps. I know that five year olds have got these things all figured out but for someone who lived most of her life with dial and then key pad telephones, trying to get on top of this is a constant frustration.
This has gotten me thinking about the impact of technology on my life.
For most of my adult life the Boston Globe was on the doorstep when I wakened. I read it with breakfast, breaking news was only a few hours old. Keeping in touch with far flung family and friends was by mail and I enjoyed both writing and receiving letters. If I needed clothes or an appliance, I visited stores until I found what I was looking for. I found movie schedules in the newspaper and used the library for researching travel or financial information.
The Internet sneaked into my life and routine via my children who insisted that I have a computer. I was connected at first by dial-up. It took a long time for a site to download and there wasn’t a lot to be found so it didn’t seem to make much of an impact on my life except that I could write on it rather than writing everything in longhand.
And then, insidiously, the Internet has taken over my life. I wake up usually as the sun comes up, make my coffee, check email, read the New York Times online, read a friend’s blog and then have breakfast before leaving for the orchard. Later in the day I check email, write emails, do some online shopping, see what’s playing at any of the theaters in the area, look up a recipe, check with Orbitz and Expedia and Kayak to see what kind of plane fares are available for a possible trip… The list of things that take up my time is endless.
I see an author interviewed on TV and immediately have to look her/him up and see what s/he’s written and how it’s been received by critics and readers. Any discussion or disagreement can be clarified by a quick check with Wikipedia.
Back to my smart phone, the one place that the Internet couldn’t call to me was when I was out of the house. Now it seems that I can be connected 24/7 via my Samsung Galaxy something or other. Perhaps my inability to be able to figure out its bells and whistles is my way of keeping just a bit of my life grounded in the moment.