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Fun Friday–Technology

Friday, July 13, 2007

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Because of a nearly life-long love of history, I’ve often been told that I was born centuries too late—that I should have lived in the 19th Century to experience the history I love learning about so much. My answer is always that while it might be a nice place to visit, the past isn’t somewhere I’ve ever wished to live. You see, I’m too addicted to technology. I love my car, computer, cell phone, AIR CONDITIONING, microwave, fridge and freezer, washer/dryer, Starbucks, airplanes that can take me in a few hours a distance that used to take weeks or longer, Amazon.com, my blog (especially the “stats”—I’m addicted to knowing how many people have visited each day, what posts they’ve clicked on, and so on), and did I mention AIR CONDITIONING?

I’ve been reading/hearing in the news in the last several days about families who are trying to see if they can forego buying any products—food, clothing, household items/goods, toys, electronics, etc.—that are imported into the U.S. from China. Most of the newspapers and TV commentators believe this is a daunting if not impossible experiment, as so much of what we in the U.S. consume comes from China.

At ICRS, I overheard a conversation between a rep from one of the big CBA publishers and a potential customer about the popularity of Amish stories in the CBA market. And that night, on Letterman, I heard Diddy (or whatever he’s going by now) talking about how he spent his summers on an Amish farm. (No, I didn’t believe him, either.)

Last night, when I arrived home before work, hoping to shoot off a couple of e-mails before meeting friends for a 6:30 showing of the new Harry Potter movie, I discovered my cable modem wasn’t connecting and I had no internet service—no e-mail, no Worldwide Web, no blog stats, no Amazon.com. So I grabbed my phone—my cellular phone, which is the only phone I have, as I gave up a land-line six or seven years ago—and discovered that my “more bars in more places” service provider wouldn’t connect my calls; I couldn’t even get a single bar indicating signal strength sitting in my home six miles from downtown Nashville. It’s not like I’m out in the boonies somewhere where every provider’s service is sketchy. I live practically in the heart of a major metropolitan area!

What was I going to do? No phone! No internet! I felt stifled, constricted, like I couldn’t breathe . . . my call finally went through. Ah, a little relief, even though I was dropped twice after I finally got through to a real person at Comcast. No, there wasn’t a service outage in my area. Was my cable TV still working? I checked. Yes, it came on. Okay, it’s probably my modem. They could send someone out and charge me $40 for them to try to figure out what’s wrong. So I set up a service call for Saturday afternoon, wondering how I could possibly survive at home all night Friday night with no ACFW.com, no playing Spades online, no Facebook, no junk e-mails from the several retailers I frequent online.

Which made me start putting all of these seemingly random recent experiences together. Could I voluntarily give up the technology, the comforts, the consumerism that surrounds me all day, every day? Or am I too much of a technology/comfort addict to be able to do it? Could I live as the Amish do—without the comforts of technology? (Although this isn’t entirely true, as they have adopted some technology such as car batteries to run refrigeration devices.) What if my car does finally decide to break down on me and need thousands of dollars of work that I can’t afford right now? Could I walk the six miles to work in the heat and humidity? What about the amount of electricity my central heat/air uses? Am I willing to give that up—or to set my AC five to ten degrees higher to at least save a few dollars a month? What about the computer? Could I limit the amount of time I spend on it? Could I give up cable internet access? What about giving up cable TV?

All of these things, these comforts I have. Would I be a better person if I gave them up?

A few minutes ago—just before I started writing this post—I got a call from Comcast. They sent someone out to my area to “fix a small outage.” If I still didn’t have connection, would I please call them? (Amazing—someone else in the neighborhood must have called to tell them their Cable TV or internet wasn’t working and suddenly they’ll send someone out to look at it without a service call.) Even though I’m not home to check right now to see if it really is working, I had such a rush of relief flow through me, I knew that all of my ruminations on giving up technology would never amount to anything.

But it hasn’t been a wasted experience. Because it’s made me stop and think about all of the blessings I have that make my life so comfortable and easy. It’s made me thankful for the things God has allowed me to have that make my life so easy, I sometimes forget about Him and how much I really do/should rely on His provision for my daily bread.

Am I giving up technology? No way. Will I consider cutting back on the time I waste because of all that is available to me? Probably. Will I stop being a typical American consumer/technology junkie? Uh . . . are you reading this blog I just posted from a computer connected to the internet? If I had to give up one creature comfort/piece of technology for a week, I’d give up my microwave. Because while it’s a convenience, I could retrain myself to survive without it.

What about you? If you had to give up one piece of creature comfort/technology for a week, what would it be?

5 Comments
  1. Friday, July 13, 2007 10:38 am

    Are you kidding?!?! I couldn’t give up anything, especially not internet. I could give up the TV or the radio, not both. Amazing what we’ve grown used to.

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  2. Friday, July 13, 2007 3:53 pm

    I’d give up the phone, but only because I have cable internet access. ๐Ÿ™‚ Or maybe the radio, but that would be cheating since I only listen to it in the car.

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  3. Carol Collett permalink
    Friday, July 13, 2007 9:23 pm

    I could give up the microwave. I only use it at work to heat my lunch, unless I take a sandwich. I very occassionally have microwave popcorn.
    But, I guess if it’s something I don’t use that much, I’m not really giving up anything, right?
    Don’t even think about taking the A/C away unless you intend to medicate me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Saturday, July 14, 2007 9:55 am

    Any of you read Terri Blackstock’s Last Light series about some event that knocks out everything across the world and sends us all back to living life as it was in the 1800s? Pretty interesting and makes me want to go stock up on water and rice! LOL

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  5. Monday, July 16, 2007 8:13 am

    I’m addicted to internet. Going on vacation for 10 days and having limited internet access–BRUTAL ๐Ÿ˜€

    If you took away the internet it’d be like taking away my right hand. I depend too much on it ๐Ÿ˜€

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