I used to have two phones on me at all times (a work and a personal). It’s funny how accustomed you get to carrying around all your technology, which items you decide to take on vacation and what you do with those you no longer use. At dinner or social gatherings, my friends and I will talk about devices; “Are you going to get the new product?” “Do you use that feature?” “Wow, that dog cam is so cool you can really see the grass!” And if you are the typical consumer you are probably very well connected (soon to be even more connected when you start to wear more and more devices).
Recently while visiting my parents I couldn’t help but hear dings and beeps from our collective 10+ devices, it was like we were on constant alert checking to see which contraption was notifying us of some event. And like the town crier, my father would inform us on the “Breaking News.” He even has a process, first he reads it to himself then summarizes out loud, “Doesn’t look good for the stock market today girls, according to this breaking news alert the market was down.” Nothing more substantial, it’s more like a weather report on society’s activities.
What’s even crazier is you get to know by the sound of the beep or ding which app is updating you, “Oh don’t worry that’s just a friend posting to Facebook … probably another #tbt.” I ponder very random thoughts while reading all this newsworthy news; like, how do the Amish* survive? They can’t even review their Twitter hashtags, or blanket email the Amish community with “Amber Alerts,” or even find out from online news how to take Ebola precautions.
While packing for this trip I am being honest with myself, which devices do I really need? It’s a hard decision. Because in all honesty, the one thing I can’t take and will miss the most are my parents, and having them entertain me by summarizing the barrage of newsworthy news.
*For friends outside the US, the Amish are ‘somewhat’ a closed community that chooses to not use technology of any kind (including vehicles). They are mainly located in the Northeast around Ohio and Pennsylvania. You might have heard about them since they are known to make sturdy furniture (sold in infomercials) or have watched their reality television series “Breaking Amish.”