Very often, I reflect on the simpler, less confusing days before we relied heavily on various forms of technology. It seems to me that while we appreciate the advantages of our miscellaneous devices, we sacrifice a naive type of simplicity.
Never was this clearer than when I left my cell phone in a doctor’s office on a Friday afternoon. To begin, I had no way to call and verify that they had it. Looking for a landline is probably a greater challenge than any of us realize. Once my daughter determined that the phone was there, I had to drive approximately two hours to retrieve it or not have a phone for the rest of the weekend. Unfamiliar as I was with the area, I had my trusty GPS to get me there. Unfortunately, said GPS was programmed to avoid toll roads, the most expedient method of getting back to the office. And of course, I had no phone to call husband who could tell me how to defeat it.
For the sake of brevity, I’ll simply report that without benefit of a direct route, I made it to the doctor’s office, exactly two hours and considerable stress later. Had I not done so, my return flight would have been minus a phone, creating the need for it to be mailed to me.
Years ago, I would have saved a few hour round trip drive, a GPS struggle and the anxiety of determining how I would survive without my technology. At the same time, I would have been unable to reach loved ones, send text messages, check weather forecasts and waste countless minutes on social media.
There is no simple conclusion. The technology is inevitable, as is my inability to juggle all devices without leaving one, drowning another and failing to understand one or two others.
Yes, we rely too heavily on our technical toys. But returning to those days when we didn’t have them is simply not a reasonable alternative. The best idea is to know where everything is at every moment. No problem. Shalom.
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