Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No Interruption

            Today, we live in a world of constant connectivity.  I hardly ever bother to set an alarm anymore because I know the buzz from my texts, calls and emails will probably wake me up anyway.  When I give someone a ring I expect them to answer, and when I don’t respond to a text immediately they assume I’m ignoring them.  My father sends me half a dozen emails a 
week with reminders and questions, despite the fact that he often composes them while sitting in the next room.  He knows I see them pop up on my iPhone, and once again when I open my computer, and still I hardly ever take the time to reply.

            The other day I had a conversation with my friend about how much he despised this culture in which he is expected to be tuned in at all hours.  We give him a hard time about never picking up his phone or responding to texts, but he explained himself with an almost desperate clinging to the days when our only method of communication was the home phone line.  His teachers at school want him to read and respond to an email they send at noon by 2:30 in the afternoon.  His friends at home want him to check his texts every 15 seconds.  Not to mention facebook, twitter, snapchat, groupme, and every other app or website people use to transmit ideas and messages these days.  But, maybe he doesn’t want to check his phone for a couple hours; maybe he just wants to shoot some hoops, or play a game of risk, or sit out by the pool, without being interrupted.
            So, even though it angers me to no end that he often ignores my calls and texts for hours at a time, I have a certain respect for his decision to tune out technology for a little while.  Nothing bothers me more than playing ping-pong with someone who needs to read their texts between every point, or watching a movie with someone who can’t even pay attention to the screen.  Modern developers are all pushing toward a time when it’s impossible to leave the web of social networking—Google’s new glasses are worthy of their own blog post.  I just hope I don’t live to see the day when I have a permanent earpiece installed, and computer powered lenses in my eyes.  The truth is, sometimes it’s nice to hit the off switch for a while, and I think the people who can’t do that should seriously reevaluate their priorities.