Technology: usually, it’s more annoying than useful

Nathan Sanderson

Nathan Sanderson

If I hear another cell phone ring while I’m watching a movie, sitting in class or trying to read in the library, I might snap. It seems like everyone is walking around with three pieces of useless technology to somehow “enhance” or “improve” the quality of their lives. Society has become so attached to their cell phones, palm pilots and their keyless-entry systems that it has forgotten how to live without these gadgets.

Last weekend, while attending a movie, a cell phone stood up and screamed at the audience. Because I wanted to heckle the source of my interruption, I turned around to see who had forgotten the most common form of courtesy in our 21st Century lives. I was a little shocked when I saw the culprit.

Here was this 8-year-old kid, sporting Osh Kosh bibs, holding his ear and chatting away on his phone like he was an international day trader. I was waiting to hear him say, “Sell 2000 shares, and Tommy, don’t forget to call the President. I have some ideas on how to improve the country’s financial situation.” Interested in what this youngster could potentially do for my career, I watched him as he left the theater. Expecting to see a limo pull up, I was disappointed when he hopped on his bike and rode away. So much for improving my career.

One item the little stockbroker didn’t have was a palm pilot. Everyday, I see more folks walking around with that little light pen and touching their screens with intensity. Tell me, palm pilot owners, what does your $650 computer have that my wallet, calendar on my check ledger, and three pieces of “to do” list paper have that I don’t? I have an “advanced organizer,” a “date book” and a “daily planner” all in one and for a fraction of the cost of your mini-computer. I never have batteries to recharge, my paper never freezes up on me and if I damage it, I can get a replacement almost free of charge.

When I see people walk up to their car door with a set of keys in hand, and then dig through their pockets to find their keyless entry remote, I can’t help but laugh. With everyone from business executives, to grandpa and grandma, to kindergartners brandishing so much technology, soon everyone will have to carry purses.

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