Sometimes, I Hate Technology!

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It’s true. Sometimes, I hate technology. When it works, it can be a lifesaver. When it doesn’t …. ARRGGHHH! It can truly make your life miserable.

My computer is old and then it caught a virus. It was on life support for a while, but then it recovered. And now it’s back on my desk, really looking like it would rather be anywhere else but there. But it won’t have to wait long – there’s a new one coming – and then it can enter a happy retirement somewhere, probably as my back-up.

So that’s my explanation for why I haven’t been reading the people I follow. My most sincere apologies! With an ailing computer and a surge in work, I haven’t been able to keep up.

But why didn’t I use my smartphone? Well, yes, I have a smartphone. But I don’t like reading from the small screen and I don’t like doing much typing from it either. And I don’t use my work computer for personal stuff. My employer keeps track of that sort of thing and I know people who use their work computers for personal stuff anyway, but the thought of my employer looking over my shoulder gives me the creeps.

In some ways, though, it was liberating to be a little disconnected. And I began to really notice the reaction of some people to the fact that my home computer was sick. They displayed a sort of panicked pity, like I had told them that I might die from a contagious, dread disease, and that they might, too.

I talked about this reaction with an acquaintance of mine who doesn’t even own a cell phone. She said that people have outright called her “strange” for not carrying around a phone and that she’s been asked how she can even get by without one. She has actually felt discriminated against because she chooses to go “tech-less.” Isn’t that her right?

I find Facebook annoying. There. I said it. I think I would rather visit a drive-through organ replacement outfit than use Facebook. And Twitter and Instagram? Not impressed. And I don’t see how people really have the time to use them, either. Multitasking? Studies show that that doesn’t really exist. We just wind up doing two or more things in a mediocre fashion.

And, yes, I know that these social media serve their purpose and have been helpful during times of crisis. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t exist.

But I have the right to not use it, and to say that I don’t use it without feeling stigmatized.

I recently read about a store that wanted to require its customers to “sign in” using Facebook and to also use it to register purchases. There was something of a backlash and the store relented. This was clearly a very aggressive attempt at marketing research, and it backfired.

But how long will this last? I like to have control over my privacy and my opinions. Wars have been fought for these rights. Are they being eroded in the most insidious way possible – because we’re slowly allowing it? Because our need for attention is outweighing the importance of our privacy and our own thoughts?

When it comes to technology, where do we draw the line? Or is it already too late?