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Copyright © 2007, 2008, 2009 Edith Morris


Catchword Corner

September 2008

Electronics Overload

While I was cooking dinner the other night, my husband came into the kitchen with his laptop and asked me to approve (or not) some graphics for a project he was working on. I re-focussed my eyes from the steaming pots to the laptop waved under my nose. I commented favourably and he continue working until dinner was ready. I am appalled at how accessible and intrusive technology has become.

I've fought against it most of my life: amateur (ham) radio sets taking up my leg space in the car, aerials strung everywhere, a laptop on the dining-room table most of the time, two TV's going all day to watch the Olympic games. There seems no end to it from morning till night. In the middle of brushing my teeth a cordless phone is thrust into my face and no amount of shaking my head and gargling puts off the inevitable frothy "Hello".

I have tried putting my foot down. I declared the front room an electronic-free room and it is to some extent. There is a large screened TV and occasionally a CD player makes it's way on to a little table. But generally it is a calm, quiet room. When my grandsons were younger a variety of gadgets were plugged into the TV. Car races, shoot ups, and sport noises dominated until they left, then the lounge room was serene once more. Now when they come, one grabs the laptop to check his "myspace" and the other one throws himself into the lazy boy and texts non-stop as fast as he can on one of his two cell phones. The only time my fingers worked that fast was when I was in business college learning to touch-type so many words per minute. I doubt my grandsons would even know what I'm talking about.

Even the other day in Church I noticed a young girl texting madly, openly. Then I heard the muffled singing of a cell phone from a man a few seats away. Oh God, I moaned, what are we coming to. A cell phone in a coffin? Yes, that has happened too.

Before I set out in my power wheelchair for a quiet zip around the park, my husband reminds me "Have you got your cell phone for emergencies?" Yes, I pat my left hand side pocket. Cell phone. "And the garage door opener? I might not be in when you get home." Yes, I pat the right hand pocket. Garage door opener. Off I whiz with all my electronic gear in place. Why fight it?