Posts Tagged ‘technology’

How Technology Rules Us: Part 3

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

cell-phone-2One of the things I love about having a cell phone is the fact that I always have a camera with me. I also have a video camera. It’s unbelievable how much technology is present in a phone that’s so small and thin that it fits in your pocket. At soccer practice one day, I was snapping a picture of my son when suddenly my phone started buzzing. I thought that was strange, since I hadn’t changed anything on my phone to cause it to vibrate. I looked at my phone, and it told me to check in.

As I looked at my phone in a bewildered fashion, it rang right in my hand. I answered it. It was my husband wanting me to check in. “What on earth do you mean? And by the way, my picture of Nathaniel came out blurry because you buzzed my phone while I was taking a picture.”

My husband explained that he had put a GPS on my phone so that he could see where I was located. I was actually happy about this because I often get lost when driving to a new location. I’m deep in thought and then miss my turn off point. While driving to my sister’s house years ago when I was single, I ended up in a different state. Yep. I have no sense of direction whatsoever. Even after exiting the grocery store, I will sometimes forget where I parked, so I have to press the lock button on my keys to “beep” the van so that I can find it.

All this to say that I was fine with my husband knowing where I was. He showed me how to check in. Then I said, “Can’t you just track me without my knowing? There must be a way for you to do it behind my back. I would rather not check in and have you ruin my pictures. I almost dropped my phone.”

My husband figured out how to track me without my knowing it, but the battery goes dead faster. My husband was playing with my phone one day and wondered why the battery was so low. He decided to switch the GPS off.

Another thing I love about my phone is the fact that I can speak into it, and it googles that thing. For example, I wondered whether the costume shop was open yet. So I said, “Display House, Spokane Valley, Washington.” I waited a few seconds, and I could see the hours it was open, and that it wasn’t open yet. I saved myself a half hour trip just because of my cell phone.

Navigation was something my husband used while we were out of town this summer. The phone just told my husband where to go to get to the convention center. “Turn right,” the robot woman would say. I listened to so many instructions that I had a conversation with my husband in a staccato robot voice, throwing in a joke. I made my husband laugh.

The wonders of modern technology never cease… Unfortunately as I rely more and more on my phone, I have become the very person that I said I wouldn’t become, someone who was ruled by a cell phone. And yet it’s so convenient and helpful…

How Technology Rules Us: Part 2

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011


<Chime> <chime> <chime> <chime> <chime> My husband walked from the kitchen to the bedroom and said, “Your cell phone is chiming like the bells on Christmas morning.”

“That doesn’t mean anything. My cell phone is constantly burping and chiming. It’s like a baby that wants constant attention. I just check it once in awhile,” I said, the novelty of the cell phone wearing off. I walked over to see what had caused so many back-to-back chimes, and I had 11 text messages all from one sister. Apparently she had written me a long letter, and the text messaging had broken it up into bits. I sat down and read the letter.

On a different occasion, I had gotten busy and had forgotten to check my phone for two days. A different sister had texted me two days previous and thought I was mad at her because I had ignored her. It made sense that my sister would think that I wore my phone, since that is what she did. My sister has six children, one of them married, the other five teenagers. She keeps tabs on them continuously through text messaging. I texted her that I had just gotten her message. I felt defeated. I wondered how long my sister had been upset with me, and I was sad that I had negatively affected her life because I hadn’t checked my cell phone.

Even all the way back to the first day, my sweet husband had called me. Apparently he called me three times on my cell phone before breaking down and calling our home number. I answered the phone, “Hello?”

“Susan, how come you’re not answering your cell phone? What’s the point of having cell phones if I can’t call you?”

I said, “I didn’t hear it ring. Through a closed door, it’s too quiet to hear, even on full blast. Do you want me to take it into the bathroom with me? If I don’t have any pockets, do you want me to carry it around with me while I’m doing chores?”

My husband was frustrated. If I tried to take it everywhere with me, I would forget where I set it down. Finally my husband decided to call the home number if I was at home, and the cell number when I was out. That made more sense, since I was actually carrying it while I was out.

Soon my husband was downloading lots of apps, mostly games. We were in the living room one evening in front of a lovely fire in the fireplace. (This was back in May.) The television was off, and through the flicker of firelight, I could see my husband poking his phone. I smiled at him because he was like a boy with a new toy. I went to get my phone. My husband showed me how to download apps, so I chose some free apps and downloaded them. Apps about jokes and love poems ended up being horrible (I wanted clean jokes and classical love poems), and I said, “How do I get apps off my phone?!” He helped me to delete them.

I found the app “Grace to You,” sermons by John MacArthur that I could hear through my phone. My husband and I had originally met at Grace Community Church over 20 years ago. One day as I was listening to a sermon in my bedroom, my husband walked through the room. He recognized John MacArthur’s voice, and he was drawn like a magnet to the Word of God. He came and lay down on the bed next to me, the phone between us, blaring the voice of our long-ago pastor, who was preaching Scripture fearlessly. My husband and I had been listening to watered-down sermons for months at various churches as we prayed about where God wanted us to be. We were both starving for a good sermon, and my eyes teared up as I saw passion for the Word of God in my husband’s eyes. I realized then that my silly cell phone had drawn us together…