Living in the Moment
It seems that every time I turn around, someone is trying to sell me a new way to stay connected or to connect some aspect of my life to technology and I’m not having it. Blame it on my age (baby boomers are reluctant followers) or simply stubbornness, but living in the moment means I interact with friends and family without having to pull out my i-phone to take a selfie and post it on social media so everyone can see what a great time I’m having with the other beautiful people in my life. These moments really are more meaningful – happy or sad – than any photo reveals because I’m living them.
In my mind, this technological storm all started with the cell phone followed by social media and the constant rollout of apps. When I bought a new car last year, the dealership made a gargantuan effort to convince me to connect my car to a call center so some obscure service tech can contact me through the speakers to remind me to put air in the tires or to change the oil. Honestly, hearing a real person interrupt my audiobook or U2 singing “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” would freak me out. That my car had a written communication system already installed to tell me these things didn’t seem to be a consideration. The dealership must have thought I couldn’t read because they wanted me to pay $30 a month for something I didn’t need or want.
A few days ago, the front page of the Business & Finance section of the Wall Street Journal had an article about “pet tech” and the importance of rigging the aspects of our dogs lives – eating, sleeping, interacting, and exercising – to technology. Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not need to get my dogs a webcam that dispenses treats or a tennis ball launcher that initiates from another location via an app on my cell phone. The article should have been titled “How to really fuck up your dog” because that’s what people will do if they don’t hug their dog, hand them treats, and take them for walks.
Technology isn’t all bad though. Texting is one of the great time savers and I use it whenever I can, especially to communicate with my daughter who lives far away. But, for all the “gains” technology has brought to our fingertips, it has yet to show us how to live our lives in the moment which is something we can quickly lose sight of if we don’t put up boundaries and live in the moment. Put the cell phone down, the fitbit away, the webcam in the trash, and live in the moment. Better yet, have dinner with your family or friends, talk to each other, and then take your dog for a walk.