Modern technology has its flaws, but I’m grateful for some of it

I usually work from home about three days a week. Being in the communications field, most of what I do can be done can be done from just about anywhere with an internet connection. Don’t worry, though: I’m not writing this from the bathroom. It’s not like I’m the president.

Hey, Melania, pause ‘Fox and Friends.’ I got an idea for a legendary Tweet that’s going to go right up their with the Gettysburg Address and the Emaciated Promulgation. Besides, last night’s Big Mac is calling. May have a full-on Tweet storm coming on.”

When I’m in the actual office with the other humans, I practice social distancing. As my boss pointed out yesterday, “You’ve been practicing social distancing here for years.” That’s true. We work in an old building with some fairly big rooms, and my office is a fairly large room that I have to myself. It’s a lot like working from home except that I have to drive more than an hour each way to get there.

Over the last several years, I’ve heard a lot of folks — usually my age and older — bash modern technology. I’ve done it, too. I hate seeing kids constantly looking down at their phones. The last time I dined in a restaurant — which seems like probably 2017 or so — every family had a kid staring at a phone and no one was talking. Yes that’s bad.

And there are privacy concerns. I’ve got this lady Alexa sneaking all over my house eavesdropping on us. If I stub my toe on the bedpost and holler, “Ow, my toe!” the next day I will have ads for toenail clippers in my Facebook feed, ads for toe warmers atop my Gmail, and my Amazon Echo will start randomly playing Zac Brown’s “Toes” from Spotify. The next time I stub my toe, I’m going to yell, “Ow, free tequila!”

But we’ve got to admit — especially in this day and age when the Earth is clearly trying to preserve its natural resources by purging the human race from it — that having some modern technology is helping us get through it all.

With almost no live sports going on, some folks — including pro athletes — have turned their attention to video game sports. Some TV networks have even broadcast some of these competitions. I admit that I’m a little jealous because the world of video games long ago left me behind, sitting there longingly in front of an Atari 2600 with a joystick and one red button in my hand. Today’s controllers have more buttons than the cockpit of a 737, which is one of those things that used to go through the sky dumping flu viruses on people through its contrails.

Of course, the most important technology we have is Al Gore’s internet. It’s on our smart phones. It allows us to work on our laptops from home. And, most importantly, it allows us to save money by switching from cable and satellite to 47 different streaming services, only costing us between $9.95 and $49.95 each. Some of us — hand raised here — could survive on one streaming service and actually save money. Others of us — hand raised here — are married to people whose must-see shows just happen to be on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access, HBO and Fred’s TV Stuff.

However, there is one technological advancement that matters most to me: I can FaceTime with my son, who is stuck at a university in Scotland right now at school. The audio and video are so clear that I can practically touch and feel his extreme boredom. But it’s sure better than not seeing him.

And it’s got to be better than writing a letter to him the old-fashioned way, like during the time of the Emaciated Promulgation. Besides, he’s just 20, and I know that if I pen some brilliant inspirational letter to help him get through, he’s just going to send a letter back … one letter back.”


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