Join Prism Book Alliance® as Andrew Q Gordon goes Outside the Margins today.
A funny thing happened on the way home on day this week. I take the Washington Metro to and from my home and as I was walking toward ‘my spot,’—those who commute know what I mean, the place on the platform you always stand because it’s the door closest to the stairs when the train stops at your station—everyone, and I mean everyone, on the platform was on their mobile device. Phone, iPod (which were probably iPhones), kindles, iPads, etc. It was sort of surreal. That didn’t stop me from getting out my iPad and reading, of course, but as I joined the masses, I started to wonder just what I was doing.
Granted this post is being displayed on social media and many who read it will do so on a mobile device, so in a sense I’m preaching to choir. But think about our ‘dead’ time— when you’re sitting and waiting for something; doctor, train, hair appointment, anything. How often are you on your device? If you’re like me it’s almost guaranteed you’re on it.
We have a no phone/iPad/laptop at dinner rule. I can’t say I totally abide by it, but I’m getting better. We have the rule because that is the one time of day we agree to interact as a family without everyone’s nose glued to a screen. How often do we do that anymore? I ran into my neighbor on the way home and had to stow my iPad. I guess I didn’t mind, but on one level it felt like it upset my routine.
How often are we outside doing whatever, and we feel the need to check email, Facebook, Twitter? Could you go a day without email? Facebook? Websites? All social media? I don’t think I could and I’m scared to try. What if in my withdrawal, I forget to put on pants, or start pushing imaginary buttons on people or swiping their face to unlock Siri? I mean, this is what we do in the digital age, right?
The hubs read about the Google Glass (which I think has been discontinued for now) and suggested that if they could put a chip in my head that would project the images directly into my brain, I’d stand in line for days to get one. I disagreed, but seriously, I didn’t believe my denial. (Actually, I really wouldn’t let them chip my head, but I’d totally get Google Glass if I could afford it.)
Once upon a time we’d call each other, now we text or email. We convince ourselves that it’s better because we’ll some how disturb our friends and family less with a text than a call. Or that people can always reply by text even if they can’t talk on the phone. If I’m somewhere I shouldn’t talk on the phone, should I really be texting? (I’d argue, YES! But I’m an avowed device-a-holic.)
There is a lot to be said for social media and the Internet. How many of you reading this would know me without it? Hell, you wouldn’t be reading if there wasn’t an Internet or social media. Far be it from me to say we should shut them down and lock them away. I think it would create an epidemic if we did that would make Walking Dead look like the open scene to Sound of Music. But maybe in small doses we should put them away now and then and give our full attention to something other than porn (which I might add is something we get on line as well.) Who knows, we might get to know the person in the cubicle next to us by more than a screen name. ☺
~Andrew Q Gordon
About Andrew Q Gordon
Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day.
The Last Grand Master: (Champion of the Gods – Book 1);
Ashes of Life:
A Closed Door:
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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