Thursday, April 1, 2010

Technology Today

No one can deny the progress of technology. In my lifetime the improvements in video games and cell phones could fill a book. My first cell phone was large. One day I took it out of my purse at the supermarket while searching for my checkbook.(remember life before Debit?)

The young store clerk looked at the phone and then at me. She said in a are you crazy voice,"You brought your cordless phone with you?" The phone was actually THAT big. I told her no, it was my cell phone. It was so large and heavy that I considered it a defense item. I could call 911 and then hit the person trying to hurt me with it. That got her quiet. I soon got a smaller phone, then a flip phone, and now I have my keypad phone. I MUST have a keypad for texting.

Texting technology is a necessity to me now. My sister pushed me over the edge on this matter. I will admit I love it. I now touch base with friends, family, and Jack via text. The biggest draw back is 160 characters. My Chatty Cathy persona has trouble keeping things concise. It is one of the reasons I started a blog. I need more room. Can you imagine me trying to Tweet? My brother sent a text with an abbreviation in it. I had to ask my sister what it meant.

Texting and cell phones require a signal. The ever elusive signal. The idea of signals and waves bouncing around is amusing to me. It brings to mind another ancient technology, ATARI. A game I used to play when young was called, "Breakout".
During the game you had a small rectangle (paddle) on the bottom of the screen. This paddle would slide from right to left. You would hit a ball up towards a wall and destroy bricks as your ball hit them. Eventually your ball would break through the wall to a gap at the top.

THEN the fun started, the ball would start flying up and down on the top of the wall, and crash down back toward your paddle. You would have to be quick and keep hitting the ball and destroying the wall.

To me this is how it can be with texting. The signals fly all over. In the hospital with my mom some signals would reach me but I could not respond. It was like my paddle in a game of breakout missed the ball and it was gone. In that same fashion, I would send out messages regarding my moms progress. When I got the hang of it I would send one message to all three of my siblings. Then it got to be like crazy, the ball had gone through the top of the wall and response texts came bouncing back fast and furious. Questions about what I had said and what did it mean?

The technology of the text was failing me. I could not be clear and my sibling responses were balls I could not hit back. I gave up and started calling them when I could talk at length. During my time in the hospital with my mom my phone stayed at my side constantly. I was using it so much I had to charge it every night.

Now I am home and my phone is more quiet. The texts are of my usual sort from Jack and other friends. My parents do not text so I am using the phone to check in. I don't keep my cell phone at my hip at all times now. I am missing a few timely messages but I think things will be ok. For the moment my texting phone use is back in the ATARI age. Slower and more clunky. One day perhaps it will move up in speed and agility to some form of a Wii game.

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