Posted in Society, Tech

Insanity or Bluetooth?

I wonder what someone unfamiliar with modern technology would think when looking at us. I’m not talking about cavemen—maybe just someone from the 80s.

Hey! Stop rolling your eyes. This isn’t one of those look at how far we’ve come articles.

But sometimes it just hits you in the face that we’re so hooked on the latest and greatest technology, that we don’t stop to consider how it will affect us. And by us I mean either our society, or just us lowly peons.

Specifically I’m wondering if the helpful souls that invented the Bluetooth headset, ever stopped to think about what a bunch of idiots we look like when we’re walking around yelling to ourselves.

I have a Bluetooth. I use it while driving, and at the office so I can keep working when I take a call. I remove it during lunch, meetings, personal conversations, and even during long stretches at my desk. But like most people I often forget to remove it, and as soon as I see the eyes of someone I’m talking to darting back and forth from my eyes to the blinking blue light by my right ear, I take it off.

But many—MANY—Bluetooth users never take them off. Frankly, I wonder if they sleep with it on. And most people just haven’t developed the body language to convey that they are talking on the cell phone.

Here’s a tip. If you’re talking to someone on the phone, and not to me, don’t make eye contact with me.

My favorite thing about the headsets is that they make us look like a bunch of nutcases wandering the streets. Most people make a point not to talk to themselves around other people—lest we look insane. But that little earpiece really gets rid of a lot of social awkwardness. The hallway outside my department is routinely littered with people having arguments, personal conversations, and business meetings with…the wall, the door to the breakroom, a person facing them who happens to be in a completely different conversation.

But by far the oddest thing—in fact, what inspired me to write this post—were the two people in the lobby having a meeting over their headsets who didn’t even realize they were in the same room.

We really are a bunch of loonies.

Posted in Tech, Writing

Writing v. Technology

Generally when you hear about writing and technology you hear how they can compliment each other. But today’s tale involves how they can sometimes be at cross purposes. Today because of the fact that I am a writer I have hit a tech wall.

You all know people like this. People who swear it’s easier to spend seven hours typing and retyping a letter on an electric typewriter because they refuse to learn how to use email. Or who refuse to get a cell phone even thought they desperately need one. You can find them easily enough by seeing who’s explaining to younger generations about how tough they had it.

Well today I have had to admit one of my technical limitations. I will never be good at texting.

In recent months I’ve been texting a lot more. Not “a lot” by the standards of anyone under the age of 30, but it’s more than I’ve done in the past. I have a moderately good phone for it. It’s a Palm with a full, if cramped, keyboard. And for someone who generally uses two fingers to type, being limited to one isn’t much of a handicap.

No, what is stopping me is my inability to use TXT Shorthand. Yes, I’m referring to the LOLs of the modern world.

I’m never ROFL. I will never BRB. I don’t VEG, but smile. And I couldn’t care less about your A/S/L. Y2K was a hysteria, not an “Aw, shucks.” And even if I do KWYM, I won’t admit it.

It’s not just an unfamiliarity with this terms that get’s in the way. Like anything else, I know I could learn it. It’s just that taking the time to learn them seems about as much fun as learning to play fingernails on a chalkboard and calling it music.

In fact when I text I seem to purposely distance myself from these abominations by testing in complete sentences and proper punctuation. I’ve even been teased for sending texts with compound sentences complete with semi-colons.

Maybe this all is the technological equivalent of complaining about walking 10 miles through the snow to school, through the snow, uphill, both ways. But if hating TXT is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

This post was originally posted on Write Anything
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tribulations of their writing lives. And each
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