Me and electronic devices

Early morning pollution
Early morning pollution

I have been trying to get this shot for months. The problem is that in order to get it I had to hope for a break in the traffic on this busy street. Finally, on an early Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, I found myself alone on the street, and was able to pull over and get the picture. It pays to be an early riser.


I’ve been thinking about how our electronic devices keep us in touch with people in some cases, while alienating us from others. As usual, my thoughts are scattered, so I’m using this post to try to organize my thoughts and to unleash them on an unsuspecting handful of people. Shall we start?

I established a Facebook account a number of years ago because it was a way to keep up with all of the pictures of my grandchildren that were posted, and to keep in touch with people who no longer lived near me. That was fun. I started posting family pictures, old and new, to share with anyone who was interested. That was fun, though I wondered why people who “liked” those pictures didn’t check out my photos on Flickr. Then I gave in to (imagined) pressure to “friend” people who were not really friends, which implied (often incorrectly) that I wanted to know what they were doing and thinking. That wasn’t much fun. Too often those people would re-post items that I found to be stupid and bigoted. That was no fun at all. The worst part was that I found myself doing pretty much the same thing, but with a lefty point of view. I would occasionally get into a back and forth with individuals. That was silly; you never change anyone’s mind with a hasty, short message. I got off of Facebook and have improved my life.

That doesn’t mean that I have stopped using my electronic devices. When I wake up in the morning, sometimes with the aid of the alarm on my cell phone, I usually pick up the TV remote and turn on a morning news show. The I go into the kitchen and get my first cup of coffee that started brewing earlier because we had previously set the electronic timer. While I sip my coffee and watch the news, I pick up my cell phone and check on the emails that have come in through the night. Some need to be forwarded to one of Cindy’s email accounts, some need to be deleted without reading, and some I read with pleasure.

Before I forget to mention it, I also use my cell phone to send texts  to people, to answer robo-calls from my doctors and pharmacy, and to actually talk to people. An aside to people old enough to remember: Do you remember the days when telephone companies bragged about the clarity of voices on the other end of the line. At some point we gave up clarity for supposed convenience. Hmmm.

Later in the morning I will fire up our PC or our laptop to read the latest entries to blogs that I follow, to pay bills, to respond to some emails, to draft a letter that will go out by snail mail, or to work on a project that is momentarily near to my heart. I might even start drafting a post for this blog. You can never be sure what crazy whim I’ll give in to.

When I finish and publish this post, a link to it will automatically be posted to my Twitter account (which has even fewer followers that this blog). The only things that I put on Twitter other than those links are an occasional snide remark that I’m sending off to somebody on Morning Joe because the have said something from an ignorant point of view, or pictures that don’t appear here or on Flickr. I just started sending those photos from my new Instagram account.

It seems that I gave up Facebook and started a blog, started a Twitter account, and now there is Instagram. Did I mention that I just got a new smart phone?

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