D: Dependency, Dismay, and Distraction

This has been an interesting week in Apple-Land.

What I have observed about all this technology we use is how distracting it can be and how much we have to work to keep it happy. As the man said, “I’d never take that attitude from a toaster.”

I was a hard-core Windows guy until about 4 years ago when I bought a MacBook. Apple makes it easier to run their computers (which really is everything they sell from desktops to the wristwatch that can run your world.) Compared to Windows I found operating a Mac to be simple, elegant and fun. Installing Office takes minutes and I remember spending hours to put the newest Office on my Windows computer. The first time I installed an application by dragging an icon across the screen I was hooked.

Frankly, updates and upgrades have always seemed like part magic and part top-secret. I watch the computer reach out to Apple or the manufacturer and the new program installs itself while I drink a cup of coffee. Moving to the iPhone 4 was exciting but I found myself saying, “I wonder what that’s for…why are they asking that question…I really hope this works.” Using the MacBook meant I already knew how to use the iPad and the iPhone because the OS was pretty much the same on each device. The process repeated itself as my wife and I moved to iPhone 5.

This abundance of data at our fingertips is both a convenience and a distraction. The real function of Facebook is to distract us from getting to what we wanted to do. And it becomes addictive. I checked FB before starting this blog and will check it after I post. Our dependence on these gizmos has become an important part of our lives. I know that using the computer helped me produce better teaching materials, and now enables me to write whatever I choose.

You may have heard about Apple’s latest operating system, OS 8, now called OS 8.2. On Windows there seemed to be an option to take or leave an update for some applications; Apple insists I take the new version and is remarkably persistent. Whether I use the application or not makes no difference. After I downloaded the gateway to the future on my devices I learned I had some issues. Almost as soon as the OS 8 was installed millions of customers found a problem. The newest version appears to be a lot better than the one released a few days before.

The other night while cruising FB I found a page dedicated to comments about OS 8. The complaints were legion and vociferous. I realized my glitches were nothing compared to the people who could not get to their files, log into work or school or make phone calls. Hell, I had trouble tapping my code into the iPad and could not find my photos on the phone. Apple has since addressed most issues and most will likely send out another fix soon.

We have become emotionally dependent on our gadgets, but they help so much. I’m addicted to oxygen so maybe it’s not that bad to be addicted to current technology. I would hate to go back to the old typewriter and one phone in the kitchen.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. joanraymondwriting
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 18:20:18

    Typewriters and one phone in the kitchen (with a six foot cord) seem so long ago. I would have a hard time without the internet since it’s much easier than perusing the card catalog at the library. Yes, we have become dependent on our ‘gadgets’ but as much as some are time wasters, many are time savers.

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    • terryredman
      Oct 01, 2014 @ 17:41:19

      I have many memories of using that phone in the kitchen wishing I had more privacy. Now everyone has a phone andI hear conversations everywhere–for so many privacy is a non-issue.

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  2. Anna Stewart
    Sep 28, 2014 @ 19:23:48

    I have long thought that my discovery of all things internet as a teenager…was a terrible terrible thing…distracting me from writing, from reading, from all things worthwhile. And yet, I am definitely a keyboard bound writer, can’t imagine trying to write long-hand or even by typewriter (much as I miss the clickety-clack). And, while I think it’s a terrible distraction…I have not been able to divorce myself from it. Technology is a mixed blessing I think.

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    • terryredman
      Oct 01, 2014 @ 17:44:37

      I am keyboard bound as you say you are. Once I started using a computer my handouts etc at school improved many times over. My handwriting is best described as cacography. computers changed my life for the better but I am aware that the price is someone online harvesting data. thanks for stopping by.

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  3. heyannis
    Oct 01, 2014 @ 03:03:02

    Do WE “run” it? Or does IT run us? A bit of both in my case. If I need to focus on something (Like cleaning and purging this week) I cannot allow myself to even get on the computer. So I am satisfied (this week) that I am the one in control. Thanks, Terry! xoA

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    • terryredman
      Oct 01, 2014 @ 17:48:55

      When I think back to the Tandy TRS 80 I first used and what the MacBook does now for me the difference is measured in light years. I make the choices but note how much i rely on the “magic” of the technology. thanks for passing by. TR

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  4. Joan Lindsay Kerr
    Oct 08, 2014 @ 06:44:33

    I can see from the posts above that many of us have a love-hate relationship with our devices. As I am fond of saying when my powerpoint presentation goes screwy at a professional development, “I love modern technology…when it works!” And I join you in being much too addicted to Facebook, yet I love how it keeps me in touch with the lives of friends and family! I love Annis’s comments. I guess it is a matter of determining who is in control!

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