I had what I would almost couch as an out-of-body experience this past week. Last Friday, I attended a seminar in Macon.
I hadn't charged my phone the night before, but no big deal. I would just charge it in the car on my way Friday morning. Further, I had a backup - my Blackberry in my briefcase. And of course, I had my iPad. So, frankly, I felt very technologically empowered.
I got in my car, bought my extra large coffee, and took off down the road at 7:15. All was well, until I realized my iPhone wasn't charging. That's right, the charger that I had purchased three months ago, and never taken out of the packaging, did not work.
No problem, just pull out the Blackberry. Whoops, forgot my briefcase which means no iPad either.
I thought about my dilemma for about 10 minutes. I have a tank full of gas. I have the complete CD collection of the Eagles, and I have a credit card so that I can eat. Importantly, my car is reliable. So, all is good.
Well, I was wrong, as I would shortly discover. I knew where I was going — Central Georgia Technical College — however, the directions to my conference were wrong, in that the building that was referenced was inaccurate.
Since I wasn't sure where to go after the first stop was a "bust," I stopped in not one, but three buildings, and although open, no one appeared to be there until I finally found someone leading a GED class. They kindly and graciously suggested a building that might be right, and I took off in that direction.
When I got there, I have to admit there weren't too many cars in front of this very unusual and dauntingly unapproachable building. What did I have to lose? I made my way in, and not to my surprise, the only person I could find was a security guard.
I explained to him that I had no phone, no way to communicate with the outside world, and frankly, I had no idea if I was in the right place or not.
Just like that he handed me his cellphone so that I could call my office and get some help. With two calls, all was well - found my way, found my seminar.
For me, it was a stark wake-up call as to the new reality which is when we can't be contacted or are unable to contact others, we are and feel "cut-off."
I will be the first to admit that I give my children a hard time about their obsession with their smart phones, but in all honesty, I must throw my hat into that ring. I am very dependent on that technology for work and to stay in touch with friends and family. It is just so easy and efficient.
I absolutely and completely realize now that there is no turning back, and it is just going to be matter of developing the socially/culturally acceptable boundaries surrounding it.
Frankly, even with the downside that comes with this "connected" technology, I don't want to turn back. I did not enjoy my "Twilight Zone" experience last Friday. And I know had my phone been charged, it wouldn't have happened.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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