I’ve got three confessions to make:
1. Most people cannot multi-task as well as they think that they can. I am one of those people.
2. I’ve been in a total of three car accidents in a timespan of only four months. This has caused me to drive two rental cars, purchase two new cars, and not to mention… during this mindless saga of my life, I used up all of my Triple A tows, gas fill-ups, battery jumps, and whatever else Triple A does for their patrons short of bringing them take-out meals when they’re broken down on the side of the road. They should think about adding that as a member service. I’d order a pizza while I waited for my battery to come back to life next time.
3. I love wearing the Daisy Duke shorts I just cut out of an old pair of jeans. They might possibly be my favorite new article of clothing. They’re like crack for your ass. Not to be confused with ass crack.
4. Oops, sorry, the last one wasn’t really a confession, it was just the most awesome thing that has happened to me this week. My third confession is, that I am easily addicted to routines, rituals, and mind-altering substances (coffee, folks, coffee!) Coffee is about all this girl can take when delving into the world of mind-bending and mental expansiveness but believe, you, me, when I get into it, I get into full force and submit my being to it’s caffeinated kindness. Letting the hyperactive tendencies and bone-rattling bliss wash over me like a wave.
So, as you may or may not know, I’ve recently given up my dependence on the creativity coffee provides me, the dependable urge to pee every seven minutes after drinking it, and the insomniac redness which was forever imprinted on the whites of my eyes. Now I drink tea in the morning. That’s right. Non-caffeinated, herbal, plain old 90-year old Spanx-wearing, grandma herbal tea. It’s nothing to write home about. But you want to know what is worth writing home about? Something I REALLY love!?
Learning new stuff!
Kicking everyone’s butt at Scrabble!
Facebook! Looking at people’s pictures, catching up on every last detail of their life and finding out what kind of soap they used in the last shower that they took as well as how long it’s been SINCE they last showered. Fascinating.
Reading articles and impressing people with useless new facts I glean from them!
Being able to text my friends pictures of me looking cool in my new Daisy Dukes!
Talking to people instantly on the phone (thank, you, Alexander Graham Bell)!
Geoguessr.com (my latest new slice of entertainment!)
Reading people’s missed connections on Craigslist to make myself laugh
Apple Cider Vinegar!
Fresh Bouquets of Flowers! (Hint, hint!)
Peppercorns in a twisty pepper grinder thing!
Ok, ok, I know what you’re thinking, enough with “These are a few of my favorite things, and onto the point.” Now you’re thinking, “How does she always know what I’m thinking!” It’s uncanny, I know. Anyway, so a lot of the things on this list are made possible by the internet, and as of late, thanks to the world of modern technology –they can be attained anywhere via our smart phones. I can bake a cake, listen to a podcast, and play a word with “friends”, all while google earthing someone’s digs. The internet is pretty cool, and I hate to admit that I think this, but Smart phones, iPhones, call them what you will…they are not so bad themselves. I can entertain myself in every waiting room, while talking to someone who is boring me, and I have the power to access, store, and create information at any time. Unless of course those beloved signal bars are on vacation because you’re in the middle of the woods or on an airplane. It’s kind of cool to be connected. Now the big cliché of our generation, is all of this connectedness leaving us, (GASP) disconnected?!
I know, the thought has you aghast! But I will give you some recent examples that have me raising my eyebrow in disapproval.
The first example is myself, I am ashamed to admit this but it’s true, one of the car accidents I was in most recently was because I was looking down at my phone texting someone goodnight. The good news is he got the message, the bad news is that $1700 dollars worth of damage was the price I paid to send it at that exact instant. Talk about a GOOD night. The third accident I was in was caused because of someone ELSE texting, or checking her email, or updating her Facebook status to say, “I’m looking down at my phone while driving, so I might hit someone right now! LOL.”
Car safety rule #1: Eyes on the road! Always! We’re not driving our best these days, folks and a large part of the problem is our need to be connected CONSTANTLY. I can’t tell you how many cars I pass in which people are staring down at their hands or laps, I can only assume it’s not because of an increase in cool-looking hand and lap tattoos, it’s their cellphones. It’s really not worth the insurance deductible increase to always be Twittering the song that is playing on the radio in your car, or snapping “selfies” while cruising down 85. Tempting and fun as it is….
Another example I wish to present is the phone at the gym. There is a dude that works out next to me at the gym for a good 2-3 hours a day. During this time he has headphones in, he is playing what I think is “Angry Birds”, he has a fanny pack thing with waters strapped around his waist, he is reading a book, all 8 TV’s are on and running full force in front of him, and he eats 2 full meals. All while working out. There are lots of reasons why this is a sad thing for society. One is that when you’re texting and lifting weights, you’re doing a really crappy job of one or the other and likely, judging by the average body fat percentage in our country, it’s the lifting weights. Pull yourself away from the endorphin rush of sexting your new match.com buddy and work out already! It’s also really annoying when you’re waiting for a piece of equipment and Sally is using it as a place to rest her bum bum to Google what Mylie Cyrus wore on the Jimmy Kimmel show last night. I can only circle it so many times nonchalantly without it being obvious, so move over and let me rip some abs! Lastly, do you really want to subject your phone to the sweaty, thick air and collection of bacteria that is lingering on every surface at the gym? Ew. The worst is when your phone rings at the gym and you’re DYING to answer it thanks to the name you see on Caller ID but there is a sign glaring down at you that says, “PHONES ARE TO BE USED IN THE LOBBY ONLY”.
The last real pet peevey use of smart phones I will bring up is when one is a patron ordering at a restaurant, or being waited on by a cashier, or while pushing your cart around the grocery store. Ignoring people around you and staring at that screen like it’s a Magic 8 Ball and has the answers to your future is just plain old annoying and rude. If people do it when I’m in their presence, they are LUCKY to get the cold shoulder treatment at best. Servers want to walk away, cashiers feel abandoned, and people do like being crashed into by your grocery cart that you accidentally just put 5 loaves of bread into because you were paying absolutely no attention whatsoever.
A lack of connectedness, in the very name of connectedness, seems to be the inevitable trend in the world right now. I suppose it’s fine, but it’s important to remember to give attention where attention is due. Eating, reading, exercising, talking with friends, driving, working, transacting at the bank, shopping, swimming, peeing, pooping, brushing your teeth –whatever is being done should be your primary FOCUS. Not trying to focus your camera so you can upload another picture of you drinking coffee and making kissy lips at the café, onto Instagram.
I know plenty of people have ranted about this before me, and I am sure many of the rants have been far more loquacious and eloquent, and I really have no problem with these phones that come to our rescue at a moment’s notice. After all, these things are REALLY frigging smart! Mine somehow knows what websites I looked at on my computer at home and how to spell my most crazy self-devised words. It knows where I live and how to get me there at any given moment, and it practically blows up when it’s about to thunderstorm (I can only IMAGINE what would it would do if the Mayan Apocalypse were an hour North of the incoming cold front) I don’t know where I would be without mine…up a sugar creek without a paddle most likely. That would be a sticky situation. I am trying to get better about using my phone at the right times, and practicing cell phone sobriety when the time is right. Like, for an hour a week at Trivia night when you’re not allowed to use your cellphone without running the risk of being disqualified, and of course, when I’m sleeping.
I’m just glad I didn’t know about these things in college. Or perhaps if I had, I would’ve Googled degrees that you could actually use and get paid decently for prior to wasting four years racking up a mortgage’s worth of student debt for a diploma that I may as well be using as a rag to wash the windows. At least while my future is blurry, something would be clear.