Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Remember the Corded Phone?

This started out as a comment and turned into a post. If you’d like to know how it all got started, read the comments from my last post.

I've been meaning to do a post about how irritating it is that technology is moving at the speed of light.

Learn one thing and immediately, it's obsolete. Seriously, I can't keep up, and heck, we can't afford the new stuff anyway.

I remember when I started working in graphic design (way back in ’00). It took me a while to learn the design program software. Within just a few months, everyone was sending us new software to sample. I went to training after training where the latest and greatest in production software was touted.

Since then, I’ve attended at least a hundred trainings, each complete with new, updated software.

It just stymies me that there is just SO much to know. Frankly, I don’t know how anyone can keep up. It changes so fast.

Where do people get the money to shell out for new phones all the time, huh? We hang onto our phones until something actually happens to them. We can’t take photos, videos, or even text.

Truth is – I don’t want to. But in this business, you have to try to stay on the forefront of emerging technology.

Sometimes, I want to scream, “I DON’T WANT TO KNOW IT ALL!”

And, in truth, it seems so unknowable.

I was struggling with this the other day, talking to another designer who is many years my senior. I asked her how she keeps up with all the new technology.

“I’m not afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ when I really don’t know,” she told me. “I have a finite mind. We all do.”

It gave me a little peace of mind to hear that from someone as accomplished and fantastically talented as she is.

I’m not anti-technology, Lord knows, but it just evolves so fast.

At work, 50-something moms keep up with their college-age kids by texting. Their kids text them all the time, since (according to one mom), “No one wants to get caught talking to their mom, but if they’re texting, no one knows.”

And what is it about always having to stay connected? There are times I don’t want anyone to know where I am. I don’t want people to get a hold of me.

I used to like hearing the phone ring at home. Now, with phones ringing all the time – annoying little songs – and I cringe at the first tinny tone.

It’s just one thing after another – BAM. BAM. BAM.

I know there are benefits to constant contact. When I was in my car accident, pinned to the driver’s seat by the steering wheel, I was grateful to have a cell phone. I called 911, my husband, and my mom. That day, I was indebted to technology.

But, also because I know how to use THAT particular technology. I don’t mind learning new things, and this blog has been a heaven-sent opportunity for me. But there are days I feel like I’m on the verge of sensory overload.

Do you think the world will ever slow down? Just a little?

Because today, I’d like to unplug, sit back, and listen to silence.

Dang it! There goes my phone!

Added addendum:
I used to think it was just me – my own fault for choosing a career in communications.

But I’m learning sensory overload is everywhere. My husband's a laborer – a common laborer – and his work life is guided by the evil E-2 Time Tracker. Each forklift is guided by a super-computer that tracks every piece of inventory and sends off alarming little beeps when something isn’t tracked immediately.

So, I guess it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. Sensory overload can affect you!


Heidi said...

Some of us get our high techno. phones for free. Who cares if we know that we will never use all the features. It is great to know that I have all this and didn't pay a dime for it.
My husband wants the I phone. You think your little phone has technology, check that one out.

WendyJanelle said...

We even get it at home. I just leave my phone in the van sometimes, and put a sign on my door. We don't turn on the TV during the day either. Ahhh...sigh of relief. I get overloaded easily by noise.
And, yes it's frustrating on the software!! I got Photoshop CS2 down just about the time the next one came out. Argh!

Robin Hayes said...

When Chris and I were fairly newly married, I distinctly remember buying a 25' cord so that I could walk around the house and talk on the phone at the same time.