Thursday, August 5, 2010

"This Hotel Room is a Vortex for Technology"

I flew to Chicago this past weekend to look for an apartment and when the airplane's TV monitor told me it was time to shut of all electronic devices (was it really such a big deal for the flight attendants to make these announcements that we had to produce a video to be played?), I had to shut off the following devices:

1 laptop computer
1 iPod
2 Smart-phone style cell phones

On the return flight, I had exactly half of those devices.  In the space of four days I managed to kill a brand new cell phone (new enough that it counted it's life in days) and an iPod that I've had for three years.  I was annoyed when the iPod quit, but when my new, beautiful cell phone refused to turn on it was like the world was ending.  And I realized that without my cell phone, I don't know anyone's numbers, no one can communicate with me, and I had no access to information that I only had in text messages.

After spending 2 hours talking to HTC, Verizon, and AmazonWireless, I was finally ready to mourn the loss and move on.  Besides, anyone who was reading carefully above can see that I have two phones (one is for work).  So it's not like I was totally incapable of communicating with the outside world.  It was strangely liberating to not be constantly waiting for texts from friends or phone calls from apartment brokers.  It put me in control of the calls I made and received.

Don't get me wrong, when that new phone came via next-day FedEx shipment on Monday, it was a great moment.  But doing without for the weekend (and in a strange city, no less) really made me realize how much I rely on technology for everything.  And I think it would be a good idea to be a little less reliant on computers and cell phones.  After all, I have to turn in my blackberry at the end of the month, and then I'll be a one cell phone household once again.