Category: Productivity

“Sorry, Wrong Number” Doesn’t Work Anymore

I wish the national Do Not Call List actually worked. Turns out our home phone number was affiliated with a felon. I say “was” because after 10 months of harassing phone calls from bill collectors, lawyers and authorities, we finally changed the number. The irony is we don’t even want a home phone number – who uses landlines anymore? But we’re locked into a contract with Comcast that if broken, will increase our bill by way too much.

It’s a world of deception and there’s no way around it. Telemarketers, hackers, spammers, now I even get text spam. In the old days Spam was pressed ham in a can. But now, it’s all about marketing and breaking through the defunct barriers of privacy. How do we even know what’s real…or worse, safe?

“Click here for a major discount on Uggs.”  Ugh.

“Newly launched porn site.” No thanks.

“Make real money starting today.” If only.

Even my blog gets super-spammed in spite of my anti-spam plug-in. My dream of having a viral blog didn’t mean being solicited by bottom-dwellers. I get over 100 spam comments every week. Imagine if those were real, or shares or likes.

My latest blog spam – and tell me if this is just a fluke – is in Russian. It’s not even in English. At least before it was fairly readable in all of its misspelled, bad grammar, illiterate, illicit glory.

Some genuinely good info , Sword liⅼ I detected this. A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous. by Ingrid Bergman.”

Um, sure, ok.

Or…

I’m with PanjabPharm. we produce many items of quality drugs. Our engeneers have more than 20 years expirience in complex med researches. buy cialis online doctor lr6472hf3121.

Good for you!

And my all-time favorite came from Hot F**k:

Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the great spirit.

Thanks Hot F**k!

But now it’s this:

Как заработать в интернете уже сегодня Ребят, хватит сидеть без денег!) Я был простым бедным студентом, а теперь рублю 15-17 тысяч рублей каждый день вот здесь: [url=https://vk.cc/5DFvY9]https://vk.cc/5DFvY9[/url] (обучающая статья) Это РАБОТАЕТ! Проверено. Всем удачи!Имеется такая услуга – добровольное медицинское обслуживание (или ДМО).Она предполагает, что вы вносите небольшую сумму за то, что ходит на прием весь год не платя за каждый прием.Однако опросы показывают, что лишь 5% жителей Санкт-Петербурга знают о ее существовании. Почему? Потому что клиникам выгоднее сдирать с людей деньги за каждый визит. А если какой-нибудь сотрудник клиники попытается посоветовать добровольное медицинское обслуживание клиенту – это сулит ему увольнением.

Try that on for size Google Translator:

How to make money on the internet today Guys, that’s enough to sit without money!) I was just a poor student, and now the ruble 15-17 thousand every day here: [url = https: //vk.cc/5DFvY9] https://vk.cc/5DFvY9 [/ url] (tutorials) It works! Checked. ! Good luck There is such a service – voluntary medical service (or DME).She suggests that you make a small fee for that goes to the reception the whole year without paying for each meal. However, surveys show that only 5% of St. Petersburg residents are aware of its existence. Why?Because hospitals more profitable to rip off money from people for each visit. And if any hospital staff member will try to advise voluntary medical service to the client – it promises him a dismissal.”

Yea. It’s kinda scary. You just don’t know whose lurking on your devices.

Then there is the other kind of spam. Texts or messages from people you might know but don’t want to hear from. “Trolls, haters,” or my favorite terminology, “energy parasites and those addicted to chaos.” These are the people we know who feed on their own anger and misery and want to share it with us. Yuck.

Anyway, not sure there’s much we can do about any of this. It feels pretty power-draining, like we aren’t really in charge of our own life-supporting stuff like a phone number, or an email address or even a website. Comcast, Verizon, Amazon, and maybe even Russians own our privacy now, that’s almost a fact.

In the meantime I have a new phone number I’ll never use. But as Hot F**k suggested, I’ll keep up the great spirit. Hey maybe I can get some Uggs really cheap. Or some Cialis. You just never know when you might need it.

 

(Thank you Danielle LaPorte for your awesome words about energy parasites.)

Maps For The iPhone Has A Mind of Its Own

I don’t have road rage…although some who ride in my car beg to differ. I have GPS rage. Maps is in charge, and I hate it. Oh don’t get me wrong – I love having global positioning at my fingertips to help me navigate the squiggly lines our state calls roads. Even George Washington grumped about that in one of his diary entries when he was passing through Massachusetts, but I find a squiggly grid of asphalt over horse tracks quite charming.

It’s that Siri wants me to go on the highway every single time I hit the road, even if I opt for the alternate route when she hands out the options. I type in the address, watch the spinning ball calculate, and most of the I time pick the back-roads option. Sure it may be a few more minutes in time, but it’s usually less miles in distance, and I just prefer a little more scenery.

But nope. When I pull out of my driveway and hear, “Starting out to <address>” and turn the way I know is the alternate route, all of a sudden I see a big REROUTING come across the screen. Say what?

Then when I hear, “Turn around when possible,” I know she wants me on the highway. So I defy her to stay on the back-road track and the big REROUTING game begins. She directs me toward the highway, I defy. She redirects, I defy. Back and forth back and forth until sometimes I trash my destination altogether just for the sake of defying her. Yea.

Sir Husband with his unbounded patience finds it quite comical, along with my irritation-turned-rage. It’s particularly bad at night, Siri really has the upper hand and knows it. It’s dark, my night vision isn’t keen and things look scary and confusing. She always wins.

I suppose it’s a control thing, I’m only a follower if I can maintain some personal control. Me against the machine, technology, Big Brother.

But, life’s idiosyncrasies prevail.

Because as I caught my breath after a particularly irritating rerouting adventure – in which I found myself on the highway before all was said and done – I learned that Siri is a real person. A woman named Susan Bennett, who in fact was not even hired by Apple to be the voice of Siri and beloved Maps. They took her voice from some previously recorded material she did for another company in 2005, and didn’t even compensate her.

I was feeling rage against a real person, well not really. But technically speaking, there is a human behind the device. There are over 700 million iPhones in the world now. She’s literally all over the map…and in my car trying to get me on the highway.

So I might maintain a little George Washington grump when I fight to turn right when pushed to turn left on a road that doesn’t even go in a straight line. But I know without a doubt, eventually Susan Bennett will get me where I am going and let me know it with her clear certainty.  You have arrived.

 

If You Do What You Love Do You Love What You Do?

love-what-you-doWork that feels like play? Possibility or myth? I for one always believed the play theory is for real. If we do what we’re naturally good at, then we’ll not only get a job we love, we will do it well.

I had that – I was a good mom. The task of raising three boys amidst complete chaos was my forte, without one cent of pay. But they got older and my life’s mission needed shifting, despite my struggle with ongoing health issues and survival fatigue. I had developed a hearty self-sufficiency for emotional resilience in a life with extraordinary circumstances, but years of trauma wore me out. Still, I wanted the normalcy of a paying job I love, before it’s time to retire.

Luckily I believe anything is possible, even at my seasoned age. So I figured out what I’m good at and where my passion lies – writing – and along with a zillion other self-proclaimed writers ventured into the field. Without any professional experience, I grew my confidence after several years as a feature writer for small publications then one day clear out of the blue I was tossed onto a playing field of top-of-the-food-chain educational writers.

Although super-intellectual, using-big-words-and-thoughts writing felt way outside my wheelhouse, I tried to rise above the occasion to get the job done. People around me cheered me on and told me I could do it. “You got this, you’re a smart gal and a great writer.”  But that’s like telling a kindergarten teacher to go teach a graduate class on nuclear physics because she is a teacher. “You can do it! It’ll be fun!”

listen-to-understandIt was way over my head, and I struggled and fought and cried. And what I found unsettling was that nobody really listened when I told them this was stressing me out. Instead they told me to simmer down, I would be just fine. But I wasn’t.

What I really needed – besides a couple graduate degrees, worldly experience and a brainiac mind – was for people to meet me where I am and honor that, not where they thought I should be. Sure it’s interesting to learn new things, explore unchartered territory, expand our mind. But not on demand, or when our income is on the line. Work that feels like play? No way.

comfort-zoneWe all have self-doubt at one time or another, and sometimes it clouds our confidence and our thinking. Sometimes we need to be nudged, a little hand-hold and pat on the back to get us to the next level. But I knew deep down that this particular level was not on my achievable or successful list, not yet anyway. So I had to just honor myself.

That’s when I realized I’m a player in this big game of life with my own little piece of know-how, my own niche of knowledge and expertise, and that doesn’t make me a fail. I jumped right back in with a renewed quest toward work that feels like play, and now I’m starting to really like this role.

I guess anything’s possible. It just takes recognizing our own uniqueness that makes it all work out.

i-can

 

 

Halloween Is Over, Bring On The In Between

Welcome to the Christmas Season! It’s just two days after Halloween – the official holiday launch. We can tune in to Christmas music on satellite radio now, and we better start shopping for all the popular gifts.

Nah. I’m headed to the store to get a bag of Halloween candy for 50 percent off. We didn’t really get to celebrate Halloween this year, nearly empty-nested for the first time. Our 16-year old wasn’t interested, and we live in a big old house-turned-condos that sits well off the road in the woods, nobody rang the bell here.

At first I didn’t mind the lack of festivities – much to my holiday-loving surprise – the last halloween-04-064-copyoctober-05-010-copytwo decades of hazy Halloween memories were more than enough. No costume quandaries this year, messy pumpkin carving or mad dashes to the front door making idle chit chat with wee fairies and movie characters who aren’t old enough to eat a Skittle. No boys up past their bedtime sitting in a pile of open wrappers in the middle of the floor, no candy coma, no weeks of chocolate sitting around the house. Yea it’s all cute, and I loved it year after year…including raiding their bags when nobody was looking. But they’ve grown up and moved on.

Then the sun started to set on Halloween night…and some sadness crept in.

Halloween was over and it hadn’t even begun. I didn’t miss the hoopla or mess, I missed tradition – the anticipation of the doorbell ringing, trying to keep our hands out of the candy fullsizerenderbowl, pumpkin seeds toasting in the oven, glowing amber candle lights in each window, decorations, black and orange everything. Nope, none of that this year. Just a couple of full-size candy bars that Sir Husband sweetly brought home and placed near our teeny pumpkin. We missed the kids.

But “it’s whatever” as our millennials say. They are able to move forward in time without batting an eye, something I continue to try. I think there is an “in between” phase for parents, when we’re conscious of the big change adjusting to the empty nest. The shift in circumstances is noticeable.

But why do we always try to hurry our way on to the next thing, the next phase, even the next day?

water-restIn between is underrated. Nobody wants to hang out in between anything. Whether it’s between life phases or in between holidays, the world just pushes forward instead of embracing the void in between. What’s so bad about the void? That’s where we can pause, take a breath, and just be for a minute or three.

There’s something cool about being in the gap. Suspended between destinations or phases, hanging out in this space of has-been and will-be. Like when you are looking at a candy bar sitting on your table and you know it’s there and you are psyched about eating it but you don’t go for it. You wait. You anticipate. In between.

That was my favorite part of Halloween back in the day. The part just before the sun set when everything was ready but it was too early for trick or treating. We just hung out in those moments of peaceful readiness for whatever was ahead. We enjoyed the scenery. We enjoyed the pause.

Anyway…in the meantime, Merry Christmas.

charlie-brown

Fall Is Back, It’s Time To Look Forward

fall-dayI’m a few days behind on my autumnal equinox recognition, but like its meaning, it gave me time to reflect on the past season’s abundance, of which there was plenty. Traditionally this changing of the season from summer to fall was celebrated as the second harvest, extolling gratitude for our blessings before the stillness of winter…horns of plenty and all that jazz.

Astrologically this is the time of balance – between light and dark, space and time, ego and soul – a time to remove old limiting patterns and Divinely renew intentions and desires for manifestations. Or simply put, work on our dreams coming true.

victoryFunny thing is, we don’t often realize a dream has come true until hindsight reveals it as such. Sure we have those jump-up-and-down moments when we get some acknowledgment we’re on our way, or validation that we’re on the right path. Those celebratory moments feel good – like baby dreams coming true.

dream-is-realBut if you’re anything like me you dream big – real big. And you start out on the path ready to face and embrace the miracles as they occur. And you have no doubt that there will be miracles because you believe in them. Even in those doubting moments you still keep the faith, keeping the dream alive.

Whether we use vision boards or gratitude lists or just share our dreams out loud, sometimes in the back of our minds we wonder, will this dream ever come true? So we plug away, invested, determined, focused, trying to execute whatever we think will help us reach our heartfelt goal. Every day we try to “get there,” on that road to success. Or we think it’s the road to success.

change-your-thoughtsWhile thoughts become things according to Universal Law, we don’t always know if what we’re thinking is right, let alone what we’re doing, when we don’t see tangible results. Are we on the right path? Or do we need to make a U-turn, better yet get on a new road?

Those answers may or may not clearly come. Ultimately we’re getting somewhere, this is just life. But we have to pay attention to the invisible-visible signs. When the confirmation is confusing, our dreams can take a detour, and we can feel quite off-balance.

still-growingAlthough we may be on our yellow brick road, it’s hard not to depend on others to help lay the bricks. That’s when we get into trouble of course – pinning our hopes on others. But in some cases it’s the actions of others that help make our dreams come true. Like writing a successful blog – it takes readers to excel. I’m nearly 950 posts in, but its growth is going slow.

I invest a lot of time and energy, but is a daily post too much? I get deep satisfaction from doing my soul’s work – I know I came here to write, and it feels completely good. But the perfect recipe or secret of success? I just have no idea.

keep-goingMaybe I’m missing the point. While I’m waiting for the miracle, I’ll look to the end-result…the big picture.

“You can’t expect to see the miracles during the journey,” Mike Dooley says. “You don’t see them until after you arrive.”

We have arrived at the autumnal equinox and I’m grateful for so much. But as the seasons change, so must we. Maybe my focus needs to shift toward fulfilling another dream of writing a book. I’ve thought about this since I was young and who knows if it will fly. But I guess while we’re here, all we can do is try.

horn-of-plentyI’ll still post at least once a week and please weigh in anytime ~ any thoughts, suggestions and ideas are welcome. Thanks to all of you who read, from the bottom of my heart. Abundant blessings to you all, and while I mention it, welcome fall.

 

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One Morning Blip Can Change The Whole Day

I was deep in that just-before-the-alarm-or-even-the-sunrise sleep when Sir Husband gently put his hand on my shoulder and whispered in my ear. I didn’t open my eyes but smelled his manly-clean scent.

“The dishwasher soap dispenser didn’t open so I’m running the dishes again.”

cat-napNow my eyes were open. Really? It’s a brand new dishwasher. Come on. He gets up an hour before I do to leave ahead of rush-hour traffic so he was ready to go.

The morning before he had put away the dishes not realizing the soap dispenser hadn’t triggered. Eeew. That means the dishes we used all that day were dirty. For a germaphobe this is a pretty big deal. So Sir Husband’s sweet whisper at the break of dawn was important to know.

However, I think there is something to that whole getting up on the wrong side of the bed thing. Because although I technically didn’t, the now running dishwasher included my coffee pot which threw off my whole morning routine. Everything from feeding the cats to making a pre-school hot breakfast for my hungry teenager went awry, causing us somehow to run late, then hit traffic and panic he would miss the first bell…not to mention there was no coffee brewed.

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He wasn’t late, and when I got home I sighed with relief, while impatiently waited for the dishwasher cycle to rinse so I could pull out the coffee pot. But within minutes the day took an even more calamitous turn. It started with an email credit monitoring alert that did not pertain to me, but somehow landed on my account. I spent the next four hours trying to resolve it, while juggling everything in between – a telephone interview for a job, support for a friend in crisis, assistance for my kid, nearly breaking another toe on a precariously placed stool. Not to mention the cream for my coffee had apparently gone bad overnight.

cinderellaWe all have days like this. One blip leads to the next to the next to the next and we think how great our cat’s life is when we see her all curled up dozing peacefully on the bed. Isn’t it amazing how one trip up in a morning routine can change the face of an entire day? Even when we think we’ve got things under control, in all actuality we don’t. It was clear I had lost control of this day so I just sat back for the rest of the ride. That ride of course was along the street called, “when will this day ever end?!”

bad-dayIn spite of my insistence that the dishwasher soap dish not opening was not the cause of a downward spiral into a calamity of errors, I had to wonder. Is it possible we get into a vortex of mishaps when we wake up with some grrrr, hence those old phrases like “getting up on the wrong side of the bed”? Does the grrrr translate into more grrrr, or was it simply a domino from falling out of a habitual morning routine that threw my day’s equilibrium off?

But that’s the beauty of a day like that – and yes there is beauty there – because it helps us appreciate those doldrum days that get lost in everyday life. Those days that offer hot coffee with sweet cream upon a soft sunrise, light traffic, easygoing emails and truly clean dishes. That’s really what life is all about, I think I’ll pay more attention.

all-good

Blogging About Nothing Is Everything And A Story Too

bloggersWhen I first started blogging a long time ago, blogging was relatively new. Now there are a zillion writers of all ages and lifestyles who blog about anything and everything. I peruse posts, gravitating toward a topic, a title, a handle – doesn’t matter – I check out whatever catches my eye.

But what I’m noticing is that people write blogs about regular life happenings without much reason or purpose. They write about kooky relatives or what they witnessed at Starbucks or their sex lives. They reveal all kinds of things without any interesting allegory, or deep philosophical meaning. They use words that would make their mothers gasp. I just read one of my favorite blogger’s posts that talked about farting and wedgies. I’m not going to lie – I wish I had that kind of gumption. To write the graphic details about someone fixing their wedgie at a wedding? Is that keeping it classy? Because it’s totally keeping it real.

SeinfeldI wonder how people write about basically nothing. I would love to write about nothing – like the old Seinfeld show and one of my forever favorites. People love reading about nothing, right? Short of saying I don’t want my life to be about nothing, much to my dismay I’m not sure how to write about nothing.

seinfeld nothing

What’s the goal? Am I the only blogger on a mission to evolve, grow, expand, learn, philosophize, ponder….care and share? Surely not. I write from my heart with a message. But does there have to be a message? Or is it about entertainment…wisdom not so much. And who’s reading? It’s a word-wide web after all.

FullSizeRenderI check out bloggers’ About Me sections, and scan their follower list. A lot of bloggers are millennials and have these massive followings – all their friends and their friends’ friends, the people they met in a bar last weekend. They are amazing at writing about nothing. But one common theme? Millennials have anxiety. I can attest to that – two of my three millennial offspring suffer from that themselves – although they don’t blog about it.

A lot of bloggers are young or seasoned moms who love writing about their kids, family life, the ups and downs of childbearing years and have massive followings from playgroups and mommy happy hour participants. Are they writing about nothing? Not per se, parenting will never be passé.

Then there are male writers who share manly adventures, or masculine woes, I’m not even sure who follows them, but they’ve got readers. Travel bloggers, health bloggers, money bloggers, religious bloggers, the list is endless. So back to my point about nothing.

I’ll try doing it right now ~

A couple times a week since we moved to our new place we hear what sounds like fireworks off in the distance. Well, we thought it was fireworks because we moved in Fourth of July week. But now we’re starting to wonder if it’s actually gunshots. That’s not out of the question, we are inches from the city. 

“This leafy suburb bordering a rough edge of Boston…” said the Boston Globe in an article George HWlast week. Yea it’s leafy – it’s like a wooded oasis of suburban quiet although urban – and apparently borders ‘rough.’ This little berg, population 27,000, is affluent (not gonna lie,) frequents the top 10 list of best places to live in the U.S., is the site of the first chocolate factory (Baker,) and a little known fact – the birthplace of former President George H.W. Bush. Wow. 

(How am I doing on writing about nothing so far.)

What about the gunshots? It’s usually just as we doze off near the 11th hour when the pop-pop-pop happens. At first Sir Husband paused, got out of bed and carefully went to the window (don’t want to be near a window when gunshots are going off.) But now we half-wake up and wait a minute to see if we hear sirens or more shots, ensure they don’t get louder, then roll over and go back to sleep.

We’re not worried, honestly. It’s nothing.

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Is It Possible To Control Our Time Online When Life Is All Online?

It wasn’t the incoming rainstorm, or too much coffee, or a blood sugar low that made me sit at my computer and shake. I’m beginning to see a pattern now when I start to jitter. It comes on daily after I spend way too much time doing what we un-fondly refer to as “administration.”

wits endIt’s getting out of control. Incorrect billing issues, website technicalities, errors, glitches, wrong numbers, emails, documentation, scores of forms for whatever we need, Hippa this, privacy that, layers of security blips, spam, address corrections, changes, updates, by the time I come up for air, I’m fairly short of breath, not to mention half the day is shot.

documenting lifeBesides all the endless online time, there are just way too many “jobs” to take care of our basic needs. So I’m calling a moratorium. I simply can’t keep up. And I have some serious streamlining to do – well beyond the concepts of balance and simplicity – goals for which I continually strive.

There has to be a way to get it all done without it taking so long. But how? I’m ridiculously organized, process fast, am also efficient and quite thorough. The issue can’t all be me.

out to liveI started thinking about people I know who seem to “do it all.” You know who they are – successful at their jobs, look amazing, seem happy and healthy and fit – even if they have aches and pains. They’re graceful and kind and funny and fun whenever you connect. What is their secret? Because they must have administration too.

Do they end up at their wits end after hours on the phone with technical support, or billing issues, or redoing online forms that freeze and don’t submit? Do they delegate these tasks or just let them go regardless of any requirements for completion, compensation, registration or activation? There is so much administration required now to simply manage our lives.

unplugThe only answer I came up with after shedding a tear and some deep breathing, was to try to live more and technology less. Less texting, less emailing, less social media scrolling – just pay the bill and get off the device. Fill out the form and step away. Post the blog and go. It’s not that I don’t want to be social, I just need to lessen screen time.

I wonder if that’s even possible. Administration will always be there and it’s easy to get distracted by so much at our fingertips. But it’s more than a reconstruction of time, it’s also a mental shift. Less dwelling, less worrying, less ruminating – just striving for peace of mind. gritting teeth emojiRelax, read, get fresh air…breathe and of course also eat. Maybe then I’ll stop gritting my teeth when I sit down to administer my life.

offlineSo we’ll see how it goes to live more and tech less. I’m not the type to ignore emails or texts, mail or my friends, not to mention what news might I miss?

As good as it sounds to dial it all down – that may itself take time. winky face

 

turn off

 

 

 

Feeling Yet Another Change, But Actually Change Is Nothing New

IMG_6110Today many lives in the Northeast changed. It’s back to school time. Dreaded by kids and loved by parents, the alarm clocks rang for an early rise and we’re starting a new daily routine. But this year is different in my house, as it frequently is. We are no strangers to big change – both with routine and in life.

tyler kindergartenMy teenage son is stressed out because he has to forge a new path as an incoming junior in a new high school in the town where we just moved. The thought of it even stresses me out  – the kid has endured a lot. But he’s not the only nervous wreck, Sir Husband actually is too.

For the first time in maybe 20-some years, Sir Husband is going back to school. And even he is surprised himself, that he’s about to attend — yes — Harvard. This a pretty huge deal for the man, he struggled way back in the day when his college years didn’t include a particularly noteworthy academic performance.

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But there’s something to be said for time and all the change it brings.

Change is in the air. I’m struggling with it myself. Not just the uncomfortable midlife change, or our recent hectic move, or my deep empathy for my son. It’s happening everywhere. My shaman-therapist retired, so that’s been very hard. I have to find a new source of income, and that’s another big deal. But what’s intriguing is that so many people are speaking out about their own changes.

A good friend just put a question on his Facebook page asking what people think about change, and how they see it. He said he tries to respect it and roll with it without fearing it. When I read that post what caught my eye were the words “think” and “see.” To me change is about how we feel it and how we experience it.

trustMy former shaman-therapist said as she felt her way through her own changes she ran toward calm – focusing on whatever felt calm to her. If we’re lucky we can move through change without feeling a lot of chaos and experience it as a normal, functional, even useful aspect of life. Because just fighting change itself can add its own layer of chaos.

For a long time, maybe most of my life, I have not experienced change feeling calm. Change for me always came with a lot of stress and dysfunction, so it was uncomfortable.

But if we think about it, new stuff happens every day. Change happens on some level every, single day. So if we cling to what happened yesterday, we don’t really have room to let new stuff in, and that’s when we get emotionally tripped up, or mentally clogged up and stuck, even physically and energetically. That’s not to say it’s easy, feeling change can take time.

Sir Husband would never be able to sit in a classroom with students at Harvard University if he did not let go of the past, welcome change and feel calm. I hope my son in a short time will do the same. And me – I have some work to do. Although time always shows that change itself, is really nothing new.

you got this

I Want To Pull The Plug On Technology But Unfortunately It’s Out Of My Hands

internetWhen did our technology become such a huge pain? It’s convenient and cool, when it actually works. Almost every time I do anything online lately it blips, crashes, isn’t recognized, loses connection, never connects, times out, shows error messages or worse – completes the task but then just disappears.

I know it’s not just me. The web developer who recently moved my blog to a new site faced several technology bumps – and she’s a professional. Are we all just caught in this worldwide web that has a mind of its own? Everything from doing basic life administration to watching TV has turned into a full time job.

From filling out online forms, paying online bills, shopping online or even watching a way too technically advanced TV, for me it doesn’t work the first time or even the third. And if it does work, it doesn’t last. This digital world that is supposed to simply life isn’t really simple.

But why? The issue isn’t ever anything we can see – it’s some phantom issue that just happens because there’s a glitch at a random connection, or a server is down somewhere on the other side of the world. It happens all the time. Then to fix it? That’s another problem.

computer frustration

I tried to buy something on Amazon and my credit card was declined four times – although nothing was wrong with the card. Hours of time trying to figure it out and turns out it was their site. Or an online bill I recently paid showed as complete but never electronically arrived. Took days to sort that one out. And it’s not just website issues. Our cable and Internet constantly blip in and out and Comcast can’t seem to figure it out. Not to mention when we keep asking why, they love to skirt the blame.

cookie monsterMy love/hate relationship with technology is growing, because trying to correct these glitches requires so much time and effort. First we have to go through layers of automation to get to a real person. When we do they usually have no idea why what we’re doing doesn’t work and they transfer us to someone else without anything getting resolved. Or worse, they try to correct it and they input the wrong information – which we have to deal with later when something yet again doesn’t work.

And as impersonal as it all feels, it’s also insanely personal. We have to share so much secret information to reveal we are really ourselves. And more scarily, we are connected to everything and everyone and even some invisible cloud that silently knows and does it all.

Is the problem that companies want to capture too much information about the people using their sites? Or that Internet browsers don’t play nice with each other? These complex systems are all interdependent, so when something doesn’t work, we get caught in the crossfire. Not to mention the demand for digital is so high, even IT people can’t keep up.

So I quit.

By the way, why do you need my email address? I’m just buying a loaf of bread.

no file yes wine

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