Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When life gets too progressive


I'm pretty sure things are going to shit and I'm not referring to the government shutdown.

I'm trying to burn a disc of photos of our field trip to the farm for Dylan's teachers. They asked me if I could make them a CD and I'd be glad to if I could figure out how the heck to burn photos to a disc. I know I just threw away a bunch of blank CDs because I hadn't used them in so many years that Dylan has since scratched and scattered them all over the house. I tossed them thinking that I'd never burn a CD again. I went to the store this morning and bought a bunch of DVD+Rs. I asked the guy in the photo department if there is a difference between DVD+R and DVD-R. He said that there was a difference like ten years ago but that most computers use both these days.

So I went to burn the disc and nothing happened. The computer didn't even register that there was a blank disc in there. Hmph. I figure maybe I'm Mac illiterate, so I try with my Windows laptop. Nothing. And now I'm trying to upload these 75 photos to Walmart.com and maybe I'll be able to print out a disc for 1-hour pickup. I don't know. I guess I'll have to find a different kind of blank disc if this doesn't work.

Technology is dumbing me. Yesterday I was sitting outside trying to figure out what concoction I could muster up to kill the weeds in Dylan's bricked play area where he likes to ride his bike. I thought about boiling hot water. I thought about pouring vinegar on the weeds. And then I kind of shook my head at myself and started doing something Earth-shattering. I WEEDED. Like, pulled that grass up just like back in the olden days.

And TV remotes? What are those? We use our phones for everything now. If I'm trying to sleep in and Dylan wants to watch his truck documentaries downstairs I can actually put them on for him without leaving my bed. That's pure laziness.

Even turning on the lights is no longer an issue. All of our lights are on switches or timers. No more walking across the room to turn on a light, no sir! Need to get from Walmart to Target? Switch on Google Maps and let it talk me through my route. Do real paper maps even exist anymore?

Oh, there was a power outage? We wouldn't have noticed except that our stove has a clock that DOESN'T SET ITSELF. Can you believe that? We actually have to set that clock like back in the dark ages.

When I was a kid we didn't have state of the art technology. I owned a tape deck which could only record songs off of the radio, so when I wanted to record a tape of myself singing and playing the piano for my grandmother I rigged up a recording studio. We had an old rotary phone and we had a cordless phone. I discovered that I could pick up our cordless phone conversations over a radio signal. I would call over to my mother's apartment and have her put her phone down and then I would use the rotary phone as a microphone to mic my voice and the cordless phone would pick up the piano and all of it would play through the radio where I would then record my song. Nowadays all I have to do is turn on my camera or hit record in Garageband and voila! a music video or MP3.

I'm finding myself wishing that life wasn't so technologically easy these days. I want to go back to a candy bar style cellphone that barely texts and keeps a charge for two weeks. I want to have to look online at Mapquest when I need directions, or hell, at a real map! I want a world without Facebook. But I'm addicted to my iPhone, and navigation that assures me I will never be lost, and posting constant statuses about what I'm thinking or doing and then checking back to see what my friends have commented on my status about what I'm thinking or doing.

It's an addiction.

I photograph my baby girl everyday, just as I did my son. I never made a conscious decision to photograph him everyday, it just sort of happened and by the time I got to day 8 my friends told me that I HAD to keep going now since I had made it that far. I blog everyday, too, even when I have nothing to say. But I've got a few family members who live far away--particularly my sisters and my aunt--who enjoy reading about our day, so I blog. I love doing it: writing, photographing, sharing.

I also envy Sean, who doesn't know how to write a Facebook status and told no one except our accountant that we were expecting when I was pregnant with Dylan. What's it like to not share every little aspect of your life with four hundred other people?

Sometimes I think I'd love to live in the cabin in the woods of Vermont. No cell service, no computer, no answering machine, no need for clocks and watches. But then I know that I'd be out in that gorgeous scenery snapping a thousand photos a day and I would never get to share them with anyone. I'd miss that interaction online. And although I'm sure I'd get a lot of soul searching done, I'd probably get lost too often while driving.