Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Tipping Point (Cyber and Otherwise)

On the bottom of my blogger screen is a little tab that reads "Complaints," so I'm using this moment to register some of my complaints about what seems to have turned into a life as a targeted consumer.

I usually look at my email first thing in the morning. I used to engage in lengthy correspondence with friends from near and far, but now my email experience consists of deleting sale notices from stores where I happen to have shopped once and notices about musical events far removed from my realm of interest and my location. Sometimes I find a message from a friend, colleague, or family member, and once in a while I get a notice about a comment to this blog, but it is always the exception. There are sometimes work-related email messages, which I always welcome. I have actually come to cherish those.

I delete between eight and ten messages before breakfast. By lunch time there are usually eight more. I always try to "clean house" in my inbox before I go to bed.

If I look at Facebook these days, I am bombarded by "posts" from people who have paid to have their "posts" reach me, along with ads from places where I might have shopped on line. I bought some socks on line last week, and ads enticing me to buy more socks popped up everywhere (and not just on Facebook). Facebook seems to have become the de-facto vehicle for personal communication, and I hate the fact that I have had to use it as such in family matters. "It" is kind of making "itself" indispensable (and in some ways it is making me feel dispensable). I have decided, for the sake of my health, to limit my Facebook time to 17 minutes per day.

[We used to have a "17 minute rule" back when all four members of the family lived under one roof and shared a single desktop computer.]

Today's US mail brought two letters. One was an official looking one from Washington, DC marked "Finance Department." It was, of course, a plea for money from a political organization. The other had a hand-written address (which, upon further study, I realized was just a very well-designed handwriting font). Then there was a card from a business that sends us catalogs, and a New Yorker magazine.

Somehow, around the time when the ads in my email inbox started increasing, the annoying robo telephone calls started decreasing. If the phone rings now (and it does rarely) it is usually from someone in the family, or an automated reminder from our HMO to get a flu shot (which just happened--while I was writing this very paragraph).

I have to say that thanks to technology I have NEVER felt so emotionally disconnected from the outside world, which appears from this end to be an endless stream of people trying to sell me stuff.

My patience is exhausted.

Thank goodness for music. End of rant. Time to practice and (thankfully) teach a few lessons later this afternoon.

1 comment:

Ken said...

Fantastic post. You know how much I "love" Facebook, but it's made itself hard to ditch.

Hopefully it's becoming irritating enough we start to find more ways to reach out to people in non cyber life.