Information Overload

So, daughter received a hand-me-down iPhone this weekend from wife. Apparently, they are good for more than calling people. I have to pull it from her clenched hands to sit down to dinner. I think this is a great rule, no outside disturbances during meal time.  I expend a great deal of effort to attempt a family dinner every night when the kids are not committed elsewhere. One friend told me that he instituted this rule, only to be the first one to break it. Even dads have to follow their own rules. Or do they?

Do you remember being told, “Do as I say, not as I do?” How well did that work for you. Did you avoid tobacco and alcohol; go to bed early; do your chores; avoid eating before swimming?!?!?! Heck, I don’t even do my chores. Although, yesterday I did replace the handle-thingie on the downstairs toilet. Son desperately wants to flush toilet after every visit. Yesterday afternoon, he broke off the handle. $8 later after a visit to Home Depot and 10 minutes in the bathroom, it was flushing like gang-busters. Of course, son wanted to try it out ten times. Meanwhile, daughter was playing games on her iPhone.

Wife and I are addicted to our phones. I often dream of getting a dumb phone that does not require a touch screen and offer 500,000 apps to play with. Then, I come to my senses. How would I write this blog in the car, look up who played the lead actress in She’s Having a Baby, or actually reply to an email 30 seconds after reading it. I think the FAX machine destroyed America. Since its inception, people have wanted information immediately. No more waiting for a courier to deliver the documents. Ring! Out comes a piece of paper with the corporate figures.

After that, people wanted computers to communicate faster. Apple AND Microsoft are too blame for the fact that we have no free time. We fill up with mindless information gathering and when we’re not on the computer, we are watching the “news” on a 24 hour cycle. Do I really need to see footage of the same disaster 15 times on every channel before I feel badly? Currently, when I enter a grade on the computer, students receive a message indicating the score within 30 seconds. Parents who helicopter over their students’ grades are in instant communication wondering why the student received an 88 instead of a 90.

I need time off; I mean, REAL time off. Right now, I am teaching full-time, raising two kids, being a good husband to wife, writing a dissertation, running triathlons, and then wasting what is left of my free time playing with my phone. I think the TV is on, too. I don’t want an escape from reality; I want an escape from information overload. Ignorance, after all, is bliss.

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