I Have A Need To Know
I have become so plugged into that thing that without it I feel like I’m sitting alone in an empty room, with the lights out, the shades pulled down, wearing a blindfold, and with earplugs screwed two inches deep into my head.
A news junkie I am not, nor a politics wonk, so I can live without all of that stuff. In fact, I’d prefer to have some time and distance away from it.
I am an Information Fan.
I like having access to the answers to my myriad of questions – important or not – mostly not.
While the phone is cordless it has become an umbilical, feeding me with data, opinion, and entertainment, while allowing me to purge myself of my own waste products in the form of Facebook posts, Amazon shopping forays, and – oh, yeah – this blog.
I’m certainly not alone with this reliance on a little gizmo that is an electronic library, playground, and, nominally, a telephone. It has become a cartoon cliché – a roomful of people sitting around the dinner table, but ignoring each other, their eyes glued to that shining little screen.
When I recently had to visit the Dept. of Motor vehicles office, being able to swan dive into my electronic world was the only thing that kept me sane.
This very morning I went with my wife to her Physical Therapy appointment. Everyone sitting in the waiting room was eyes glued on their phone. Everyone. I felt secure in taking a short nap.
Before we all had these phones on our hip and there was a question about something we were presented with a list of options.
Question: What was the original Lone Ranger’s real name? (Not the Actor)
Want an answer?
- Go to a library.
- Ask someone who might know.
- Think and try to remember if you ever knew the answer.
- Give up, move on, and live in ignorance.
That was about it. By and large it required an interaction, past or present, with another human being. Now, by tapping the screen with your thumbs, you can look at databases around the world. You will find an answer in many places, but even that is no guarantee of finding the Correct Answer.
I knew the answer to the above question (evidence of many wasted hours in front of our Philco Television with its huge 12” Black and White screen.), but I went Google – ing anyway. After ten minutes of reading I reaped about seven different answers. Six of these “answers” eventually admitted that they were not actually correct for my question as it was asked, but for bad movies, TV Pilots that never sold, or the like.
The Internet is a wonderful thing. It can teach us, amuse us, frustrate us, and even amaze us, but one thing it can’t do without fudging – tell us what the Masked Man was called before Tonto showed up to save his bacon.
For future reference you may wish to jot this down somewhere.
THE ANSWER: John Reid.
Now I am going to use my phone to make a phone call. I hope I remember how to do that.