Monday, June 6, 2011

Technology Is Messing With My Brain

I almost had a meltdown in the Scottsdale Hilton this past weekend. Not long after we had settled into our room, I called guest services to get the password for Wi-Fi access. I was on hold for way too long, but that's another rant altogether. I finally got the info and successfully logged on. That's when things went sideways. Not since the days of dial-up had I waited so long to reach my desired web destinations. My connection was slower than one of my middle school students going to their next class. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

The thing is, this wasn't the first time I've lost my patience with technology. In fact, it seems to happen quite frequently. My computer at work acts up so much, I'm afraid I might fling it across the room one day during class.

"What happened at school today honey?"
"Well, Mr. Riley threw his computer out the window because he couldn't get YouTube to play this cool double rainbow video he wanted to show us."

It's not just that I'm reliant on technology, that almost goes without saying nowadays. Technology is so fast now, I expect instantaneous results. I want my computer to give me a list of every single document mentioning Anthony Weiner's penis, and if it takes longer than the blink of an eye, someone's head needs to roll.

I wasn't always like this. Hell, I didn't even use a computer until I was 18 years old. In the last 5-10 years I've noticed a change. The exponential increase in technological speed seems to directly correlate with my decreasing level of patience with said technology. Sometimes I feel like we may be living through a permanent evolutionary change that is wiping out the human brain's ability to wait. Or maybe it's just me.


  1. No, it's not just you. I spent a week in rural Ohio this spring with no wifi and no 3G, and it made me want to scream. Having all the world's information at your fingertips is amazing, but it totally warps the way you think.

  2. If my son blogged he would tell you of his traumatic time in another country for 3 months where the internet was so slow and the cost outrageous. I think we have become spoiled.

  3. Helps if you can multitask. Computer buffering? Play angry birds . On hold? Read another page of that book.

    Moody Writing

  4. I yell at the microwave to hurry up.

  5. I love technology and have an expectation of it's speed, but not to the point where I'm frustrated. I've resigned myself to the fact that I can't keep up with it. I don't rush out and buy the latest phone, television, or laptop. Not only can I not afford to, but I also realize that it's a journey that is never ending. And if I get behind, I can always catch up.

    I balance the technology in our lives with other simple things. We have days without going online or watching television. I often turn my phone off, especially when I go for a ride one of my old bikes. Takes me back to another time.

    I am, though, a recovering news junkie. That desire to always be on top of the latest breaking news (which often isn't) is constantly pulling at me. I resist the urge to whip out my phone at the stoplight and see what's happening in the world. I'm doing better though.

  6. Squilla's AuntJune 7, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    I think that becoming accustomed to having things instantly has made me less patient too, but it's also made me more selfish. That instant delivery with technology means I find myself expecting things to go the way I want when i want...whether in a car, a hotel, at work or at home. And while technology delivers (well, most of the time), for some strange reason, people don't. Nubian is right: we've become spoiled.

  7. I think we could all use a break from the tech stuff.

  8. Mr. Riley,
    I agree. Technology makes my brain hurt too. Especially when programmers decide what best I want under the guise of, "we'll make it easier or prettier, or fancier for the end user," but end up just mucking things up. We need to send a message to the man: "Focus on the basics!"

  9. Hi Tim Riley, Thanks for stopping by my blog as it led me to yours. I am convinced that a whole new form of attention deficit disorder is striking individuals in direct proportion to their Internet and Microwave speeds.I call this MIADD (media induced ADD) Back in the day that it took an hour to bake a potato and 10 minutes to download one picture, I was a patient person. If that spud isn't done in under 4 minutes and the 32 pictures off my camera aren't attaching and sending on my email in a blink of an eye, I am losing my flippin mind.
    Sooo, it's not just you...I hope it isn't just you and me though.

  10. The double rainbow guy totally made my day.

  11. Actually, similar situations happen to me all the time. If there are problems with the Internet, it feels like such a catastrophe :)

  12. Poor Wiener. Poor Wiener's wife.

    Oh, that's not what you're talking about. :)

    Anyway, I can relate. I gotta hurry and get my computer guy over to my house to check out a few things, because if things got out of hand,i.e. no computer access, I'd be upset! That's bad, isn't it.