If my Facebook friends have taught me anything, it is how much they hate Facebook, yet they still use it to talk about life off of Facebook. If this week of homophobic hatred, church burnings and Donald Trump giving the finger to illegal aliens and the all-mighty NBC has taught me anything more, it is how passionately we take to social media to talk about things that are not computer related.
The insane extremes of being a human being are at once maddening yet fascinating, infuriating yet entertaining. And it’s only just now as I ditch my desktop PC for my netbook, WiFi signal and the cooler weather in the bedroom, that I realized that.
My dad would have been proud of me balancing both with the skill of a trapeze artist today. He was an older man who had served at Forth Worth, TX, as a glider pilot instructor during World War II, and yet after the war, he acquired a passion for Japanese post-war advances in the world of photography by collecting 35mm cameras (you younger kids wouldn’t recognize those types of cameras – they actually had physical film in them – what’s film, you say? Never mind).
Even if the generations reading this had never lived through the Big W (another vague, historical reference), you can probably appreciate the irony of being a fan of emerging technology out of a former Communist enemy of the United States and it’s Allies. At least I hope you can. If you can’t, you seriously need to get your head to Google and search up, “World War II” and “japanese cameras of the 1960s and 70s”, then take your iPhone to a museum of history – yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!
Confused yet? Welcome to the world of Living in Balance with Technology and the Real World outside social networking.
I do it every day, live it, love it, experience it by taking a walk one minute and Tweeting about it the next. It isn’t that hard, really, for someone who wants to make it work in this insane world of love ’em, hate ’em, us vs. them when it comes to technology vs. life outside the wifi. And for business networkers in this day and age, it is an absolute MUST if you are to pimp yourself in social media and make a profit at the same time.
And while the world seems perfect this morning because I can take my netbook and wifi into a part of the house that isn’t roasting from an 80 degrees at 8:00 am start to my day, it wasn’t that that made me realize how lucky we are to have technology and humans in balance in this house.
It was my cat, Rhubarb.
He followed me into the bedroom and sat beside me as I leaned against the headboard of our bed, typing a mile a minute, fighting to get these thoughts down before they disappear. You see, he’s lonely. We lost his 11-year old mom, Harley, this past weekend, to cancer and now he’s my constant comfort, my constant companion. even moreso than he was before.
I went kind of insane with grief last week as I watched my beloved Maine Coon struggle to breathe as that tumor pressed against her windpipe. How they hell do I know when enough is enough, I begged my vet. I don’t want her to suffer, but human asthmatics suffer a little at a time everyday, yet no one rushes to put them down because of it. She can’t tell me what hurts…how the hell and I going to know when enough is enough when she can’t talk to me?!? I can’t wait until she’s gasping for breath, because by then she’ll have only a precious few minutes left – and it takes 40 minutes to get to the vet from where we live. I wanted her to have a peaceful, pain-free death.
How in God’s name do I do this?
The internet had answers we were too late to implement, answers the vet had either held back, wasn’t aware of or simply didn’t believe worked. The ‘net gave me hope at the same time it forced me to realize that we were just too late to use them.
Sometimes the ‘net is evil like that – just like life.
The two are not mutually exclusive – not anymore. Tech is here to stay, it’s only going to get more invasive from here on out, so we as human beings better learn to live with it and when you want that human touch, just reach down, pull your new, baby kitten into your lap and take a picture of her to share with your virtual world. Then, and only then, will you understand that balance is indeed possible.