Sunday, February 13, 2011

Connected, enabled or enslaved?

I’m starting to feel the age under my saddle… I’m looking at the my Samsung Focus Windows 7 phone that I got in December. It does everything you can imagine but make coffee remotely and I’m sure there’s an app coming for that.

I got to thinking what an evolution/nightmare today’s connectivity is. There was a time when you could actually be out of touch because all telephones were wired. You only had to dial 5 of the 7 numbers to make a call on the line you shared with a bunch of people; thus the “Party Line” moniker. Each subscriber had a distinctive ring and anyone could jump on the line an listen in on you. When you were fishing or out on the tractor nobody could bother you….

Then came pagers. You could be toned to call the office and then you could get voice messages. Next, to everyone’s amazement, you could actually put a phone number in and have it show up on the pager, wonder of wonders. You prayed to be out of range at times.

Jump to the mid-eighties and we started seeing and hearing about “cellular phones”. The first phones were these monsters that had a big box or bag you had to tote around. Costly as hell too. Fast forward to now and we can do ‘Net, texting, email and actually sometimes talk to someone, anywhere, as long as there is a “tower” nearby.

Now the 64K question; how do I free myself? No cell coverage here...

  • First understand that you might need rehab if you disconnect. You know, the 12 step program to remove the Bluetooth earpiece.
  • Second your wife, kids and friends will think you were kidnapped or are on the lam and will be calling the authorities to report you demise.
  • Lastly you’ll need some cash (ATM cards show time and place of use)and a secure cell phone shield bag so that your phone doesn’t give you away even when you think it’s off. (Hey, you wanted some free space right?)

Remember when you go back on the grid you’ll have some explaining to do.  Yes, your daily moves can be patterned and tracked by cell phone use and towers you connect to unknowingly. Here’s some plausible excuses if you shut off location services a week ahead of time.…

  • Uh, I was up in the Adirondacks, no coverage..
  • My battery died..
  • Alien abduction..
  • I forgot who I was…

Not that I’ve done any of those…


No comments: