Monday, January 18, 2016

Master’s Monday: Experiencing Technical Difficulties

“AAAAHHHHHHH!!!! I can’t access my iPhone! I feel like I’ve lost my right arm!!!!”

These are words I never thought I’d hear myself saying.

Twice, however, in the last 6 months, they have been my precise thoughts, though happily not expressed out loud for more than my poor mother to hear.

Last year in Germany, when I thought I would not be able to use my phone to communicate with my family for an entire month, I panicked. Last night when I watched my phone crash—and then turn strange colors whenever I tried to wake it up again—I was tempted to panic again. Thankfully, experiential knowledge tells me that my life need not end when that of my phone comes to a close. And I have numerous resources at hand to make #firstworldproblems such as this much easier to deal with.

The powerful temptation to panic that I have now experienced twice, however, causes me to stop and ponder whether I have become more attached to that little pink gadget of mine than I ever want to admit to myself. I was just talking to a friend this weekend about how technologically dependent our society has become, and how I never want to succumb to the “technomania” I see all around me. Rather easy to talk about with my iPhone sitting in my pocket gathering emails, texts, comments, hearts, likes, and retweets as I speak. But thank God for iPhone crashes that can pull me to a halt and remind me of what an unnecessary blessing all these forms of communication can be when used prudently. I never want to take for granted the amazing powers of connection most of us have at our finger-tips every day. Like any other powerful tool, it is simultaneously delicate and dangerous. Not necessary for life, but a source of much potential that I hope always to treat with both caution and gratitude.