Friday, October 11, 2013

High Tech

Every now and then I clean out my Word files and find forgotten fragments or completed pieces I didn't post. Here's one from April, 2013. 

I followed a bus home this morning with this advertisement on the back: “ANSWER YOUR DOOR WITH YOUR CELL PHONE.” I thought: Is this the epitome of laziness? Are we no longer expected to bother going to the door to peep out or greet someone in person?

When I first noticed the ad, I pictured the homeowner deciding from the couch whether to “unlock external device” remotely with his phone, but perhaps this gimmick is designed to be used away from home. After all, a traveler can now start a car parked in the airport lot before she gets off the plane. I suppose we could answer our door from the doctor’s office or a bar, too, but why would we?

Maybe I’m missing some vital point. The photo in the ad showed a man waiting outside an entry door. I can understand wanting to know who is ringing the doorbell, even if you don’t live in a questionable neighborhood or haven’t been victimized in the past. I live in a safe area, but I keep my doors locked whether or not I am home.

If answering your door is the stupidest use of a cell phone yet, then checking in at the airport while you are still at home is the most ridiculous use of the Internet. You can go online and check in to avoid those pesky lines at the terminal, and I’m sure many people do it; but, as Tina Turner said near the beginning of “Proud Mary,” “There’s just one thing.” You aren’t there.

How do you know you won’t get a flat tire on the way to the airport, end up by the side of the road wailing for help like the GEICO Gecko, and miss your flight? You don’t.

I do try to keep up with technology, but we all have to make choices. For me it makes sense to ignore some high-tech applications. If you ring my doorbell, I'll still answer it in person. 


  1. Jane, I'm so glad you went through your files. I enjoyed your take on this subject and didn't realize you can actually have a "watch dog" for your door. This topic really targets "how lazy can we get?" I think the whole syndrome started with the remote for TV (but I love it too and would hate to get up every time I wanted to surf a bit). Thanks for posting; it also reminded me of my my pet peeve -- "call waiting" when it was introduced on land lines. I've always felt "call waiting" is the epitome of rudeness as you interrupt a conversation to "see" who is next in line to talk.

    1. Betty, I totally agree that call waiting promotes rudeness. I wouldn't have it. The first commercial I ever saw for call waiting featured a boy who didn't pick up because he didn't want to talk to his grandma. Sensitive subject!