I’m writing this with my phone next to me, and I have to keep tapping it every few seconds to keep it alive while it syncs with an app which shall remain nameless. If I name it now, I’ll say vile things about it in my fit of pique that it probably doesn’t deserve. Lots of people work very hard to make good software. And yet. And yet, here I sit, tapping every few seconds–terrified of losing my place in line with an inanimate object that is supposedly making my life easier.
It is absolutely miraculous that we can communicate so quickly, and with vivid pictures and video. It is absolutely miraculous the way blogs and tweets and whatnot can connect rural America with urban neighbors, family, and friends. It is absolutely miraculous that we don’t throw more devices through walls when they stubbornly refuse to cooperate. Here I am trying to model intelligent, compassionate, enlightened adulthood, and I’m participating in this insane little tap dance with my phone. For all its challenges, at least your garden has an excuse–it is a massively complex living ecosystem, with zillions of agents interacting constantly–and holds the promise of produce that is worth the wait. Unless the raccoons break through your fence and vandalize it, leaving half-eaten remnants strewn around in their wake. When your spiffy little new century device gives you the giant virtual middle finger by suddenly threatening not to sync, or to lose all your data, because you have violated some internal rule you weren’t aware of–you have nothing to swear at, throw rocks at, or shoot. Not that I’m ready to shoot a raccoon, yet. I might have moved to the country, I might even–shocking, right?–have started making my own granola, but I’m not yet completely comfortable with my second amendment rights.
I know, I’ll give the raccoons my phone, let them take zillions of precious photos and videos of their kits, then watch them try to do anything useful with them. Of course, as wily as raccoons are, the poor little phone is probably no match for them.