Connected

by

By: Megan Moore
Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach

I like to think that I am not “plugged in”.  I use my laptop for word processing, listening to music, Googling and the occasional glance at Facebook. Last week I watched my first online episode of television, thanks only to Brooke and one of our players bringing me up to speed on what Hulu is.  I’ve owned an iPod touch for three years and haven’t downloaded a single application. I like to remain rather unplugged and tuned out actually, turning off the TV and closing the laptop at least an hour before bed and sometimes never turning either on when I get home.  I enjoy living in blissful ignorance of the super network. That is, until last Wednesday.

My miniature robot -- the Verizon iPhone

I joined the other 99,999 imbalanced fanatics at three in the morning on February 3rd and pre-ordered the iPhone 4 for Verizon.  I devoted a solid hour and 15 minutes of my precious sleep time to clicking the “sign in” button on Verizon’s homepage until finally, either after those not as determined had given up and gone back to bed or those more savvy had navigated their way around the downed server (whatever that is), I was able to submit my preorder at 4:09AM.  I am still a little confused and disheartened by myself, but what a rush it was.

I received shipment notification on my icon of technological advancement the next week and dashed home to leave a note ensuring FedEx they could leave my package at the door if no one answered. After practice and team dinner that night I tore into the brown unassuming box and marveled at my purchase. Even the packaging inside emanated coolness. You wouldn’t believe me if I said that as I lifted the lid off the sleek casing, the phone itself was actually glowing.

I will admit that this is not my first smart phone, which I know takes away from the fascination.  When I first got to W&L my cute little multicolored flip phone that had stood by me through college and a year after suffered its last drop and powered down forever.  I battled with the smart phone idea for a while, much longer than the average person with any decisiveness would have. Did I want access to email all the time? Did I want to find directions to Starbucks in the midst of any of my travels? Did I want to join in on the new Blackberry messenger phenomenon? Was all this connectivity worth 30 extra dollars a month and did I even want to be so connected? Yes and no.  I bought in though, and sadly soon after couldn’t remember what life was like without the conveniences.  Planning became virtually unnecessary; there were few situations I might find myself in that the Blackberry couldn’t get me out of:  directions to the nearest Panera, a recruit’s flight status, removing a post from my Facebook wall. How had I survived without it?

I realized though in the week span between the death of my Blackberry and the arrival of my miniature robot (what I now call the iPhone), that life was so much more enjoyable, not to mention free of distraction. It meant I actually had to read all new emails at once, rather than opening a new message in between running errands and adding its contents to the information overload that was already my brain. Strangely enough, the inaccessibility made me look forward to sitting down at the computer and organizing the day’s tasks. Without the worldwide web constantly at my fingertips, I was forced to think for myself again. I looked up numbers in the phone book (first I had to find our phone book), wrote down directions and actually picked up the phone to call my mother.

I'm even connected to Hulu now!

But my connectivity has been re-established, and this time it’s more synced than ever. The only things the mini-robot can’t do for me are eat, exercise and breathe.  But it can calculate my calorie-intake, plan and record my grocery list and track how many miles I’ve run, not to mention a whole host of other luxuries I haven’t begun to figure out but are sure to become necessities. Somehow it knows exactly where I have to be and when and can remind me as early and often as I want it to.  I could even use it to read a book but can’t quite bring myself to accept a machine as a stand in for the real thing.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in use for a total of 10 minutes on our most recent bus trip to Baltimore, and it doesn’t have my email set up yet. In my free time I guiltily search the app store for life changing innovations and some not so life-changing, like an application I downloaded that plays sounds like ocean waves crashing or a hair dryer blowing. My new favorite is a game called WordsFree, in which you can play scrabble against everyone and anyone on the network. As you can see, I’ve really chosen to use my technological privileges wisely. Regardless, I am not proud to say that I’m becoming an iPhone junkie. You can even get Hulu on this thing.

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One Response to “Connected”

  1. Gobby Says:

    Wonderful article – but continue to read “real”books-theIPOD must be a rather incredible invention – too much for grandparents

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