Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turn everything off

Some say over saturation of media is making us crazy. The Complete and Total Loser hear of many who are overwhelmed by the amount of information and the number of contacts they get. Weirdly, they act as if we have no choice. As if all must carry smart phones at all times and respond to every message.
The Loser will be at work and a coworker will become annoyed when a message comes at an inopportune time. "You know," the Loser will say, "you could turn it off." They look at him, mouths ajar, and blink.
Here's what the Loser gets along fine with:
  • A three-year-old cell phone. Or is it four? It has no camera. He pays as he goes. He puts in $100 a year to keep the account active. He carries the phone with him on average once a month and uses it when meeting friends to help coordinate a rendezvous for dinner or whatever. He can't remember when he last had to recharge it as he just turns it on for a few minutes twice a week or so to see if someone's left a message.
  • A land line. Living in his dead parents' house for now, the Loser is using the phone number he grew up with, a phone number that's fifty-five years old. It'd be hard to cancel that and one of his older brothers plans to transfer it to his phone when they sell the house next spring. There is an answering machine.
  • Internet access (duh). The Loser has this blog and another that is looked at even less than this one. He has an unconnected flickr page. No Facebook, no Twitter. He just doesn't see the attraction or even the point of either. 
  • He gets two weekly magazines and three monthly ones. 
  • He has cable, but watches only things on demand. Days pass when he doesn't even turn the TV on. 
  • He has had a Kindle since November of 2011 but has only bought three books. He's downloaded a few free ones, legally, thanks to gutenberg.org, which publishes digital books after their copyrights expire.
  • It is paradise for book lovers these days. He can get great books at library bookstores for no more than $3. He's found good ones with uncracked spines. One even still had the gift receipt in it.
That's all. And that's enough.
Hello? I'd like to report a wet diaper.

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