Sunday, January 11, 2015

Technological Purgatory

There is a "spirit" over this country that seems to be covering nearly every aspect of our interaction.  In using the term "spirit" I am in no way giving an excuse to the behavior we choose to demonstrate, nor the words that fly out of our mouths.  What I am saying is, America had the world wide reputation of being rude, years ago.  Now we've gone beyond rude, to aggressive and argumentative!  There have been a number of situations in the past week, I find myself "not fit for polite society," then discover our society is far from polite.  Anger management has been an issue for several years now!  I don't want to interact on a level that feels like it's dropped the standard.  Technology is adding to this aggression, I believe, as well as to difficulties in our ability to focus and possibly a host of other emotional imbalance.

Usually, I'm pretty calm in person, until I've had more than enough.  My kids and grandkids say I'm, "patient, patient, patient, patient . . . DONE!"  I've gotten better about not always telling someone what I think and simply finding true peace in letting them have the last word.  I'm sure it could be labeled as some sort of convoluted control game of a free spirit, but so be it.  I'm at peace with it, and I feel if I didn't initiate the interaction, I am free to discontinue my participation.  Somehow the Scriptural passage in Proverbs warning about answering a fool according to their folly . . .really resonates in my spirit, to just be quiet.  Not every person who disagrees with me is a fool, but I would really like to avoid making a fool of myself when the disagreement will obviously remain unresolved at the time.  I realize this is beginning to sound more like a sermon than a state of our nation observation.  The title of this article does give warning of religious overtones.

As technology increases, the "human experience," of course, is decreasing, and with that decrease is the decline of etiquette.  Social media is filled with memes and images depicting groups of people in the same room, obliviously looking at their phones.  Although I don't have a smart phone or even a cell phone for that matter, I do spend a great deal of my day in front of this screen writing, posting, and answering questions.  I have realized, although; I have made some genuine friendships and relationships, I enjoy the fact that I don't carry the internet with me.  I remember when I noticed one of my daughters and grandkids focus on their phones and texts.  It seemed their apps were more important than personal interaction.  As it turns out, they do have personal interactive social lives; it was just their way of letting me know where I stood.  Technology is still neither good nor bad in and of itself, but rather only reflects the user.

I had a wake up call the other day, or I should say I made a wake up call.  When I came online in August of 2001, my first ministry website was through yahoo.  As I gained my footing online and expanded the size of the website, I stayed with yahoo.  The first website was very simple, just a few pages with which I had help so it didn't require much tech support.  In preparing to move and change my information, wires were crossed and the website was eliminated.  I remember that moment the technician told me he could wipe out my site as soon as the call ended.  That was back in 2004 or 5, with day shift personnel.  Upon relocating, I continued with yahoo, as I understood their sitebuilder and a couple of the people on the night shift were awesome tech support.  I still remember Charles and Angela, fondly with much gratitude.  They could walk me through any technical question I had or dig me out of any disaster I'd made.  Sadly, I haven't spoken with Charles or Angela in many moons.

In my continuing patronage of yahoo, I apparently missed a memo . . .  I'm working on moving my domains to GoDaddy while maintaining my webhosting at yahoo.  Thinking I had deactivated my card that yahoo could "automatically hit," I had planned to move the domains when they neared expiration.  On my screen, my yahoo wallet showed my method of payment had expired.  However, much to my surprise; I soon discovered that was not the case on yahoo's side of the screen.  I called, had my incident number, etc. and the voice on the other end in billing sounded strangely similar to the last voice I'd heard in tech support when my page wouldn't publish.  It took awhile to put the pieces together, and sadly, my reaction to yahoo purgatory was less than exemplary.  I thought I was prayed up enough, but as it turns out, I can be pretty obnoxious without coarse language or yelling.

The prompts seem to be just a technological stall.  I've decided it's probably been researched and found to be similar to the techniques of "mental breaking down" used in other areas of our society.  The method of "hurry up and wait" is a phrase credited to the military, but also very clearly seen now in health care as well.  Who is ever seen by the doctor at scheduled time of the appointment?  Unlike the military where there is a pecking order, and unlike health care where one can simply get up and leave the over crowded waiting room, there is no resolution in tech support and auto pay.  All we can do is pray before making the call; stay on the line, follow the prompts, breathe deeply, and practice anger management.  

He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.  a Proverb of Holy Scripture

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