Mrs. N. is a bit of an antique.
As of this writing Mrs. N. has never spoken to anyone on a cell phone. She doesn’t own one because she has never found herself in a position where she had to, let alone “wanted” to. As a result of this she finds herself in a somewhat unique position to comment on the cultural ramifications of instantaneous communication, and those who indulge in the throughly modern phenomena of being “plugged in” to the world throughout their waking hours.
As the years have passed, from the first bulky, and, by todays standards primitive cell phones to the mini-computer-camera-phones that are today ubiquitous I have observed the transformation of my fellow human beings. Needless to say I’m not on Facebook. My fear of being spied upon by my, or any other government, is approximately zilch. Other than this poorly written and utterly inoffensive page you see before you Mrs. N. is as devoid of opinions as a cabbage. “My country tis of thee sweet Land of Liberty..” A threat to no one and the kind who enjoys nothing more than a day in the contemplative company of… you know who.
Mrs. N. remains, as she always has been, an “innie” rather than an “outie”. She prefers, on almost all occasions, what she finds going on INSIDE her head than what she observes going on OUTSIDE. She is unmoved by the meticulous “billboards of my life” almost every other human being she knows has constructed in, or on, what has come to be known as the “social media”. She isn’t anti-social by any means. She merely prefers to not know 99% of what the rest of humanity erroneously seems to feel she is dyeing to know. She doesn’t buzz, beep, vibrate or play a silly song. Messages cannot be left for her. She will not return your call.
As these years of electronic “plugged-in-ness” have passed we have observed our fellow human beings disengaging from what we like to think of as sustained interpersonal human relations… more and more. Eye to eye, face to face uninterrupted concentration on the person you are physically with has become almost nonexistent. Mrs. N. finds that for most the incoming call, tweet, or text message is irresistible, no matter WHAT the time, place or situation. The “new” must not be kept waiting. Nothing can be missed. The “need” to know proves as addictive as heroin.
Mrs. N. is saddened to think about where this is all going. She regrets to inform the reader that, no, she is not a multi-tasker. On the contrary she is a “Uni-Tasker” with a different monkey on her back. Her habit of choice is something called “sterpulation”. It makes pure heroin look like child’s play.
Don’t waste your time looking up “sterpulation” in the dictionary. It isn’t there yet. It’s an obscure word from a little know language, spoken by one. It means calmly rolling things over in your mind. [ster-pu-lation.. (the act of sterpulating)]
Beeps, rings, buzzers, vibrations and unsolicited arrival of unrequested information are, for poor Old Mrs. N., what is commonly known as a complete BUZZ-KILL …(Something that spoils or ruins an otherwise enjoyable event, esp. when in relation to ruining a drunken or drug-induced high.)… She enjoys it as much as she would anticipate enjoying a good case of smallpox… or, a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
This particular and highly peculiar situation can, at times, make Mrs. N’s day problematic. As she ages she finds herself less and less tolerant of her fellow human beings.. On more and more levels. In point of fact she has begun to experience most of them as outright aliens. This is indeed unfortunate, but, as luck would have it… curious. Curious enough, if you must know, to keep the Old Girl interested in this breathing in and breathing out again business. If for no other reason than to just… see what happens.
Mrs. N. expects nothing good to come of all this perpetual interconnectedness. It’s a little secret of her’s. Expect nothing good and you are rarely disappointed.