Where does the time go these days? Have you noticed that you’re busier than you’ve ever been but never seem to get much done? And despite all that, you’re sleeping less, and always have a nagging feeling that there’s something you’re forgetting? Welcome to the modern world!
What’s going on? No matter how hard I work I still go to bed at all hours with many the task still incomplete.
It has to be computers, Internet, smart phones and all the other agents of benign digitalia. The fact is - I’m so hooked up and ahead of myself, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
You know where I’m writing this? Somewhere out over the Caribbean. I woke up in a sweat a few minutes ago on a plane to Barbados dreaming about Ray O’Hanlon, the editor of this newspaper.
Now, not to worry Mrs. O’Hanlon, it was all quite chaste. But your husband was frowning at me – and, as you know, Ray is a very affable and understanding man. So, I thought to myself, “Jeez, I must have forgotten the column.”
Instead of ordering another beer and ogling the latest Beyonce video like any self-respecting rock ‘n’ roller, I guiltily grabbed my laptop and began tapping out this missive from a mile high.
Now, wouldn’t you know it, while grabbing the laptop I dropped my iPhone and iPad, and panicked that both might not be charged for this 4 hours plus jaunt with Jet Blue. Time, after all, is money nowadays.
It was then I had my Eureka moment – too many gadgets, too many apps, too many calls on my time!
And I don’t even text that much. Much to the chagrin of those around me, my text alert is switched off.
“What’s the point in getting texts if you don’t know they’re there?” This is a question often fired at me.
Perhaps it’s self-preservation – since the vast majority of my texts demand accusingly, “Where are you?”
Now be honest with yourself, when was the last time you got a bit of good news in a text?
Well, I have to admit there was a recent one I received that read, “Mary had a 7 lb baby boy!!!” However, that was followed by four others demanding in increasingly graphic terms, “Where the hell are you?”
Where was I, indeed? I was indulging in my latest crusade – Phone Free Fridays. Yeah, just take your eyes off me for five seconds on the best day of the week, and I’m out that door, cruising up Broadway with the damned iPhone forced to fend for itself amidst the detritus of my cluttered desk.
Granted, I felt very guilty about these unaccompanied walks at first. But I did reason with myself that Mary was unlikely to have another seven pounder for at least fifteen months – and knowing Mary it will probably be longer since she’ll spend so much time in the gym getting slim again, she’ll be fast asleep every night before her geeky husband clambers in next to her, worrying about what he’s forgetting.
And that’s the problem nowadays. We’re always turned on, plugged in, hooked up – and in all the wrong ways! Right now the plane is hopping around like a herring on the griddle-oh, and still I write on for fear this column is due.
Back in the late lamented 20th Century, before digitalia enslaved us, I’d be so looped on shots and beers I’d be either humming Buddy Holly songs or passed out and dreaming of something a lot more delectable than Ray O’Hanlon.
What’s the solution? Retire to the Dingle Peninsula and put up a “Gone Fishing” sign on my Beehive hut? Nah, I’d never hack the wet winters.
How about only checking texts and emails three times a day. No way, think of all I might be missing!
Still, would the world be a much worse place if we didn’t know the latest Kardashian tidbit or Manchester United disappointment? And even Mary’s news wasn’t any less joyful for hearing it in the evening than the afternoon.
So, here’s to Phone Free Fridays! Pass the rum and coke, fine girl you are, Beyonce! Barbados here I come!