Who Made Who?

“Video games she play me
Face it on the level but it take you every time on a one on one
Feel it runnin’ down your spine
Nothin’ gonna save your one last dime
’cause it own you
Through and through”

In 1986, Stephen King adapted his short story, Trucks, into a B grade movie called Maximum Overdrive. It only rated 2 1/2 out of 5 star and it was one of the 7,000 movies Emilio Estevez starred in during the great 80’s.  Although it didn’t get great ratings, I loved it.  SPOILER ALERT:  How cool would it be to fight all our motorized and electric appliances that had been possessed by aliens?  It would make the zombie apocalypse look like a day at the spa.  What was even better than the movie was the hard rockin’ sound of AC/DC belting out a killer soundtrack.  Ahhh…the ’80s!  (I do NOT miss them…maybe the hair…)

IMDB labels the movie as American action-disaster-horror-science fiction film.  Note the word “FICTION”

“The data bank know my number
Says I gotta pay
’cause I made the grade last year
Feel it when I turn the screw
Kick you round the world
There ain’t a thing that it can’t do
Do to you, yeah”

I was at lunch yesterday with my step-son (after church boys day out), and was in the middle of sending a text to my daughter when our food arrived.  I said “just a sec” and kept on pecking away.  He cleared his throat, once, twice, then asked me politely to look at him.  He was waiting to say the blessing.  WOW…did I feel like a horses behind!  So I put my phone on airplane mode (easier that cycling off and on), and we prayed.  I spent the rest of lunch fully engaged with him and we laughed and cut up.  All my kids are AWESOME!

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As we left the restaurant, I really looked around.  It amazed me at the number of people with their heads down, completely absorbed in their smart phones.  Entire families were heads down stumbling through the shopping plaza.  

“Who made who, who made you
Who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who, who made you
If you made them and they made you
Who pick up the bill and who made who
Who made who
Who turned the screw
Yeah”

 

It’s not fiction, people.  Technology now OWNS us.  We really have built our own “prisons of the mind”.  Technology is a fabulous thing that was suppose to make our lives better. (I’m still waiting on the hover car).  Instead we’ve become a slave to convenience.  I’m the first one to admit I’m guilty of this.  Saturday night, I’m watching a movie with my wife, and I keep refreshing ESPN.com on my phone to get the latest score.  I “sacrificed” football to watch a movie with her, but did I really sacrifice?  

I’m carrying my phone in my hand 18 hours a day to make sure I don’t miss an email from my boss.  I can’t even have lunch with a 10 year old, uninterrupted by the call of instant access to everyone and EVERYTHING!

The question is, what do we do about it?

“Satellite send me picture
Get it in the eye
Take it to the wire
Spinnin’ like a dynamo
Feel it goin’ round and round
Runnin’ outta chips
You got no line in an eight bit town
So don’t look down, no”

It’s easy to say, just unplug!  It’s like telling an overweight person, just eat less, or an alcoholic, don’t drink any more.  It’s not simple.  The demon was insidious, slowly creeping on us over the last few years.  Invasion of the Body Snatchers has NOTHING on iOS!   If I even forget my phone, even for a quick run to the store to get gas for the mower, I get twitchy and start feeling phantom vibrations on my hip.  When I do a training run, I do it with my phone in my hand.  It’s flat out an addiction.  

“Who made who, who made you
Who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who, who made you
If you made them and they made you
Who pick up the bill and who made who
Ain’t nobody told you
Who made who
Who made you
Who made who
Who made who
Yeah
Nobody told you”

Getting emails 24/7 was suppose to HELP us, not dominate us.   And it’s getting worse.  Now we have smart glasses and smart watches.  Pretty soon I’ll be getting a pair of smart underwear with 25 distinctive notification sounds.  

My generation remembers a life without “smart” technology.  I got my first computer as a senior in high school…TRASH 80.  (who remembers that one?).  But my kids have never known a life without being connected to the information grid.  They’ve never touched an encyclopedia.  

But I have hope.

I asked my lunch partner yesterday, who has more than his share of gadgets, how he is able to avoid the temptation of his games while we are out.

He said he loves spending time with me more than playing Minecraft.  Ouch!

I think I’ll just take a(nother) lesson from a 10 year old.  

 

*Lyrics from AC/DC “Who Made Who” – Writer(s): Brian Johnson, Malcolm Mitchell Young, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Angus Mckinnon Young

Copyright: J Albert And Son Pty Ltd.

 

 

 

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