Monday, July 05, 2010

@ Not To Mention Twitter

I think technology is (mostly) more trouble than it's worth.

When you call me on my cell phone, very often it doesn't flash that I got a call (- this seems to be normal for Verizon/Samsung phones). So I dial in to my system as often as I think of it, but then I don't check in sometimes just when someone left a message and I miss it.

Then there's my home phone with built in answering machine and call waiting. There are two levels to the answering machine, the one that blinks to tell me you called and the one that's inside the phone system and is signaled by a broken dial tone. If I ignore a call waiting then I have to call a special number, put in a code, then press one to hear the message.

Of course calling and talking to someone is much less fun than sending a short cryptic word message, which is as good an explanation as any for the mad popularity of texting. I used to just say no to texting. But people texted me anyway and I opened them and I was paying the same as I'd pay if for a plan. So I got a plan. Now I text my texters, but they don't always get it, it's just how their phone works. And I've been sent texts with timely messages - like, "Shabbos lunch is off" (sent on Friday) - that took a day to go through.

I have five email addresses. I don't use five regularly. I sent out word that one of them is the one I no longer check (hotmail). If you lost track and send mail to that one I won't get it. Ever. I don't get Facebook email at work. You might not have my work email - it's really just for work (though plenty of people find me by checking the official website employee list) - and I check it often but not as often as my main two (gmail and mindspring).

I've joined the google revolution, so gmail is the best address to use to contact me. Yet email miscommunication happens - in part because even though I'm on line a lot, I am not on 24/7. I guess this is why some people carry a phone with email, but I'm not ready for that, although that might be The Answer.


Blogger Miriam L said...

My latest least-favorite technology is what has happened to television lately. Of course, lots of people don't bother with TV to begin with, but I've always had my favorites -- I like Frasier, enjoyed the recent series Parenthood. But with some ridiculous number of channels and constantly changing numbers, I can't really make TV work for me anymore, and I'm going back to books. Which isn't so bad.

July 6, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Yeah, I forgot to mention TV. I know of two singers with songs about there being so many channels. We're inundated with too much of everything. I don't have TV reception but the internet and DVDs ((remember those?) has made TV available to me in ways that make it not so true to say I don't watch TV.

You're smart to go with books. I just wish I could read/focus faster/better. I love reading. I'm picky though, still haven't gotten through the Bellow book you recommended way back...

July 6, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Anne D said...

Oy, the phones with email/Web capability. No, no! I'm not ready either. My Verizon contract would have let me get a Blackberry fairly cheap last fall. My husband is an enthusiastic user of one, and now our daughter as well. But, no! I won't do it. The Internet has its tentacles deep in me as it is. I don't need it following me everywhere I go. Do I? No!

Twitter: No again. Facebook updates work just fine. There is something egomaniacal about Twitter that turns me off.
Good topic, Neil.

July 6, 2010 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger Anne D said...

Oh, and I LOVE that cartoon! Smiling is good.

July 6, 2010 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Thanks Anne. It's an important topic and I have a seemingly endless amount to say on it. Thanks for your comments. We're on the same page. (Remember pages? Of paper? In odd collections - called books?)

July 7, 2010 at 4:29 AM  
Blogger Miriam L said...

And yet, I'm thinking of getting the Barnes & Noble "Nook" e-reader. For mainly two reasons -- I travel a lot and books are heavy (and often left behind on planes). And just about every tech publisher now offers free or very cheap e-books (PDF format) for download. So I can build my library of technical books without paying the usual very high prices. (And as I write that, I worry about the writers of these books. Are they making money when the publisher sells the e-book for $4.95?)

July 9, 2010 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger rabbi neil fleischmann said...

Good comment Miriam, thanks.

Writers don't generally make a lot of money, and it's getting worse.

I'd be worried about leaving the Book (or Ipad or whatever) on the plane. That's another thing about this technology, it's all so easily lost.

July 9, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

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