I hate telephones. I really hate cell phones. And I also have grown to despise blogs.
Now, I can explain why.
Ok, Ok, these wonders of technology are not the tools of the devil. I certainly do overstate my case very often. (It's called hyperbole, and it should be #14 on my list of improper online speech) I do have a telephone, a cell phone (it's prepaid), and a blog (duh). So it's not the tools themselves that I hate. It is the improper use of these tools that make me ill. Allow me to explain why these communication devices are pernicious influences on you and me.
When we use telephones, cell phones, and blogs, we are often using them to communicate with people we already know. These established relationships are maintained through the contact these tools provide. Phones and cell phones are great because they make "keeping in touch" more convenient. Cell phones make it ridiculously easy to call somebody literally anytime. They have a cell, you have a cell. You can call while standing in line, walking home from class, stuck in traffic, etc. And this is precisely where the problem begins.
On the one hand, all I need to do to talk to you is pull the phone out of my pocket. How nice. On the other had, all I need to do to talk to you is pull the phone out of my pocket. How incidental. I don't need to go out of my way to make contact. I don't need to set aside time out of my otherwise busy day. If you are not there, it's no big deal. If you don't call me back, I am not waiting by the phone anyway. I am just doing what I was already doing. Our personal contact was not anything important. It was merely incidental to who I am and what I am already doing.
I recently realized that blogs also make our online contact incidental to who we are as persons. Instead of actually going out of my way to contact you, to speak directly to you and hear from you in return, I can just blog whatever I am thinking about. If you happen to stumble across it, you and I renew our incidental relationship. I blog when I want, and you read when you want. Nothing essential to our lives is taking place here. It's all incidental.
Human beings are not things that have relationships. Humans are those relationships. We are defined by our human relationships. There is no "me" without my wife, mother and father, siblings, other family members, and friends, even colleagues. When we think there is a "me" that stands above these defining relationships, we are in for trouble. The last thing I need is encouragement to make contact with the people most important to me seem "incidental" to what "I" was doing. So, that is why I do not carry a cell phone.
What do I do now with this blog?