Eddie’s Take on Technology
by Robert J. Wetherall
Despite its pervasiveness in our lives, the little E is still in its infancy. In twenty years, we’ll wonder how we put up with such a complicated, unpredictable, frustrating amalgam of computers and clouds as the Internet exists today. My good friend, Eddie Salinski, celebrated writer and welder, weighed in on this very subject while picking dandelion greens near his trailer last weekend.
“Think of the Internet and all its trimmings as a wee little babe,” Eddie told me. “Cute and cuddly as all get out, but blessed with all kinds of baby baggage: Smiling at you one moment and then burping and spitting up the next. Lulling you with that adorable baby Winston Churchill smile, until you discover it’s just passing gas. That’s the eWorld in a nutshell.”
Eddie tromped through his garden in knee-high mudders, with a kettle wrapped in his left arm. “It’s just beginning to crawl, and we’re still naively intrigued with the newness of it all. Horror of horrors, should we get left behind. So we’re texting, twitting (or is it tweeting?), blogging, liking, posting, and poking like crazy. And making sure that we’re grabbing our share of space on a zillion sites that immerse us in whole universes full of information and nonsense.”
Eddie paused to swat at a horsefly the size of a Kindle that was circling his thin gawky neck. “Now, don’t get me wrong. I think all this eCommotion is great,” he continued. “I do all of my writing on a laptop these days, but sometimes I miss the simplicity of pencil and yellow legal pad, or my old Remington and Wite-Out. Things were slower then, and it seems I had more time to actually think about what I was writing, rather than just slamming it into the magic box. But I think I’m maturing a bit, too.”
“How so?” I asked as he grabbed a swatch of greens and put them into a kettle.
“I’m cutting down on my eStuff a bit: First off, I quit Facebook and Twitter. That saves me a ton of time better spent writing or just lying on my backside and smelling the flowers. I’m not texting any more, either. I mean, who cares that I ran out of vanilla while mixing up a cake this morning? All those giddy gadgets work for some folks, but as for me, they have a strictly limited place in my little world.”
Eddie picked up his kettle of greens and headed for his trailer. “Join me for chow?” he asked as I followed at his heels. “I’ve got a big chunk of ham and some spuds to go along with these greens.”
“So you’re not tossing out your laptop?” I asked as we entered his modest dwelling.
“Not on your life,” Eddie said. “The Little E has its place. I’m just going to enjoy it in a bit more moderation. When it’s all grown up, I might jump in a bit deeper.”
As I drove home later, I pondered Eddie’s words. My stomach happily rumbled with the remains of dinner, and I made myself a promise. Eddie’s birthday was just a few months off. When the great day arrived, I’d present him with a new iPad.