Gotta shake that always-connected vibe


I find myself in a familiar situation: music croons through my computer’s speakers, texts and calls signal my cell phone to vibrate and multiple tabs take refuge in my Internet browser.

The other night, my friend and I briefly discussed what causes people to act like they have attention deficit disorder, and we decided most people today are over-stimulated.

It’s true. It seems like everyone is in a race to see who can handle the most tasks at one time.

I reflected back to a “Freaks and Geeks” episode in which Jason Segel’s character busts out loud rock music, disrupting the Weir family’s quiet hour.

I thought about this over-stimulated feeling again when I noticed my Spinnaker co-workers bringing laptops and plopping them right in front of their office monitors.

I’ve been guilty of this, too, during my failed stint as a write-a-novel-in-one-month author in November.

Even then, I laughed at myself every time I switched between the two screens and every time my phone, which happened to never rest in the most convenient spot, enjoyed a vibrating frenzy.

I’m more than all for the constantly improving technology we’ve seen in the past 10-or-so years, but I’m beginning to wonder if all of this plugging in is degrading society.

How many years until I have to plug my brain in to a wall outlet because it told itself that buying something from a physical store “does not compute”?

I know a lot of people enjoy songs with vocal effects that make it sound like a robot is singing, but I think we are slowly becoming these robots we’re mimicking.

In my head, robots handle multiple tasks and require a charge and an occasional reboot.

We need technology to feel like we’re keeping up with the times, but I think we should draw a line somewhere.

Unfortunately, we’re so accustomed to this over-stimulated feeling, we can no longer identify it as over-stimulation.

And I’m not one of those must-own-every-single-gadget-ever people — I could write at length about my negative attitude toward e-readers.

But I’m finding that even with the electronic things I own, it’s becoming too much.

Most days I just want to leave my cell phone at home and not carry it around with me, but missing calls and not responding to texts have become such social offenses that I wonder what will be taboo in five years’ time.

So many people around campus stare into their smart-phone screens instead of paying attention to their surroundings or interrupt face-to-face conversations by responding to texts.

Although I’m guilty of both, I still think it’s curious how we detest only doing one thing at one time.

It used to be that listening to music, holding a conversation and writing a paper were three separate things.

Nowadays, people can handle all of these and more at once, partaking in this long battle of “But No, Really, I Am a Fantastic Multitasker.”

Who cares?

It used to be normal to only concern oneself with one thing at a time before pop media made it seem abnormal to not be listening to your mp3 player, reading your e-reader and playing with your smart phone at all hours of the day.

No wonder it takes longer to find someone who will hold a long, uninterrupted conversation than it took before I could even appreciate what a long, interrupted conversation was.

The solution to our society’s over-stimulation: be one of the people who doesn’t require a cell phone, computer or mp3 player.

The only thing about this, as I’ve been told in discussions dealing with why I despise e-readers, is that it makes me seem like someone who is not apt to change.

I’m apt to change, but if I have to plug my brain in before I go to sleep every night, then I will go ahead and say, “Please unplug me and shut me down.”