phone-related commercials + rant

First, there's the Sprint Unlimited commercial.  They feed you lines about how human experience is spectacular, and why would you cap that?  Your phone can capture the entire gallery of humanity, the narrator says, and he needs to upload all of it.  Then he says "I have the need--no, I have the right to be unlimited."

No, actually, you don't have the right to an unlimited cell phone plan.   You aren't entitled to anything when it comes to that type of discretionary technology.  You don't even have the right to read technical papers that your tax payer money has funded.  And it's great that your phone can capture everything (which I'm not so sure about, but let's run with it), however, unless you're working on a documentary, you should probably live your life rather than record it all.

Then, we have the Droid DNA ad, showing a man's blood, DNA, and neurons being taken over by his cell phone.  It culminates in the line: "It's not an upgrade to your phone, it's an upgrade to yourself."

No, no, it's not.  Frankly, being obsessed with using your phone might downgrade you as a person.  My question is: why is texting or browsing the web in the social context even okay to begin with?  You wouldn't take a non-urgent phone call in the middle of a conversation with another person, nor would you open up a newspaper in the middle of a class.  Why are people so rude?

Etiquette aside, why are we obsessed with the online world?  Why do people have the patience to use Pinterest regularly?  How do people the have the endurance to tweet or check for Facebook updates continually?  To me, so much of it feels like noise that's getting in the way of the things that I really care about.

I love the internet.  I love being able to look things up, sync my files, and blog.  But I have no desire to be constantly plugged into the online world. I have no desire for a smartphone. I love making things more than reading about making things. I love working uninterrupted. I love paper maps, even though I can get terribly lost. Getting lost is half the fun.

So while the age threshold for people with nicer phones than me drops into the tweens, I'm declaring my right to limit myself.  I don't need unlimited online access, and I'm more productive, learn more, and am more engaged with the world without it.


finding peace

Here I am thinking that 2013 is still so young, and yet it's almost February.  My plate is piled high with all sorts of things, possibly the highest it's ever been.  The semester has been ramping up, and things will continue to be busy until the summer...a five month long Thanksgiving dinner, you could say.  I go half mad when I'm not busy, so in some ways, this is a good thing.

Not totally unrelatedly, of late I've been thinking about how we find personal peace.  I was reading Ask Mormon Girl, this post in particular, and was thinking about how folks deal with personal problems.  Generally, we face two facets of any problem: how to find personal peace, and how to act.  While they are somewhat dependent on each other, I think that we can tease them apart more often than we actually do.  In doing so, I think we'll come to solutions faster.

For some problems, finding peace is surprisingly easier than coming up with a full-blown plan of action.  Then, once you're at peace, the problem matters less and thus the particular course of action isn't so important.

At church, I was recently called to work with the young women, ages 14 and 15.  Two weeks ago, I challenged them to identify negative emotions (anger, fear, jealousy, etc.) that they felt throughout the week, acknowledge that they didn't want to feel that way, and then to pray for peace and comfort.  I was thoroughly surprised when they reported back this past Sunday having succeeded in replacing anger with peace.  (Though I should have had more faith in them.)

I'm going to need to stay centered this semester, keeping my own peace at some pretty high levels.  My plan of action?  Prayer, meditation, exercise, and reading good books.  And, you know, doing my actual work.  Wish me luck!