Aug 102016
 

You gotta love modern technology.

We can do things today that I only read about in science fiction novels or viewed in science fiction movies and television shows when I was growing up.

Take the smart phone for example. It’s a telephone, television, and computer all in one–and it talks. It’s Star Trek tech for real in the palm of your hand. You can take it with you wherever you go and use it just about wherever you are. Along with its larger sibling the smart tablet and its mother the notebook computer, it allows you to telecommute. You can be on the job without being at work. Case in point, a family reunion out of state this past weekend during which Firstborn and I turned our cars into mobile offices.

Mobile Office 1

Firstborn had business calls to make and a WebEx online meeting to attend on travel day. While his wife was driving the family van, he was in the back seat with his iPhone, iPad, and a set of headphones, conducting business on Verizon’s 4G network.

I had business to conduct too. I hadn’t yet written my president’s message for the Chapter’s August newsletter. When we arrived at our Younger Son’s home to meet up and caravan to the reunion, I dashed off the message on my iPad at his kitchen table while we waited for The Princess to return from her guitar lesson that morning.

No sooner had Macho Guy and I pulled into our hotel parking lot than I had problems to troubleshoot as president of our local RWA chapter. A prospective member became upset with our chapter over a rule prohibiting non-members from attending chapter meetings imposed on affiliated chapters by our parent organization. She posted unflattering comments about the chapter–not being friendly, among other things. I responded to her, explaining the situation, and resolved the misunderstanding on my iPhone while shuttling between reunion events.

No sooner had I cleared that hurdle when I received an email resignation from a member of our Board of Directors. I was short an officer and had to find a replacement to appoint. I got on my iPhone and informed the rest of the Board via email, also while riding back and forth from one reunion activity to another.

The other Board members and I had the same person in mind to appoint. It was up to me to persuade her to accept. I figured I had an ace in the hole because a few years earlier, she was president and asked me to fill an unexpired term on her Board. I contacted her via email and reminded her in a less than subtle bit of arm-twisting. As it turned out, she was happy to serve and didn’t need her arm twisted after all. That came as a relief. (She’s bigger than I am, and I’m not sure I could take her in an arm-twisting match.) I then emailed the rest of the Board to get their official approval. Another problem solved.

You gotta hate modern technology.

While I am impressed by the technological advances that allowed Firstborn and me to accomplish what we did on the reunion trip, I have my reservations about the whole thing. We’ve become addicted to our electronic devices. We’re always connected in one way or another by our tech gadgets. It’s almost impossible for us to get away from each other for a bit of respite. “Me Time” has become an endangered species. Worse yet, it appears that these wonderful innovations have made it impossible for us to take a break from work because we carry our offices with us wherever we go, and that is the cruelest mobile cut of all.

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