Monday, November 17, 2008

Just Don't Use It!

I don’t often use this column to express my personal gripes. After all, what do you care what I like or don’t like? The purpose of these weekly missives has and will continue to be to provide straight forward information about technology. Once in a while a personal gripe and some helpful technology hints come together. This is one of those times.

The proliferation of communication technologies over the past decade has been nothing short of extraordinary. Cell phones are everywhere. Some would say they surface in too many places. Email is now as much a part of the daily routine for the occupant of the college dorm room as it is at the retirement community.

For many people these tools are used wisely and effectively. However, there is a small group of people who drive me nuts, not because they use the technology too much but because they don’t use it.

For sure, I think everyone has the right to refuse to use email or a cell phone. Hey, this is the USA isn’t it. I respect these people, whatever their reasons might be. In fact, I applaud those who think a hand written note or a personal visit is better than a … “How r u? I b hm @ 5. lov j” email or instant message.

My gripe is that some people will tell you that they have email or a cell phone and give you the address or number. The presumption is that if they give you this information, they actually use it. WRONG!

A minority for sure, there are people who check their email once a month at the most. Others still haven’t figured out how to retrieve voice mail from their cell phone account. Again this is their prerogative. The problem is that the person who left the email or voice mail doesn’t know this. So that invite to dinner or the movies goes unanswered. The sender is in a quandary as to whether they are being ignored or forgotten.

My suggestion is that there is no reason to feel compelled to use these technologies. No one will feel that you are less intelligent or un-American. When someone asks if you have email or a cell, just say no!

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