How to Determine if Technology
Has Taken Over Your Life
- Your stationery is more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address
book. The letterhead lists a fax number, three e-mail addresses, and
your Web site URL. In essence, you have conceded that the first page of
any letter you write *is* letterhead.
- You can no longer sit through an entire movie without having at
least one device on your body beep or buzz.
- You need to fill out a form that must be typewritten, but you
can't because there isn't one typewriter in your house -- only computers
with laser printers.
- You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends,"
but you forget to send your father a birthday card.
- You disdain people who use low Baud rates.
- When you go into a computer store, you eavesdrop on a salesperson
talking with customers -- and you butt in to correct him and spend the
next twenty minutes answering the customers' questions, while the
salesperson stands by silently, nodding his head.
- You use the phrase "digital compression" in a
conversation without thinking how strange your mouth feels when you say
- You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say
the phrase "digital compression." Everyone understands what
you mean, and you are not surprised or disappointed that you don't have
to explain it.
- You know Bill Gates' e-mail address, but you have to look up your
own social security number.
- You stop saying "phone number" and replace it with
"voice number," since we all know the majority of phone lines
in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other
- You sign Christmas cards by putting :-) next to your signature.
- Off the top of your head, you can think of nineteen keystroke
symbols that are far more clever than J.
- You back up your data every day, and keep more than one copy.
- You think jokes about being unable to program a VCR are stupid.
- On vacation, you are reading a computer manual and turning the
pages faster than everyone else who is reading John Grisham novels.
- The thought that a CD could refer to finance or music rarely
enters your mind.
- You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot's phrase
"electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term
"information superhighway," but you don't because, after all,
the man still uses hand-drawn pie charts.
- You know the URL's of all your favorite Web sites, and that your
memo files are in "C:\PROGRAM
FILES\MSOFFICE\WINWORD\DOCUMENTS\MEMO\". But you cannot give
someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.
- You would rather get more dots per inch than miles per gallon.
- You become upset when a person calls you on the phone to sell you
something, but you think it's okay for a computer to call and demand
that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more
information about the product it is selling.
- You know without a doubt that disks come in five-and-a-quarter
and three-and-a-half-inch sizes.
- Al Gore strikes you as an "intriguing" fellow.
- You own a set of itty-bitty screw-drivers and you actually know
where they are.
- While contemporaries swap stories about their recent hernia
surgeries, you compare mouse-induced index-finger strain with a
- You are so knowledgeable about technology that you feel secure
enough to say "I don't know" when someone asks you a
technology question instead of feeling compelled to make something up.
- You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your
- You have a functioning home copier machine, but your toaster
turns bread into charcoal.
- You have ended friendships because of "IBM vs. Mac"
- You email this message to your friends over the net. You'd never
get around to showing it to them in person or reading it to them on the
phone. In fact, you have probably never met most of these people
- You understand all the jokes in this message. If so, my friend,
technology has taken over your life. We suggest, for your own good, that
you go lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.
(Putting this on your website probably also counts ;-)