Finding Spare Time To Update The Virtual Me


I got up this morning at 5:30 a.m. for one reason and one reason only — my virtual presence needed some attention. My Facebook page still featured the same old face and no current updates… my shop’s web page featured Halloween items, but they were last year’s… and all my various cameras were jam-packed with months-old photos that needed to be downloaded somewhere before I exhausted their little memories.

This happened because ever since getting my smart phone, I have been neglecting my computer. It is simply too easy to use my phone to snap a photo and send it to someone, check my e-mail and reply, or use an app to plan my evening.
I never planned to become this person. In fact, I never would have stepped a toe into the 21st century without being prodded by the generation coming up behind me. But that is how progress happens. You’re shoved into it by the very children you spawned or they run right over you.

Of course, it’s still a choice. I do know people who are proud to have shunned technology. My mother and… and the Amish, for instance. Often, I look at these people with envy for their simple lifestyles. My mother cooks three meals a day, grows fabulous tomatoes in her garden, goes to the Y to exercise three times a week and is a pillar of her church. She has it all together.

And the Amish, for all their Puritanical ways, are finding ways to use computers without actually using them. They hire people. Because they, like the rest of us, have to keep their businesses running. Those hand-woven baskets aren’t going to sell themselves.

So, for 30 seconds each week, I consider becoming more like my mother (or the Amish). But then someone texts me to meet them at such-and-such a place for a drink — they’ll only be there another 45 minutes — and I’m off. No tomatoes. No hand-woven baskets. Just a good time with a good friend, as evidenced by the photos I took with the camera in my phone. The photos that are still in there for no one but me to see.

So this morning (just to catch up), I updated my four Facebook pages (one personal, three for business), checked out my web page (still needs work) and downloaded 300 photographs to Picasa, a computer-based photo organizing system that does everything I need and then some. If I had half a day to doodle around with Picasa, I could probably learn to create full-length movies with

French subtitles.

But I will never have half a day.

A full day to myself is simply laughable. After all, it took me two hours just to accomplish what I did. My life’s dream is to someday have enough time to read a magazine, but not just any magazine — a paper magazine, the kind that you hold in your hands and pass on to someone else when you’re finished. The kind with recipes you clip and pages you dog-ear and ideas you file away in a folder for later.

Reading a magazine. That would be heaven.