Like more and more people in this age, my day began by putting on a pot of coffee (at least that hasn’t changed) and making a beeline to my laptop. I first checked my emails, I had 68 (non-spam) this morning – a combination of news feeds, discussion updates that I’m following, a few notifications that people are following me on Twitter, three messages from my brother, one from our kid’s little league, one from a friend (an invitation to get together this weekend), and one “eReminder” that my car insurance bill will be automatically deducted from our checking account (just lovely, I already spent money today and I haven’t shaved yet). After that, I replied to the most pressing ones and then I logged onto my favorite news websites (for me it’s FoxNews & FoxSports) to find out what was happening in the world (always nice to know if World War III had begun or if my beloved YANKEES or RAIDERS have made a great trade – the YANKS just did, but I digress) …and all that before 5:30am! That’s been my morning ritual for the last few years, a marked difference from what it used to be just ten years ago, and totally alien to my ritual back in the prehistoric 20th century!
When I stopped to think about it, so much of my family’s existence is dependent on our eExistence (the “e” stands for electronic, to those few who may not know it). My wife orders our groceries via our supermarket’s website; our dentist, kids’ orthodontist, and our doctors all update us about our appointments via email. I pay all of our bills online and we order many other products (like our vitamins) online. In fact, my new career as a writer is almost completely dependent on the internet – my website, this blog and my social networking – and there’s more and more of a chance that my debut novel, THE FIRST SEAL-Year of the White Horse, will be released as an eBook (go figure). My family, wife and four sons even send calendar entries to each other updating us on our individual schedules via email …amazing stuff indeed, but here’s one irony:
I don’t even know my next door neighbor’s last name – I never speak to the man or his wife/significant other!
I know, not a biggie, but it still amazes me that I now have “friends” that I converse with regularly in 6 different countries (4 different continents) via email, message boards, and the occasional chat room (my wife and I attend Penn State and we have to use chat rooms for some of the classes), but I NEVER had a conversation with my next door neighbor …and I live here 8 years!
The PROS of our “eExistence” are obvious and manifold:
· Convenience of being notified, kept informed and connected to friends and acquaintances
· Almost infinite resources of data and information
· An increased awareness of the “world view” by taking part in the global community
· Ability to connect with like-minded people – people with which we share common beliefs, likes and interests
As you can see, I seem to be a proponent of our eExistence but I do recognize some CONS:
· Nothing can replace meeting people, speaking to people and spending time with people, face-to-face. One thing I’m sure will never be replaced is bending an arm with a friend at the local pub (thank you Father!) …ePubs just aren’t the same!
· TOO MUCH INFORMATION! Yes, there is such a thing – In one article alone, about the “5 best new gadgets for 2010” (yes, I’m a sucker for the “X best” lists), I spent over 2 hours of my life clicking on 16 links!!! Yikes …didn’t mean to do it, I just got carried away and the way things are (so convenient) it’s easy to waste your life away “CLICKING INSTEAD OF LIVING!”
All in all, I think our 21st century eExistence is a positive thing. I’ve been able to get back in contact with old friends and family, I’ve edified myself via the infinite online resources and I’m more connected than ever before to the “world village.”
You know what, now that I think of it, maybe I can “Google” to find out my next door neighbor’s last name! lol…
Where do you weigh in PRO or CON on our new eExistence? How is it intertwined with your everyday existence? Leave a comment and tell your thoughts …Thanks!
PLEASE NOTE: THIS WEBSITE IS THE PROPERTY OF GERARD DE MARIGNY/JARRYJORNO PUBLISHING (JRJN). SOLICITATIONS OF ANY KIND POSTED ON THIS SITE OTHER THAN ONES BY JRJN, OR LINKS TO OUTSIDE WEBSITES, OR ANY POSTINGS DEEMED OFFENSIVE ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED ON THIS WEBSITE AND WILL BE TAKEN DOWN AT THE DISCRETION OF JRJN.
Subscribe to Self-Pubber's Pub!
Best SelfPubber Sites
Dean Wesley Smith