A pox on time-saving devices, that’s what I say!

I’m sure my great grandmother would agree, if I could ask her!

But let’s look at life right now. Let’s look back to 1982 when I was ‘banging’ out feature articles on a portable, manual typewriter (with carbon paper for copies) and driving the package down to send it on the bus to my Toronto editors.

Fast forward to 1985 when I was struggling with the time-saving computer. No carbon paper, as the dot matrix printer jolted along making as many copies as I needed. And fast on its heels (does a computer have heels?) was the fax machine. No more trips to the bus. Much happier editor.

Now, here’s where the pox comes in. If I don’t have to use an eraser (on four sheets and carbon); if I don’t have to drive down to the bus, then I should have more time.

Shouldn’t I?

You know where this is going, don’t you?

So, we move along through the 90’s when the @ sign begins to rear its little head and email takes on mammoth significance. Gone are the postal code books. Gone are the stamps that have to be licked. In fact, gone are the 32-cent stamps. Gone are handwritten letters on lovely paper with handwritten envelopes. Front and centre are Avery labels, easy to do once you have the nervous breakdown and learn how to work the computer software, and “find” your document that’s completely disappeared! And unjam the roller in your laser printer that is now covered with the sticky label!

My point is, now that we’re NOT doing all these time-consuming things, what ARE we doing?

I have no more time than I did when I lived a manual, rather than a digital, life.

And this week I sure learned that as the operating system of my computer took a hike, froze my icon on my desktop and basically put me out of business.

It was like losing my legs! (figuratively speaking. Of course it wasn’t that traumatic, but it sure felt like it!)

So, I trundled the little devil over to the best computer support person I could ever have. I mean, who else would stop in the middle of mowing his lawn to deal with my sad face and my sadder [?] computer.

So... Monday night. Tuesday. All day. Tuesday evening. I took minutes at a meeting BY HAND. Wednesday all day. And then the happy call that it was ready, in time to set up for a training session and take several pages of notes.

Ah, back to the land of time-saving devices.

And home to the family, flipping open the laptop and sitting down to ‘catch up’.

Well, my little, newly repaired time-saver walloped me with 147 emails! And at least 47 of them were junk.

Now, as I breeze through these missives, I guess it’s quicker than taking the letter opener, slicing the envelopes open, withdrawing the paper and reading the notes. I guess it’s quicker.

But somehow, it doesn’t feel quicker. It feels desperate, but not quicker. And I don’t have any more time!

How ‘bout you?

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