Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Electric

To my son Tommy,

In today's world we have tons of gadgets and gizmos supposedly to make our life better.  Smart phones and tablets and netbooks and notebooks and all types of toys are ever present in our lives.  Some would agree that they do help and make our life better while others are a little more reserved or resistant.  No matter your stance though, if you have one of these items, you have to charge the darned thing.  We have become nomads wandering the desert of our world in search for that oasis of an electrical outlet.  You can't plan any trip without thinking about where or how you are going to power up.  It is not one long journey but a series of journeys from outlet to outlet.  With some devices (such as my company phone it seems) they have decided that your trip between outlets should be no more than three hours if you plan on using it.  If you don't plan on using it, it can most likely achieve the advertised battery life.

So with these devices you have to be diligent about plugging in.  Just one more thing to add to your daily routine.  When I walk in the house, I give you a hug, yell hello to Mommy who is usually upstairs studying, put keys and wallet in one drawer and go plug in my phone, which at this time is usually complaining about low battery life and asking me which features to turn off to conserve.  So for all the good or bad a smart phone can bring, it does bring another thing to do in your life's crowded to-do list.  The search for an outlet might end up adjusting manners and decorum.  You greet a visitor at the door, "May I take your jacket? Have a seat.  May I interest you in something to drink?  Water? Tea?  Need an outlet to charge up?"  That exchange is destined to be commonplace.

Having your electronics charged is becoming a sign of a well organized person.  If you are constantly forgetting and thus constantly running out of battery, you end up looking like a putz.  Of course from time to time you can use this as an out.  "Oh sorry I missed your phone call, my phone battery died." Using this excuse occasionally seems to be fine, but don't rely on that too much though.

Hopefully by the time you read this, they will have extended batteries that last months on end and recharge as you walk or talk or by solar or wind or some other way.  I heard on the news the other day they figured out how to charge and run pacemakers with the electricity from the heart itself rather than a battery that requires surgery to change.  If they can do that, maybe they can learn to charge a phone with sound waves generated as you talk.  I can picture your old man talking baby talk to his smart phone "Come on sweetie, come on charge for daddy".  Maybe some day.  I can only imagine and dream of a world where every night we don't have to plug in to recharge.  We can then spend the extra time and thought power on plugging into our family and recharging our soul.

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