The Dinosaur Ate My Smartphone

 

When did I become so dependent on technology?

 

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After I got erased and abandoned my electronic devices to a heap on the floor, I had to call people. On a landline. Told them I was goin’ old school.

A few days later, when I got the nerve to pick up my cell phone again, I realized that not only was my email still messed up, my texts weren’t working. I felt disoriented and isolated.

Which is completely ridiculous.

Let me give you a snapshot of my childhood.

No microwave. No CDs. No DVDs. A rotary dial house phone attached to the wall. Yeah, that’s right. You heard me. Attached to the wall. Do NOT get me started on apps and social media because there were no computers let alone cell phones. We had a pet Brontosaurus.

Point is, I grew up without technology. I didn’t even get a smartphone until I was 40 years old and I’ve become so attached to the stupid thing that if I lost it, I’d be crushed. Crushed, people.

After spending four decades without one, I’m utterly, hopelessly reliant on a device I received only two years ago.

How did this happen?

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

Do you feel like you’re too dependent on technology? Are you too attached to your smartphone, iPad, or tablet? (Just out of curiosity…did you grow up with or without technology?)

 

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I have a love/hate relationship with technology.

 

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And here’s one of the reasons why. (Just one of them, mind you.)

My email isn’t working. Poor me, right? And when I say “not working”, what I mean is that one minute my emails were there and, the next, they were gone. Every. Single. One.

Wiped clean.

Every email I have ever sent, received, saved, or flagged…erased. Every folder…empty.

Although I’ve gotten better about deleting unnecessary emails, there were well over 3,000 of them. Years’ worth.

Gone.

I use my email as a file folder. That thing was chock full of writing, receipts, ideas, blog posts, gift lists, links, photos, videos, personal correspondences, business emails, contacts, submissions, rejections, invoices…

Yes, I know. You shouldn’t keep that kind of info in your email. (Also, I rely solely on email notifications for blogs so, if I haven’t been to visit you, this is why.)

I’m embarrassed to admit it but I went through a sort of grieving process. Shock, denial, anger, upset, acceptance.

Or as close to “acceptance” as I could get: I unplugged.

Not out of need for a break but out of sheer, unadulterated anger. Which, I suppose, means I didn’t actually “accept” anything. Whatever. I piled every last device (including my phone) on the floor and threw a sheet over it. I couldn’t even look at the stuff.

There was some fear below the surface of that anger.

I’m still wary of touching any technology. I approach my laptop like it’s a time bomb.

Tick, tick, tick…

It’s unnerving. I’m paranoid about every “update” that pops up on any device. This whole thing really took me down. Set me back. Put me on edge. Brought me up short. (What other cliché can I fit in here?) I want to get into my regular online routine but I’m so damn nervous.

I’m afraid of what else could go missing. I have notes of all sorts just sitting on my phone and laptop. And now I’m waiting for something to go wrong. Waiting for technology to fail me again.

I looked around for my notepads, planners, and calendars and found they were incomplete at best. I had some appointments, meetings, dates, and deadlines written down but, really, not many. The pages were pretty bare. And I honestly couldn’t remember when I stopped writing in them regularly.

This has me seriously thinking about how much I store on electronic devices. And how much I need to distance myself from them.

 

Have you ever lost important documents, emails, or contact info? What did you do? (Dare I ask…how did you react?)

 

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Just an F.Y.I. to all of my lovely bloggy friends: I’m working on this. Will I get my “Happily Ever After”? I’ve never been a huge fan of those but, in this case, I’m hoping for it. Or at least a “Good Enough Ever After”.

 

Villain, Villain… Who’s Got the Villain?

 

 

When it comes to villains, I tend to get a bit philosophical.

Sorry, not talking about the rabbit hole reference or metaphysics.

When does the bad guy become the villain? When does a villain become a hero? Or an anti-hero? Does he ever? How do we decide who the villain is? And, one of my all-time favorite questions: When does a victim become a villain?

Aside from movies with characters like Darth Vader and Voldemort, Freddy Kruger and Norman Bates, how do we know who the “real” villain is?

We watch. We get pulled into the film. We feel.

I could argue President Snow isn’t the real villain in The Hunger Games but I’d get moldy plum tomatoes thrown at me so I’ll say he’s not the only one in those movies.

In The Matrix, the big bad is Agent Smith. (So says everyone.)

I beg to differ.

He just wants a life, poor bloke, and humans are kinda…gross. Can you blame him for wanting to rid the world of us? I jest.

However, we did create his kind. Isn’t it ultimately our responsibility he exists in the first place? It’s a stretch to blame us completely (and where’s the fun in that?) but he is a program, a machine, AI. And one, I might add, that’s just doing its job.

Agent Smith, a villain? Sure. But I think there’s a big bad baddie badder than him.

Cypher’s human, with a soul, and, presumably, a conscience yet chooses to murder all the humans who know and trust him.

He’s a bit too happy pulling the plug on his friends, to be honest. He’s creepily cheerful. Or cheerfully creepy. Whatever. *shudders* He makes a deal to do them in, without hesitation, in exchange for being plugged back into the Matrix to live out his life in ignorance (with a virtual steak and some serious cash). Bad? Definitely. Evil? Yes. Villain? Not sure. I think so but others might not agree.

Smith is obvious. Very clear in his intentions. He’s out to get these rebels who are trying to free mankind from enslavement.

Cypher is insidious. He hangs with the group. He lives, eats, sleeps, and, seemingly, works with them. Until we learn that he doesn’t. He’s planning to kill them and turn Morpheus over to the enemy. Basically, he’s a despicable, double-crossing, treacherous traitor.

Dante saves a special place in hell for traitors—the ninth circle (where the most wicked of the sinners reside).

I wouldn’t enjoy Smith popping up all over the place trying to kill me but, frankly, I’d rather see the knife coming, you know? Et tu, Brute?

What makes a villain? Their degree of evil or the conflict they create? Is a villain simply someone who stands in the way of the hero? If so, both Agent Smith and Cypher qualify. Not to mention all the minions (“Sentinels” in The Matrix). Which brings me to another point…

Sentinels? Stormtroopers? Death Eaters? Peacekeepers? Orcs? Are they villains? Must a character have intelligence or hold some sort of power (or all the power) in order to be considered a villain? So many questions, so little space.

I’ll leave you to ponder. Or perhaps just drop a rude comment below. No, please don’t do that. I’ll send my villainous minions after you. I have hundreds and they know where you blog.

 

Villain 2016 Banners

 

This post is part of The Great Villain Blogathon hosted by Speakeasy, Silver Screenings, and Shadows and Satin#Villains2016

Don’t miss my next installment of *cue music* VILLAINS2016! (I’ll link to it here after I post because I am but a feeble, non-techie human and do not have power yet over the Matrix.)

  • Special thanks to Silver Screenings for allowing me to get all philosophical with my entries. Seriously, thank you for letting me play. (Also, she made all the beautiful banners you’ll see around. *holds up ‘applause’ sign*)

 

For You on Mother’s Day

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Here…have an apple. Oh, and a lovely little story, too.

Visit Lemon Shark Reef here (yes, right here – just click right here) for some Mother’s Day fun.

Evil Stepmother Support Group

Because every mother deserves a comfortable place to complain about her kids. (And things aren’t always as they seem.)

Footloose and Fantasy-Free

 

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Most of the things I write have no genre.

I can’t query an agent that I’ve written a romance or horror, fantasy or historical fiction.

It’s tough to get your work looked at by anyone when you can’t explain what it is you’ve written. I can ramble on about the story but it’s easier to have a genre to pitch. At least initially.

Do not throw rotten tomatoes at me (you’ll only ruin your screen). I’m not saying it’s easy to get published, I’m saying it’s easier if you can categorize what you’ve written.

I wish my writing fit neatly into a specific genre.

The thing is, I write what I want and it’s not always tidy. Maybe my writing will become a new genre. And they’ll name it after me. And pigs will fly, hell will freeze over, and we’ll find out the moon really is made of cheese.

Working outside of known genres is risky but has a certain kind of freedom.

The freedom to fail. Sure, sure. That. But also to free fall. Which is exhilarating.

This could end with my parachute opening…or not.

Please, no betting in the comment section.

 

My Sunday thoughts in 200 words or less.

ThoughtBubble

 

Do you write in a specific genre? Do you have writing that doesn’t fit into any genre you know of? If so, do you find it difficult to pitch your story?