Technology Phobia or Frustration? I Miss Analog

Sometimes I really hate technology. OK. Maybe you think I'm an old fuddy-duddy, but technological changes really get me steaming sometimes. I'm no technophobe, but lately, it seems that just as soon as I learn the new updates to some software, they go and makes changes on me and I either have to update again, or buy fresh and start over.

Shortly after I finally make that decision to plop down a huge amount of cash on that latest camcorder, they go throw format changes on me, and my new camera won't play nice with my old editing program. Analog seemed to be an easier technology to merge seamlessly with programs an devices. Formats. Codecs. CCD. CMOS. 64-Bit processing. Progressive. Interlace. MPEG-2. DivX. AVCHD. Digital Video Architecture.

To paraphrase Rodney King – can't they all just get along?

A weekend project turns into a month long technology nightmare when updates are necessary, downloads won't work, and manuals have to be read – it's exasperating! With analog, I never had to thoroughly read a manual in my life.. they often don't make sense anyway!

A new DVD player won't play old discs… a point-five update wants new drivers installed… last year's upgraded timeline isn't recognized by this year's newer upgrade… it's enough to want to call it quits and go back to film. You know… processing, doing the f-stop vs. shutter speed math in your head… waving a light-meter around and knowing through it the perfect "sweet" spot to get that deep depth of field the digital world so badly hungers for.

I really miss the technology days of olde. Analog – you were so compatible. So easy. So perfect in so many ways.

Yesterday I read about a "new" illness facing our modern times "Nomophobia." According to the Morningside Recovery center, a center for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, Nomophobia (no-mobile-no-phone) is the fear of being without mobile technology. The report says that 2/3 of the population suffers from this phobia which they say is the fear of losing or being without your mobile phone. According to their report, as new mobile devices and technology hit the market, Nomophobia is increasing, and up 13% from a couple of years ago. Really. Well, I know a lot of people to whom texting seems to be an obsessive compulsive disorder, but I didn't know there are phobics afraid to be without their mobile devices.

I'm not a nomophobe, but I sometimes miss the old days when your telephone was connected to a 10-foot cord in your kitchen, and if it rang when you were home – you answered it. If you weren't home – you didn't need to worry about it, and you got on with the usual day's events without this constant need to stay connected. Just another reason technology has not freed us, it has chained us even more.

I've got TV shows recorded to watch later; I'm saving programs that need to be deleted that I want to re-visit; email correspondence I can't keep up with, music I want but haven't yet downloaded; digital coupons I need to print; jokes from friends I haven't had time to read; photos I've filed on my ever-growing hard drive collection that I haven't had time to print, collect into a digital album, or share;… and this is all just my Digital To Do List forget about the paper or "analog" To Do stuff!!

I have old professional Beta tapes stored in my garage that I can't view, .. heck, I have FILM reels I can't view! To save my old work, I've had to transfer to VHS to DVD, then to miniDV, now to… what? A hard drive? A flash drive?

But I do love the instant access… and my nifty little card reader… and compact flash cards and jump drives, what time savers!

OK. Maybe I don't HATE technology.. but wasn't it supposed to make our lives easier?

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Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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