The Lapsed Luddite: An Ongoing Series

I’ll figure this out eventually.

Confession: I am a lapsed Luddite. I would never use a word like reformed or recovered. Just lapsed.

Two hundred years after the Luddite uprisings, I think holding on to a healthy dose of fear in technology is still a good thing. Electronic life is everywhere, and now it’s so much a part of our day-to-day existence that it’s hard to unplug.

I’m not sure when I became a Luddite. I remember enjoying my Atari 2600 and playing the heck out of Donkey Kong, Pitfall!, and Ms. Pac-Man. One day a friend introduced me to the Super NES. Check out all those buttons on the controller! Look at the graphics! Get a load of the game choices! Yeah, but … I was still attached to my Atari. How could I toss aside the memory of all those late nights spent dodging flaming barrels or flinging myself over pits of quicksand, just for something newer and shinier? I resisted, telling my friend that I loved my Atari and didn’t need the next big thing. It was a gut reaction – I knew right away that it wasn’t going to win me any popularity contests.

Eventually, I let the Atari collect dust in a cabinet and switched over to Nintendo. The lapsed Luddite makes her first appearance. (Hmmm. I suppose a true Luddite wouldn’t be playing video games at all.) Maybe I’m more of a late adapter than a Luddite? I’ve had similar resistance/acceptance cycles with other forms of technology. I joined Facebook one day a few years ago and instantly deactivated my account because the screen seemed so busy and, I don’t know, aggressive? I figured I didn’t need a FOX News-style headache during my free time. For whatever reason, I succumbed to Facebook again (I blame peer pressure), and I gave in to Twitter, too. But let’s not even discuss how long it took me to get a smart phone.

I ask myself all the familiar questions while navigating through the twenty-first century: Is my life better because I’m using this gadget or participating in this website? Is this an effective use of my time and energy? If I have a feeling or thought, should I immediately broadcast it to my electronic loved ones? Do I really need to watch TV, look at my Twitter feed, and eat dinner at the same time?

There’s no escaping it, though. And you know what? I’m glad. As I work every day on building my business, I’m so grateful that I have options for marketing and networking besides making phone calls or mailing out brochures. Progress, indeed, is a beautiful thing. Like so much in life, my Luddite tendencies come down to a fear of the unknown. But I’m ready to lapse some more, and make the technological age work for me.

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3 Responses to “The Lapsed Luddite: An Ongoing Series”

  1. Abby says:

    I have to admit that I’m guilty of being too connected online, partly because of my job, but also because of my blog and the community of people I’ve met. There’s always an update on a site somewhere, and clicking the link is like the siren song when stuck in a rut of procrastination.

    However, I do evaluate the cost/benefit of how my online time is spent. Once in awhile it’s fun to space out, but for the most part, I try and focus on quality and not quantity. My saving grace is that I DON’T have a smartphone. If I want to go online, I have to go on the computer. I like being unplugged when I can…as long as I know I can log right back on 😉

  2. EditCassandra says:

    I knew I was crossing over to the dark side when I bought the smart phone. But I did it anyway. Ha!

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