Sure, I knew that I was a product of my generation, but it wasn’t until a recent gift hunt that I realized just how dependent on technology I actually am.
It has gotten to the point where being disconnected from the Internet for more than 12 hours is actually physically unsettling. I NEED to check my e-mail. I NEED to reference and cross-reference things with the Holy Trinity of Daily Fixes: Google, IMDb and Wikipedia.
Now, before you get the wrong idea, please allow me to clarify: I do not spend hours and hours trolling the Net for random sites. Neither am I a gamer, unless you count my ongoing rounds of Scrabulous with friends (which is more of a fun “task” really, similar to sending an e-mail, as the rounds go back and forth as people log-in. No chatroom coordination is necessary).
But, while I don’t need to be logged-on for long, I get a bit twitchy if I can’t log on at all.
Cementing my own perception of this addiction was my recent trolling for a very specific item. I was looking for a vintage piece as a birthday gift for my father – who is in the running for the coveted “Most Difficult Person to Find a Gift For” Award. I knew exactly what he was looking for, as he had run across it once and had neglected to buy it . . . and has been kicking himseelf for it ever since.
So, I checked with eBay, I checked with Google. I modified my search strings over and over. I checked again and again for a month solid. But there was nothing. Not a trace of the elusive piece. Anywhere.
This was disconcerting. This has never happened to me before. I felt as though my most trusted friend, my ROCK, had let me down.
I have been an online shopper for years, looking for what is sometimes the truly random. From out-of-print VHS and DVDs, to bootlegs of an 80’s TV show that will likely never be released for home viewing; from discontinued lipsticks and fragrances to Japanese imports . . . all have been found, if not purchased (depending on my value of the item, compared to what the market would bear). But to not find even the slightest shred of validation that the sought-after item exists? Unheard of. It’s like finding a hole in the fabric of my life. A void of information which SHOULD exist.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I would never survive as a pioneer.
Hell, I’ve never even made it through an entire game of Oregon Trail.