Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my quirky little life, but sometimes I just feel like I have a really hard time relating to the people around me.
My personal opinion is that there is great power in opting out, so I thought it might be fun to list some of the ways that I just refuse to play along with this crazy culture of ours.
Let's see... where to begin. Oh yes... the blinking boxes.
I have never used an iPod, or iPad, or iPhone, or iAnything for that matter. This includes knock-off brands of all of the above. And blue-tooth devices? I'm still not sure exactly what these are, but suffice it to say I don't own one.
In general, I just don't see the point to any of these devices... at least for me. I mean, I seldom leave the house, and when I do it's because I want to go somewhere else. I guess it just seems to me that if you're gonna take the trouble to go somewhere, well, you might as well be there as opposed to trying to take your little world with you every place you go. I dunno... maybe I'd feel differently if I was forced to be out and about every day.
I've also never sent a text message.
Honestly, I have no clue.
I have received one text once... but only because it was the only way the phone company could send me some important activation code for my account - seriously? Anyhow, I had to call tech support and have them talk me through the process of reading the message. I'm sure they all had themselves a good chuckle.
I've also never used a GPS.
I frankly didn't realize that these things had become so ubiquitous until I joined FreeCycle and everybody just assumes that you have one. I've just gotta say... really? I mean really? I suppose I could see it if you had to drive to meetings in unfamiliar territory all the time but are people really so ignorant of their surroundings that they can't find their way around town without a satellite device?
Anyhow, speaking of driving... I've mentioned before that I drive less than 1000 miles per year.
I'm not really trying to conserve, I just don't have any place to go. The only real drawback here is that my battery tends to get run down... CatMan got me a charger though, and it works well. But really, I just don't understand the whole "car culture" thing.
I've never had a commute that was more than about 10 miles. I mean really, truly, is it worth it? There's pretty much nothing I hate more than sitting in traffic, and I just can't imagine subjecting myself to that sort of torture on a daily basis. Plus the time and money? I've never really understood what compels people to live that way... if I really had to have a job, I'd get one close to home, or get a home close to the job.
And speaking of jobs, y'all know I don't have one, but the other thing is I've never had a job for a for profit corporation.
Well, that's not exactly true... I did have a series of part time jobs as a kid for various newspapers, fast food chains and insurance companies (mom worked in insurance and got me temp jobs now and then.) Those experiences were enough to scare me away from corporate America for good. Suffice it to say, I couldn't stand the phony world of pantyhose, uncomfortable shoes and stuffed shirts.
Speaking of shirts... I've never been to a dry cleaner.
Eee Gads! Just walking past the place I inhale enough fumes to give me a migraine, why on earth would I want to wear clothing that had just been doused in that sort of chemical soup?
Of course, I've never ironed either.
Well, that's not exactly true... Every 10 years or so, some important event will roll around where I think I need to iron my clothing, but inevitably I put more wrinkles in than I take out so honestly, I don't see the point.
I haven't been on an airplane since 1993 when I had to go to Portland for a folk music conference - yes, there's nothing like seeing Pete Seeger running a booth to highlight the true meaning of folk music. Actually, I haven't been out of the state of Colorado since 1993... or stayed in a hotel, or done any of those travel type things. CatMan and I have gone camping a few times, but honestly, I just don't have the desire to go anyplace. It always baffles me when stories about airline security and prices are considered newsworthy.
So I am left to assume that most people travel on a regular basis, but I just don't get it. Frankly, sealing oneself into a migraine inducing, vomit provoking tin can and hurling oneself across the sky just isn't my idea of fun! And don't even get me started about trying to sleep in a strange bed or being forced to eat restaurant food.
And speaking of restaurant food, I probably only eat out 3-4 times per year. CatMan and I have one Chinese restaurant that we like, and occasionally friends will drag us somewhere. But honestly, I just don't consider it to be fun. It's generally a challenge for me to find something on the menu that won't send me to the ER with an anaphylactic reaction, and the chairs always give CatMan's back a problem. Plus... have you seen the prices?
And speaking of not going out. I got a call from the Nielsen corporation the other day wanting to survey me about my movie going habits.
Now I LOVE movies, but I don't think I've been to the theater in well over 10 years. Why bother when you've got Netflix? Come to think of it, the last time I went to the movies was in 2001 when my parents and I went to see the IMAX cave movie because some of my friends were in it. The Nielsen folks were incredulous... oh well.
But I also don't watch TV except for the "news" (if you can call it that.) I mean really? Seriously? People watch this stuff? Every once in a while I'll catch bits and pieces while flipping channels and I generally recoil in horror. And what's the deal with all the talent shows?
Didn't we get enough of that in high school? And when did squawking like an injured goose become a sought after singing style? I just don't get it.
I could go on and on, but I think you're starting to get some idea of the depth of my fuddy-duddy-ness. I dunno, maybe this is all just evidence that I'm a boring person.
But here's thing... it just seems like all of this technology, and running around is designed for one main purpose: to keep people distracted.
And maybe that's just how this society works. You set up a world where people basically live these miserable lives, where everything is ruled by the corporate overlords, and people are forced to work more hours than medieval serfs or colonial slaves... so to keep people in line you provide a series of distractions.
I realize that may sound just a tad bit cynical, but I can't help it.
Anyhow, if opting out of all of that makes me a stick in the mud, a fuddy duddy or a dork, then it's a title I wear with pride. Personally, I'd rather be a happy dork than cool and miserable any day!
How about you? Has anyone else out there found ways to opt out of the madness we call modern society?