Since my family, friends and perfect strangers are hopelessly addicted to our digital devices, I’ve decided to devote this week’s column to the digital demons that are taking us away from experiencing things IRL (that’s “in real life” for those of you wondering, what does IRL mean anyway?)
Go F**k Yourself Junk Mail Spammers
To all the companies that somehow got a hold of my email address without my permission and proceed to send me emails every day of the week offering advice on how to slim down, save a sea urchin, donate to a political campaign in Idaho or offering me a new credit card with 0 APR financing…get the F**k out of my inbox!!! I did not ask to be put on your list and because of you, I have to delete at least 100 or more junk emails per day. This year, I’m going to just start unsubscribing to all those junk messages or maybe I’ll just be radical and live like a millennial by completely ignoring all my emails in the first place.
Go F**k Yourself Snapchat
Admittedly, this selfie inspired app is not really meant for me and I still have no idea how it really works. What I do know is that both of my kids spend hours each day snapping weird pictures of themselves so they can keep up with their crazy 365 day streaks with friends. It wouldn’t really bother me except I know they’re snapchatting whenever I ask them a question and all I get is complete silence. So thanks Snapchat for causing my kids to totally ignore me. Maybe I need to start a snapchat streak with my kids so they will start communicating with me on a regular basis. Then again, maybe not.
Go F**k Yourself to Any Major Site that Doesn’t have a Human Customer Service Rep
This past week, one of my business websites completely disappeared. I haven’t touched the site in months, I paid all my bills on time and yet, when you enter in the URL, it’s completely vanished. When I tried to get to the bottom of the issue, I discovered that WordPress doesn’t have a single human being working on their customer service desk, leading you to be diverted to a third party company that can help fix your problem but I’m convinced they probably hacked it in the first place. Meanwhile, my hosting site, GoDaddy, also connects you via Liveperson and then starts speaking to me like I’m a web developer, leaving me completely frustrated and bewildered. If you can’t employ humans to talk people like me through crisis situations, than please warn me in advance that I’m on my own if something screws up. Otherwise, I’m left with an error message and a big old holy crap I need to start all over again scenario that I’m really not looking forward to dealing with in the New Year.
Go F**k Yourself to Apps Whose Notifications Wake Me Up at 3am
I know there’s a quick fix to not getting notifications on my phone – just turn on the do not disturb mode before you go to bed, but on those occasions that I forget to do that, I really don’t appreciate being woken up by Houzz that a lamp just went on sale, or finding out on NextDoor that an outdoor cat named Pickles hasn’t returned home yet. Not that I have anything against Pickles but seriously, unless there’s a state of emergency or if one of my kids needs me, I do not want to be woken up like Pavlov’s dog at three in the morning by an incessant ding from an app company whose headquarters are clearly not in my time zone.
Go F**k Yourself to Websites that Don’t Work on Google Chrome
Truth be told, I’m a Google Chrome addict and typically have about 20 tabs open per day. In fact, today, I have 23 tabs open and while my husband gets apoplectic seeing all those open tabs, I’m totally in control and on top of my to-do list. What bothers me is when I attempt to access a website where I need to input information and can’t even find the login option because it doesn’t work on Google Chrome. That means I have to turn on my antiquated Safari browser to access the site and then login knowing they will ask me my password and I will have no clue what it is because Google Chrome remembers all my passwords and Safari is trapped in the early 2000’s and it doesn’t remember s**t. My hope is that in 2019, everyone knows their site has to work on Google Chrome. Otherwise, it’ll be like those restaurants that don’t use Open Table. If I can’t find you on my OpenTable restaurant app, then you just don’t exist to me.
I hope you all have the opportunity to do a digital detox before the New Year. I can’t promise that I will but I do know, I’m going to try not to let tech get to me in 2019. Oh, who am I kidding? It will get to me and I will deal with it because honestly, I can’t live without it.