Friday, March 28, 2014

GOD'S NOT DEAD

A week ago today my sister, husband and I went to see a movie with this same title.  The movie was very good and had it not been suggested by a friend on Facebook we might have missed it entirely.  This movie, starring Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain, was what the industry calls in limited release. What that means is that they're not expecting big numbers (after all it has a religious message) they will show it on one day, four different times, and that's it.  As it turned out this was a box office surprise hit and the numbers were well over what they predicted.

The story of the movie was about a young man, a freshman in college, signing up for a Philosophy class as part of him major's requirement only to discover that the professor was an atheist.  On the very first day of class this professor asked that every student take out a piece of paper, write GOD IS DEAD on it and sign their name.  He told them in so doing they would get off on the right foot for the remainder of the class.
However, there was one young man who said he couldn't do it.  He said, "I'm a christian and I can't do that." This angered the professor but he decided to give the student an opportunity. He would allow him to put together an argument to prove the existence of God and told him he could have a forum in the class to prove his point.

It was a daunting challenge and initially the professor had strong arguments to refute the student's premise. During the final class the argument became very heated and the student finally asked, "What happened to you?"  It was then that the professor said that at the age of 12 years old his mother got very sick and he had prayed and prayed that God would spare her and from that moment on he stopped believing in God."  It was then that the student said, "If God doesn't exist why did he pray for his mother's life?"

Now that's a very brief synopsis of this film but it had a number of subplots and details that I'm leaving out.  I just wanted you to know that this limited release film had much to say to the people of this world.  It was very good and if it comes around again or comes out on DVD, it's well worth your time.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I HATE TECHNOLOGY!!!!

Now that might sound a bit dramatic, but it got your attention, didn't it? Really after the week I've had with Google's "changes," that would be an appropriate statement.  You see Google just changed everything, I'm sure for the better (in a sarcastic tone) but it sent me into a tailspin.  I started this blog in 2008 and each year I must renew my domain, pattylynnonline.com, and pay the renewal fee.  Well, when Google made it's changes, I was told that I had to create a Gmail account, have access to my Google Apps account and make sure all my payment information was updated in my Wallet.  My immediate response could been summed up like this, "Whaaaaa?"

I fooled around with this for approximately 6 hours and was no further ahead when I was done except I had, with numerous attempts, created a Gmail account.  Hooray for me! My wonderful son-in-law showed me where my Apps were as well as my where my Wallet was and it took him all of 5 minutes.  I still have to "ensure I have access to the Google Apps Admin Console" in order to renew my domain in September or lose six years of blogs.  I have not figured that out yet but you can bet I won't spend 6+ hours on it.  If I can't figure it out I'll enlist the help of my son-in-law again.

In other words, something that was so simple has now become so complicated in an effort to make things frustra..., ridicu...,easy. That was this past week but there's been something bothering me lately separate from this situation; it's how technology is stealing us.

What do I mean by that?  I mean, example: what I see at the grade school when I pick up my grandchildren. There's always about 10 adults waiting to pick up their children or grandchildren and everyone is staring down at their high-tech phones, reading messages, writing texts, checking the weather, etc., no eye contact with the rest of the world, locked in to their little tech world, no small talk, complete nothingness.  It's the same thing in a store, people silently engrossed in their phones or they're talking on their cellphones, walking through the store, talking loudly and totally oblivious to the world around them.

Those of us of a certain age can hardly believe this phenomenon or news reports that include crazy accidents like falling into a fountain because someone was walking and texting and not looking where they're going, falling off a subway platform doing the same thing.  Not to mention the auto accidents that occur when someone is texting while they're driving. Are you kidding me?

And now we're giving sophisticated technology to our young children. What will be the ramifications from that be?  Not to say they aren't educational, they are.  They improve hand/eye coordination, problem solving skills, and the like.  But if those things are accessible to our young kids, we must limit their use.

One seldom mentioned issue with these tablets, for instance, is they become a status symbol, a item to flaunt and brag about to the other kids, because every kid wants one, why wouldn't they? But some families either don't have the funds for this kind of expensive gift or they've decided that they don't want their kid to have this kind of exposure.  Monitoring your child's use is key because with that in hand some are able to have access to the internet and you know what a can of worms that can be.

In short, or in the case of this blog, in long, I don't hate technology I just hate what it has done.  In many cases interpersonal relations are sacrificed because these tools suck us in and have the potential to be addictive.  We've all heard the Candy Crush stories on the news, how adults are so addicted to this game which has a free side to the game and a one side that you have to pay for.  On that part of the site many have gotten into some really bad territory, spending way more money than they should to the point of declaring bankruptcy.

The old adage is: everything in moderation.  Can those of us who desire and can afford these things walk that fine line?  It's getting harder and harder but TECHNOLOGY is here to stay and further advancements are inevitable.  Just be wary, and careful and wise about this.  Can you even imagine a world without cellphones, and computers and satellite radio?  Funny, I can.  I lived it and that world was pretty terrific.


TECHNOLOGY
by Patty Lynn

Some people love computers,
Their I-phone, kindle, too,
That MP3 that plays their songs,
Each day it gets them through.

Don't get me wrong I would be lost
Without my stand-alone,
But all the others leaves me weak
It's them that I bemoan.

There's just one thing I'd like to say
To those of you tech-savvy,
"Your welcome to your gadgets and
I hope they make you happy."

They're said to be devices that...
Help us stay in touch.
But I would say we're duped, my friend.
On this I will not budge.

For me I hate what they have done.
Technology's responsible.
It's stolen all our face to face,
And should be help accountable.

Gone are the days when folks would share
A handshake or embrace,
When you'd drop by to say hello.
I think it's a disgrace!

My number one is screening calls,
That practice is deplorable.
When every time you call you get...
A voicemail, why it's horrible.

What's happened to phone etiquette,
Your manners on the phone?
Not leaving someone on the line
I'm here to pick a bone...

You call a business and you get,
"One moment, please, I'll check."
And you are left just hanging there...
Five minutes, "What the heck!"

A simple check-in on that call
To say your working on it.
It let's the caller know you care.
The problem why it's chronic!

How often when you're shopping
Are you subjected to...
A person talking on their phone
So loud, as if to you...

But really they're ignoring what
Is simple courtesy?
It's disrespectful, very rude.
Is this our legacy?

To think we call this progress,
Efficiency of sorts.
Nobody cares, they're unaware,
And what is our recourse?

The titans of Tech industry
Would never think of going...
Back to the way it was before.
Advancements keep it growing.

My thought is that it lies with us
To educate our children,
For they're a gift, so precious, sweet,
A privilege we're given.

Technology is here, but if...
We do not watch how much,
The face to face will go and then...
We'll lose the human touch.

So mark my words when you look down
And stare there at your screen,
That child that interrupts you can
Your human heart redeem.