The Password Debacle

I learned today that my life is controlled by a series of passwords that I cannot remember. It is amazing how many passwords the average person must remember in order to function in their daily lives. If you are the poor unfortunate soul who forgot a few passwords and may God help you if you forgot your user ID and even the so-called, ”secret answer to the secret security question” in order to reset that password and are now lost and alone in the world wandering aimlessly looking for your passwords, user ID and other forms of proof that you are who you allegedly claim you are…then read are not alone.

Today I got an I Pad. I love this thing. However, it was during the configuration and set up of my I Pad that I was faced with my biggest fear of remembering passwords. Everytime it would ask me for a user id and password for something, my heart would skip a beat like I was taking a test that I did not study for.

 I had to recall my Wi Fi password, Gmail password, Yahoo password, Pandora password, Twitter password, Facebook password, and many many many more. By the end of it, I had to pull myself out of the fetal position and make a cup of tea to soothe my nerves. It was an ordeal.

I know these things should be memorized but with the constant use of my IPhone which never forces me to log in ever again as long as I live.  I haven’t had to type my password to almost anything in years. It forced me into a lazy paradise where I remembered nothing.

I have a problem where I keep my passwords in a safe place but fail to update them when they change.

Right now, I am aimlessly floating in the world without a clue as to what my Yahoo password is. I don’t even know the answer to the secret question! Sad, but true. I changed my password a while back and never wrote it down. I’m going to give my brain some rest and sleep on this one and hope it comes to me at 2 AM like most great ideas do. I’ll wake up screaming, “I got it!!! It’s schlim schlam!” (you know all passwords are wierd)

Remember when life was simpler? Ok, it was less fun with my parents Zenith TV set when I was a kid and had an antenna on top that was constantly in the wrong position. The TV screen would turn snowy every time someone walked into the room and in the vicinity of the TV.  As soon as we would get to the part of the movie when things got interesting, someone would walk in and ruin the picture and we would all scream at them. We had to tiptoe around the TV back then.  But at least we didn’t need a password to turn the TV on :)

I hope one day it doesn’t get worse and we need a password to get into our houses or cars. I would spend many days sleeping on my porch or having to take the bus home.

I blame myself. I should be more organized with stuff and try to memorize everything like I used to before gadgets.

Lesson learned.




To Text or Not To Text

Today I was walking down the street during lunch and I noticed something strange. Everyone around me was walking but not looking up from their phones. They were texting, emailing or surfing the internet while walking down the street. One woman was so busy with her phone that she was walking crooked and would have crashed into me had I not jumped out of the way.

A few people crossed the street with their noses in their phones without a care in the world that a car may be approaching. The texting took precedence over their lives.

I got my lunch and got into the elevator and noticed almost everyone in the elevator was looking down and typing away on their phones.

Of course I had seen all of this before, but I never actually took notice of it.  It was as if I was seeing things with new eyes and it looked ridiculous. Everyone was walking along not looking up from little devices and not able to walk in a straight line or carry a real conversation.

I’m not perfect at all. I am guilty of doing all of the above too. Before I got my iphone I went through 3 different blackberries. Whatever phone I had, it didn’t matter, it was my distraction from whatever was going on around me. When I purchased my first blackberry the sales clerk handed it to me and said, “congratulations on your new crackberry”.  At the time I refused to believe that I would join the masses of people addicted to their phone. My friend who was with me at the time of my purchase just laughed at me and said, “you will see”.

He was right. I hadn’t owned the phone for 15 minutes and already I was looking every 5 seconds to see if the light was blinking telling me I had a text, email or facebook message. My heart would pitter pat everytime the light would blink as if I had been chosen for something special. Who could it be? What special message did I get this time? Gone were the days where I would check my email by my Dell computer that was so full of viruses that checking my email was a slow and painful process. It would have been faster for my friends to send me a letter on paper. (remember those?)

The situation got worse with the purchase of my iphone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iphone with a passion. However, it is a distraction.

You have to admit we have all lost something here. Our phones have replaced the personal connection we used to have. We used to call each other on the phone and talk. We would hear the person’s voice on the other line and be able to have a real conversation. It was more meaningful. You could really be an ear for a friend when they needed it.

We used to have entire face to face conversations with people. Now most of us can’t carry a conversation without checking our phone over and over because we are having a simultaneous texting, tweeting or facebook conversation with someone else.

I am not saying we should all throw our phones in the ocean and go back to the old days. I don’t yearn for the old days in high school where all I had was a pager and no way of calling anyone back. (what a mess that was) I don’t miss the huge hideous cell phone I had in college that never had reception, always dropped calls and was constantly running low on battery no matter how many times I charged it. The only good thing about it was that if you accidentally dropped it down a flight of stairs and ran over it with your car, it still worked fine! It reminds me of the first car I drove that after I backed into a pole, not only was the car fine, but the radio somehow had better reception..ok back to the topic…

I am fully aware of the fact that many of us use these phones for work. Many people have to have 2 phones, one for personal use and one for work. I don’t envy them because that is double the distraction.  I just wish there could be a way to have this amazing technology and still keep the personal attention we used to have. You never know who or what you could be missing out on in front of you just because you are buried in your phone.

Next time you are meeting someone try to really be present in the room. Make eye contact and actually carry an uninterrupted conversation. There are times when that text or email is really necessary and there are times when it is not. You be the judge. I think in general we will be less stressed out when we cut down on our multitasking.

Ok, its been an hour. I must go check my phone to see what kind of activity has occurred during this one hour vacation I have taken from the iphone. Oh how I’ve missed it!!!! ;)