Like most people I’m not a fan of waking up to the sound of a buzzing, ringing, or beeping alarm clock, but still those damn things are so very much a part of our lives. I remember as a kid winding my pale pink bell alarm clock each night. Checking to ensure it hadn’t wound down prematurely. That the time was right. There was something soothing in the tactile experience of holding the round clock, the smooth finish under my fingertips, feeling the rapid clicks as I twisted the key in back.
I dreamt of weekends when I didn’t have to wakeup to the horrible rapid bell. I hoped, as an adult, I would not be slave to the shrill ringing dictator. I basked in the summer when for months at a time it was just the warmth and brightness of the sun that would wake me.
But I never dreamed that I would have have a tiny personal computing device that took all the guess work, worry, and winding out of the equation.
I know I’m not alone in being attached at the hip, or more correctly the brain, to my smart phone. It contains and is responsible for smoothly running huge portions of my life. It wakes me each morning in time to get my daughter to school. It stores pictures and videos representing both wonderful and horrific memories. It reminds me to pick my kid up. To send out a weekly newsletter. It talks to my calendar and reminds me of lunches, meetings, deadlines, birthdays, and classes. It streams entertainment directly to my face. Entertains me with games. Reports the news. Keeps me in contact with my friends and loved ones. Allows me to check my bank account and pay my bills. Introduces me to new people and new ideas. Records my thoughts. Helps with my health goals. Lets me see where my friends are. Tells me where I’m going. Gives me advice. Does math. Tells me how to spell (or misspell) millions of words. Increases work productivity – or decreases it, depending on what I’m doing.
It is a world of its own. My world. And each day begins by performing the simple task of waking me from slumber, just like my old bell alarm clock. But much like a cd can’t duplicate the warmth of a record, the sound it makes is never the same.