Is it just me, or has technology given us so many different ways to alert ourselves that soon nobody will ever be alerted to anything?
Take post it notes for example. My desk is covered with them. My monitor is covered with them. Some of them have been stuck up there for months. Maybe even years. And I never read them. I never even glance at them anymore. Come to think of it, I never even “see” them. I work around them as if they’re not even there. It’s as if my brain has officially blocked them out of existence. And yet I keep writing new ones and sticking them anywhere I can find an open space.
And then there is that oh-so-annoying panic alarm that almost everybody has on their car nowadays. I sure hope some sweetheart of a woman doesn’t wind up beaten and robbed somewhere in my near vicinity. She’ll hit her “panic button” to try and get some help, and I’ll never even look. I’ll just roll my eyes, wondering why some idiot car owner isn’t turning it off. Really… does anybody even glance over anymore when those things go off? Isn’t the alarm’s only purpose now to help us remember where we parked? Lady, try screaming something like, “hey everybody, check it out, I’m getting robbed and beaten, and I don’t like it!” Then I’ll probably look. But just cause it sounds too funny to pass up.
Alertless alerts are everywhere. My office is in a huge building, and when an alarm sounds alerting us that there has been unauthorized access somewhere in the building, we all shut our office doors and play a game of chicken waiting for the first schmo among us to get so sick of it that he turns it off.
When our alarm clocks go off… When our dryers buzz… When children cry because they want something… When our phone calendars ding… When our spouses nag us without end… Yeah, I just tune it all out. One of those giant freeway signs could flash the words “YOU’RE ABOUT TO DIE!” and I’d zoom underneath it towards my certain death, never knowing it said anything at all.
Silence… now that would be alarming.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
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