Thursday, March 1, 2012

The trouble with tech

Sometimes it’s just so hard to lead a simple life.

We seek a peaceful existence, but contemporary life encroaches. We wonder how “to be in the world but not of it.”

Contemporary living requires the use of technology, which ultimately should make our lives easier. The trouble with tech is that it often doesn’t.

As a writer, I earn my living at a laptop or desktop. Yet whenever I can, I head for the beach, away from the buzz of electronics.

I walk by the sea, and tap into the Source.
It is nature that restores the equilibrium: the cry of a gull, the gentle lapping at the shore, the wind whistling in the sea grass. Unplugged, I walk by the sea and tap into the Source.  

And this is the saving grace, because lately, coping with technology has been a real chore.

I pay bills electronically, and I find this new technology to be a great time saver.  I no longer lament the time consuming ritual of writing out checks. I decided to change banks, and then spent three hours trying to set up online banking. Multiple calls brought no resolution, other than the suggestion from the bank representative to wait four business days for the system to refresh for each new payee I added to the list.

I received a bill for a routine dental visit that should have been covered by our insurance company. I called the customer service number twice and listened to recording after recording, but there was no option to leave a message or speak with someone. I had to call my dentist’s office, and they finally were able to straighten out the carrier’s error three days later.

By far the worst technological mishap occurred at the ATM machine. A routine withdrawal turned into a nightmare. I put my card in the machine, punched in the pin number, and the receipt came out but no bills. The bank was open, so I reported the problem, and the teller assured me I would be credited within the week. I spoke almost daily to corporate representatives from here to India, each promising to rectify the matter. Three months later, the credit finally appeared in my checking account. The assistant manager told me that he personally would never use that particular ATM. Go figure.

Since it took three hours for one online banking transaction, three days to fix an insurance overcharge, and three months for one ATM withdrawal, I question whether it would have been easier to write a check, mail a letter and keep a stash of money in the mattress.

I mill over these musings at the water’s edge. I walk it off while I seek a path that allows for life’s little annoyances but technologically speaking, gets back to basics.


  1. Sounds like the problem is your new bank, not technology in general...

    1. Yes, you have made an excellent point. Thanks so much for reading.