Of Smart Devices & My Mama’s Gravy

F. Theresa Gillard

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“I think we can go ahead and blame Google for providing faster-than-light info, and Facebook for inculcating most people’s grandiose self-predications. And Instagram & Twitter? No comment. So, nothing is a secret and everyone is out there. Great.”—F. Theresa Gillard

Status: Quo Minus

By F. Theresa Gillard

In fact, I’d like an Oxford comma after the word “color,” but . . .

In fact, I’d like an Oxford comma after the word “color,” but . . .

BOSTON Massachusetts—(Weekly Hubris)—9/14/2015—OK, my trusty readers (and other trusty strangers), welcome! Now let’s be honest here. Having Multiple Sclerosis (my so-called blessing) sucks but, even considering my MS-scarred-brain status quo, I still find I’m smarter than most . . . which is truly scary, if also funny. Luckily for me, it all keeps me musing. My quaggy thoughts blaze right by most folks, but I’m about to share some of them with you anyway.

(Have you noticed how many times I’ve used the first person singular—like did you forget that this is Weekly Hubris?)

Seriously, is anyone awake out there? Most days, I am quietly thinking: I am surrounded by idiots. Simultaneously, the idiots are vilifying me, thinking she is such an idiot. Yeah, sure. Let’s go with that, because the Lord knows that if their superannuated notions ever got above the clouds, we’d all be bored out of our minds. Don’t act like you don’t know any of these pompous jerks.

I think we can go ahead and blame Google for providing faster-than-light info, and Facebook for inculcating most people’s grandiose self-predications. And, Instagram & Twitter? No comment. So, nothing is a secret and everyone is out there. Great. 

These days, you’d do well to Google yourself regularly. Who knows what’s floating around the Google universe? Hell, who would want to know? Why? Really, why would people care about what other people are doing, especially since they don’t even remotely know them? Apparently, most want to know it all anyway. 

Basically, I’m referencing cognizance. Is there any awareness without smart phones, tablets, Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, Ask.com, YouTube, and countless other at-your-fingertips options? Does anyone know how to write a check? I do, but I do admit I don’t even know where my checkbook is. 

Just line me up with the fuddy duddies. We didn’t have Google, Wikipedia, or Dictionary.com. We had this thing called a library. A place you had to physically visit and use the card catalog to find stuff. This took a lot of time and effort. You could spend hours and days finding references and researching your subject. So that, by the end of it, you really did learn something. You couldn’t help but learn.

Can you imagine a world without spellcheck, thesaurus, and undo? Those of us who lived back in that find-it-yourself world worked harder and gained more from the experience. We have more time these days, but what do we do with it?       

Now, all of this tech-madness has led to several global misconceptions. I will gladly share these with you. 

No. 1: You are not a genius. Your parents have been lying to you your entire life.   

No. 2: You did not win. You don’t always win. That trophy means nothing. Here’s a rule of thumb: Did you actually come in in first place? If not, then you did not win.

No. 3: You do not rule the world. No one does, unless you are The One. Let me help you out here. You are not The One.

No. 4: Looks do count. A lot. A lot. This will never change, unless we are all clones.

No. 5: Wake up. No one owes you anything. Stop whining and go make something of yourself or . . . sit down and shut up.

No. 6: It is all about who you know or who you don’t know. Get to know people. Like, listen to them (put the phone down!) and really get to know them.

No. 7: Just because you think it, doesn’t mean you should say it. As a matter of fact, take some time to really think before you speak. Nine times out ten you won’t need to say a thing.

No. 8: Are you serious? Right, I didn’t think so (see No. 5).

No. 9: Your age is relative to a bunch of factors. Major one being, who you hang out with and who they hang out with. If they’re older, you feel younger and vice versa. 

No. 10: A little accountability will solve most problems. No, I mean you being accountable and taking responsibility for your own actions, not the other person. Pay it forward.

Now, listen. I’ve said all of that to get to this. Our heads are constantly filled with what’s out there. It’s thrust upon us and, mostly, it gets sopped up like my Mama’s gravy. Listen and mark my words, it ain’t Mama’s gravy. The recipe is tainted. Not even a whisper is left. So, skip the gravy. 

Skip it. Instead, pause and look around. Visit a library and park your own car. Take a good long look at yourself and fess up. Streak in your house (make sure you’re home alone) and get dressed up. Take a nice meandering walk and reflect. Look into a child’s eyes and see what they see. Put everything away that calls itself smart for an hour daily and see what happens. Admit a loss and celebrate a win. Live and let live. Give a sincere compliment and accept one. Step back, not up, or reverse it. 

Otherwise, there’s plenty of gravy out there. You may continue to sop it up with the masses . . .

F. Theresa Gillard

About F. Theresa Gillard

F. Theresa Gillard characterizes herself as a Black—not an African American; born/raised in South Carolina; currently residing in New England; never married; no children. Her day benefits-gets-her-bills-paid-job: a Director at a university in Boston. She proclaims herself to be a passionate never-gets-around-to-it writer who is a Rap-House Music/Cheeze-It junkie. What she writes is who she is—meaning she is a take-it-or-leave-it, yes-or-no, with-no-maybe-or-possibly person: basically, she feels it all comes down to that initial “F.” Email Theresa: StatusQuoMinus@WeeklyHubris.com
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14 Responses to Of Smart Devices & My Mama’s Gravy

  1. Will Balk, Jr. says:

    First – and most important – I am definitely with you on the Oxford comma thing at the top. And the rest – Amen! to ’em all. Tell it!

  2. Anita Sullivan says:

    Oh, Theresa, I want to throw my arms around you and hug you, and then listen some more!

  3. Graham Hyder says:

    I was just thinking this the other day, how all this “smart” stuff really isn’t so smart and how much I used to love going to the library to just sit and do research. I do still love books, the hard kind, not the kindle kind, and get a thrill when I walk through a library. I am going to print your 10 misconceptions and give them to my daughters who need to read and hear these every day! Great reading Theresa!

  4. Jenn Brown says:

    I particularly needed #7 today. Thank you!

  5. ftg says:

    * Will Balk, Jr. – Someone needed to step up and since I never step down, it was seamless. :-)
    * Anita Sullivan – OK, Anita . . . I’m still processing the hug. If you want to keep listening, I’ll catch up.
    * Graham Hyder – Just let me know if you need more. I stopped myself at ten (Did you see my response to your last comment?).

    F. Theresa

  6. Melanie H. says:

    Is it bad that I’m reading this on a “smart”phone? As I started reading your list I was mentally trying to keep track of which numbers I would put an “Amen” to in this comment and then realized it was 1 through 10. So, AMEN!

    And, if I may, why do people think using a device excuses you from checking for spelling, grammar, and typos? My pet peeve is the email signature that reads, “Please excuse misspellings and typos, this was sent from my iPhone.” I’m sorry, is your screen broken? Is a gun to your head to send that message IMMEDIATELY? Why are you unable to reread your message before you hit send? Just my little rant…

  7. shelly says:

    Hello hello
    Did you learn a lot of this stuff with your new school dress on on the school bus a couple of years ago.
    Keep the stories coming.
    we luv ya

  8. ftg says:

    * Jenn Brown – Jenn, I can see that you have not changed a bit. Keep it up.
    * Melanie – Loved your rant. You do know that that (I love the English language! Where else are you allowed to use the same word back-to-back?) little excuse for mistakes is on most smart phones – don’t be calling out iPhones! Of course, I totally agree,. Rant on!
    * Shelly – Yes, I learned the hardest lessons of my life on that school bus. You know good and quite well that it has been more like many, many years ago :-) Love you guys right back!

    F. Theresa

  9. Jennifer says:

    I absolutely love this article..you did leave out Snapchat, and yeah, I’m on my smart phone as I type this. Keep up the good work!!!!!

  10. ftg says:

    Jennifer – See, how easy was that to post a Comment? I’ll keep it up, if you do! Kiss my Lil’ Man for me :-)

    F. Theresa

  11. LaTonya H. says:

    Ummm, yes, I am definitely a fan of the Oxford comma.

    I was just thinking the other day how the library used to be a place of quiet, but now it’s a place where people only come to use the computers for internet, or to get tutoring. Want quiet? Don’t go there. Want that book? Come on down, because it’s definitely not checked out. The age of “smart” devices has only made society dumber and more dependent on the microwave mentality.

    It made me feel good to read this knowing that I completely deleted my social media accounts months ago and don’t miss them whatsoever. Even with 30 friend requests on the FB page I keep strictly for managing my family reunion page, I WILL remain at 0 friends – if we’re really that cool, we’ll talk through phone, text, or email.

    #7 slapped me in the face (you slap hard, but thanks for it, anyway), but the list of old-school things to do was much appreciated.

  12. ftg says:

    LaTonya H. – It’s so sad, right? I don’t think libraries will ever be the same. :-( Yeah, I see that the Oxford comma is a big hit. Yet, it remains as elusive as the local library. # 7, huh? A big hit as well :-)

    F. Theresa

  13. Rachelle says:

    Theresa,
    that was perfect with my morning coffee!! I look forward to reading more!!!

  14. ftg says:

    Rachelle – That’s a first: morning coffee + ftg = perfection. I’ll keep ’em coming, but readers beware – not all will be perfect with coffee. You may want to have your favorite ‘other’ elixir at hand :-). Just saying.

    F. Theresa

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