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A Monster in the Bathroom

Does it seem like high-tech gadgets are taking over our lives?

Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the benefits of technology as much as anyone else. But it’s a constant challenge keeping up with the latest gadgets, computer programs, Blackberries and iPhones that have become an integral part of my daily routine.  

These days, I find myself completely at loss when my computer acts up and I can’t get on the Internet. And God forbid if my cell phone stops working! I feel like I’m in a dark cave somewhere, cut off from the rest of the world.   

Technology has become so prevalent that it often affects our lives in ways we don’t even notice. For example, last week we went out to the Cheesecake Factory (a popular chain of restaurants on the west coast) for dinner. As I walked into the ladies room, I encountered a toddler, about two years old, crying hysterically. Her pants down and her arms around her mother, the precious little girl was sobbing and shaking with fear.  

I bent down to ask what was wrong, and before the mom had a chance to reply, this baby girl with golden hair and ocean-blue eyes looked up at me and said, “There’s a monster in the toilet!”

Confused, I looked at the mother, who explained that she set her daughter on the toilet to go potty. When she moved her feet just a bit, the automatic toilet began to flush and the loud noise scared the toddler.

I had a hard time containing my laughter. I didn’t want the baby or the mother to get more upset, so I quickly turned away. But, funny as it was, I also found the incident to be disturbing.

Returning to my table, I related the story to my husband and children. They thought it was funny too, but didn’t think much of it. I explained that I never had to deal with those situations because when our kids were small, public restrooms didn’t have automatic toilets. I didn’t have to say to them, “Once you sit and I move, the toilet will make noises.  So don’t be scared.”   

Back To Basics

Technology has been affecting our lives for more than a century now. But it seems like only within the past decade has it gotten out of control. We have become too advanced and too dependent on what used to be luxuries only a few short years ago. 


After realizing that I had become obsessed with “staying connected” for the last few years, I have decided to back off on the technology a bit. Therefore, I propose the following:

Disconnect your PDA’s and use them only as a calendar and address book. Your emails will still be available on your computer when you feel like reading them. Only now you won’t have to answer them every few minutes as they arrive to your inbox with that annoying beep, beep.

Use cell phones only when necessary, and shut them off when you don’t need them.  There’s no law that says people must be able to get hold of you when they want to.  Instead, have them leave you a message that you can return at your convenience.

Stop with the “instant updates.” News is available 24 hours a day. It’s not that important to know what’s going on every 15 minutes.

Stress is on the rise and diseases are out of control, most of them due to stress. My grandpa continues to remind me that, “All diseases are caused by stress, and only syphilis is from pleasure.” After decades of hearing this, I finally believe him.

Nonfat, low-fat, decaffeinated and sugar-free foods are poisons. Remember that saying, “You are what you eat?” I never did grasp that concept until I got sick and discovered that most of the foods I consumed made me sick, tired and irritated.

Time off is essential to your health and your future. You only get one body, so treasure it, nurture it, and take care of it. Become the “high maintenance” person you were meant to be by staying positive, putting yourself first (some of the time), and learning to love yourself just the way you are. It’s back-to-basics time, so turn off all of your electronic devices, grab a book and a cup of hot chocolate and remember, the best is yet to come.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cindylouwho1966 wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • Good points, Yana. If everyone could at least shut off their cell phones while you‘re having a meal-that would cut down stress for those around you.

      The line from your Grandpa is funny!!!estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie Wolf wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • It’s true, I never had to deal with explaining to my children why the toilet makes noises when you move, Thank God!!!  But it’s also so rude to go to a restaurant and have people around you talking on their cell phones so loudly you can join in the conversation.  We should all learn how to “Unplug” and just relax.  Leave everything at homoe and go for a nice long walk in the fresh air, it will do a body good!  And not just the food we eat, it’s all the meds we take for every little thing!  Technology can be a good thing, but like everything else, too much isn’t any good any longer.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • At 95 and recently married, my grandpa is the funnies dude I know estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • Bravo, Yana!!! And, gosh it never occured to me about the scary noise with the auto flushing toilet. I’ll remember that one before I take my grandaughter to a public restroom.

      I’ve always been a bit behind the times with it comes to technology. I have to say that one of the positive aspects of that is by the time I get around to buying something new, the price has dropped.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Maria Murphy wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • Yana

      Thanks for writing this one!

      Here’s an interesting fact.

      Technology and advances make cleaning, correspondence, etc. all easier than ever before.  But we don’t spend less time doing them!  Research shows that the standard keeps being raised.  Lets face it, with communication, it was not so very long ago that people might not be home, they just weren’t reachable.  And we just waited!  Yipes!

      I think using technology to our advantage is really important.  Technology is great.  But lets make sure its working for us, not us working for it!

      Thanks Yana!

      Maria



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Yana Berlin wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • Annie, I think most of us are to blame for creating that expectation. I’m at fault myself, “human mentality: if I’m connected and available, so should you be“. Somewhere along gadgets, sometime between the cellphone and the email, or minds were distorted into believing that nothing can wait, and we have to be available 24/7. My excuse is always my kids, what if they need me, what if they are in trouble, what if? what if?

      I have a friend who is in his sixties, the other day, when my blackberry was going nuts at the dinner table and I had to excuse myself from the table with “My kid needs me“, when I got back I got a much deserved lecture.  Trying to defend myself he said, cut the b.s. your kids are fine, you are addicted to all of your gadgets give it up, this isn’t normal.

      As bullheaded as I’m I had to shut up and sit down, he was right, we put ourselves in this position and then we try to get out of it.  So what did I do the next day? I bought a smaller blackberry with more features that are not as obnoxious and have more options on sound, and yes, Cynthia, since I waited I got it much cheaper than everyone else did when they first came out.

      To make matters worst, my hubby was showing me technology that is now available where you can watch live streaming TV right from your iPhone, now that worries me even more than stress that gadgets bring.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Lisa Middlesworth wrote Feb 26, 2009
    • Me too Bfly, they also splash toilet water all over you if you are not careful.

      Yana, this is great! It should give one lot’s to think about in the daily run of things.

      I have only one request of my family, that is to be followed not matter what, no texting or talking on the cell phone while having dinner, never ever while driving and certainly not when they are at a register paying for items they have purchased.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • Great post!
      The poor little girl must’ve been terrified. Poor thing. it never occurred to me that that could even happen.  

      I used to have to be connected & available 24/7. Now, not so much. My text activity has been cut down to next to ZERO and I make sure I’m available when I need to be. If I’m out at dinner, that ringer is off or set to vibrate.
      I can’t say I wouldn’t like to get a new blackberry though. I still love technology & new gadgets, but availability isn’t constant.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jenz ~ wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • ps- Remember what things used to be like once upon a time when we didn’t have cells, pagers, email or even a computer, pda’s or blackberries? lol I think we relied on a friend’s phone or the streetlight to go on..   haha
      The stone age. lol lol JK! And on that note, nothing was abbreviated ‘text style’ either.
      Now we use a new language via cell/cyberspace.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Doreen XoXo wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • It’s scary how everyone can be found at any given moment.  Wow...when I was a teenager, we had one house phone, no caller id or call waiting.  When I wasnt home, I wasnt home...period.  It actually was kind of better then although I am thankful for my cell just in case of emergencies.  It’s comforting to know I can get help any time if needed.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • The worse is having the cellphone go off in church, and what even make matters worse if when the individuals sit there and answer, not even bothering to move...how unreverent.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • The priest usually replies with a sense of humor “Is that for me?  May you tell them I am busy.  Thank you for answering my call.” and just to give them a break.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jacquie6363 wrote Mar 1, 2009
    • CD, how funny.  There is a similar scene in the movie “The Fighting Temptations” with Cuba Gooding Jr. & Beyonnce



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Mar 2, 2009
    • I hate all the new technology .. because people now have no boundries they expect you to be on call 24/4 .. if someone sends an email and you don’t respond instantly they call on your mobile to find out.

      This morning I was at a business briefing so my phone was off for three hours I came back to 48 emails and 11 phone messages and of the 11 - 7 were to say had I got the email.

      I feel like saying it’s only retail not life or death here we are not saving lives just selling clothes ..



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