Monday, March 23, 2009

My Anti Bucket List, Part1

I first heard the term "bucket list" when I saw the trailer for the film with that title starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman (no, I didn’t see it, nor would I ever stoop that low). Anyway, a bucket list, apparently, is a list of things you hope to accomplish before you "kick the bucket," to use the parlance of our times.
Well, this got me thinking....

Not being the most motivated person in the world, a couple years ago I started compiling a growing list of things that I genuinely hope not to accomplish before I die. Although not doing stuff is way easier than the opposite and not necessarily something to brag about, I trust that you all will be truly surprised by my various lacks of accomplishment. And of course, if you can honestly claim to have not done these things, then by all means speak up and share the glory with me.

So for the first item on my anti-bucket list, I provide the following: I have never owned a beeper, a pager, or a cell phone, nor have I ever sent or received a text message.

Here’s my reasoning: (1) I am a bit of a Luddite anyway with a healthy suspicion toward technology in general; (2) the last thing I need in my life is some new thing that in six months I won’t be able to live without; (3) none of the scenarios that you’re imagining that would necessitate my having a cell phone have ever happened to me, nor are they likely to (read: no, my car has never broken down in the middle of nowhere with no means of rescue); (4) I inwardly belittle (read: despise) people who can’t seem to sit still in a coffee house waiting for whoever they’re waiting for without pulling out their cell phone after 26 seconds and fiddling with it because their own thoughts are so utterly shallow and boring. Here’s a tip: try thinking about something; (5) I think the more dependent we are on gadgets the less human we become; (6) I relish in the fact that I’m not easily reachable at all times. It made me happy the other day when the guy who was tuning up my car at Goodyear actually came across the street to Starbucks to ask me if I approve the work that needed to be done; (7) I like asking total strangers if I can use their phones if I need to make a call for some reason while away from home. They always give a look of combined confusion and either awe or pity.

You’ve probably heard the slogan that says that "necessity is the mother of invention," but in our day of technological acumen, I think that slogan’s a total farce. In fact, I think the exact opposite is true.

(Put down your cell and think about it.)