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TMCNet:  Waurika News-Democrat, Okla., Jeff Kaley column

[November 09, 2012]

Waurika News-Democrat, Okla., Jeff Kaley column

WAURIKA, Nov 07, 2012 (Waurika News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Friends and neighbors, greetings again from 21st Century Technoman, and please forgive me if it seems I've been ignoring those of you who need a little human contact in their otherwise techno-dependent lives.


Technoman hasn't been in touch for a while, because I've been engaging in an activity that used to be an almost-perpetual state of being when I was Technoboy -- it's called, "daydreaming." You may recall "daydreaming." It was an enchanting distraction that could be practiced by anyone struck by boredom at school, at work, at home, at meetings, at social events, at performances, on vacations and while traveling.

Actually, it's the latter that's gotten Technoman back in the habit of occasionally stepping out of the world as we know it and into the vast, uncharted realms of my gray matter.

See, Technoman has been on the road quite a bit since May, making the circuit from Duncan to Waurika four or five times a week. As a commuter, you spend a lot of time within yourself and can shed the distraction of reality.

One thing I like about daydreaming is it requires people to think up their own plots, as opposed to downloading them or seeing them on the boob toob.

Here in the age of technology run amok, that may seem as quaint as paying a personal visit to someone instead of texting them. But don't forget, the essence of 21st Century Technoman is being able to control technology, instead of vice versa.

Now, some people think daydreaming is rude, which may be true. The basic art of daydreaming requires not giving others your full attention, and the advanced art of daydreaming means being skilled at acting like you're paying attention, when you're actually in another galaxy far, far away.

But you know: When hardly anybody's paying attention these days, what does a little daydreaming hurt Instead of doing homework with the TV on, modern students are surfing the Internet on their smart phone and texting one another in class.

Contrary to the TV ad, folks aren't falling asleep during Shakespearean productions, they're typing up reminder notes on their iPad.

Executives holding staff meetings are using notepads and laptops as prompters and projectors, while employees are texting one another jokes about the boss' presentation.

Computers and cell phones have become part of the packing process for a vacation, and some vacationers use their Droid to snap photos of a beautiful sunset at Maui, which they instantaneously send a friend who's in the middle of a snowstorm in Oklahoma.

Diners who go to restaurants with other people give priority attention to calls on their cells, while somebody eating alone is reading a novel on their Kindle Fire. Folks who retreat to a pastoral meadow for a picnic have a Bluetooth sticking out of their ear as though auditioning for a role on Star Trek 16.

The package of techno-options available to distract people in cars is staggering and somewhat frightening to other drivers. There are radios, ham radios, Internet radio, TVs, books on tape, CDs, DVDs, GPS's, smart phones, etc. that keep drivers from giving more than cursory glances at the highway ahead.

These are just a few of the techno-induced distractions and instruments of multi-tasking that led Technoman to change his commuting routine. To wit: When on the drive back-and-forth to Waurika, Technoman set asides some time to turn off the CD player/radio and cell phone.

In almost no time, Technoman is daydreaming to beat the band, just like he used to as Technoboy in school or in church.

Without techno-distractions and other multi-tasking equipment, wonderful visions form in Technoman's mind. Whole chapters of the books I've yet to write appear; replays of warm moments from the past meander through my mind, along with Nostradamus-type glimpses into the future.

There were even images of some things Technoman can't write about in a family newspaper.

It is daydreaming rediscovered, and I find the practice watersheds to other times when I'm not on the road. Some time each day, no matter what I'm doing, I just slip off to Daydream Land for a few minutes.

Of course, some of these blissful moments occur when Technowoman is talking to me, and she's somehow deduced I'm purposefully not paying attention to her.

But, ah, my love, it isn't that at all. Technoman isn't tuning you out, he's just tuning himself in.

-- Jeff Kaley is managing editor of the News-Democrat ___ (c)2012 Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.) Visit Waurika News-Democrat (Waurika, Okla.) at waurikanewsdemocrat.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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