Saving Time Is Complicated

Which, getting back to the point, is why I lament about current technology. It seems to me that the pendulum has swung from technology simplifying our life, to technology complicating our life.

Remember the “paperless society” theory of the 1980s? It never happened. Now we have just as much paper and have to keep up on electronic data as well. I’m not sure our minds were ever meant to deal with as much information as our society currently demands.

So I just shake my head ruefully as I watch people with phones clipped to their ears, texting as they drive, checking their calendar as they dash from one meeting to the next, laptop on their knee finishing the presentation they’ll give in 10 minutes if they don’t cause a multiple-car pileup because they think they can “multi-task” at 70 miles per hour.

This is why what we do in recreation is so important today (bet you thought I’d never tie this back into recreation). We provide the public facilities, the staff, the programs and the low-tech opportunity for people to exercise their bodies so they can slow down their minds. When they walk into their exercise class, ball game, quilting class, nature walk or any of the other myriad things we do, I hope they put away their laptop, turn off their cell phone, clear their schedule for a couple hours and just enjoy life. Can I get a witness on this? Can somebody give me an “Amen?”

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, is Director of Leisure Services (parks, recreation, library) in Peachtree City, Ga. Contact him at (770) 631-2542 or e-mail

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5 comments on “Saving Time Is Complicated

  1. Chuck Costas on said:

    Amen my brother. Where are Ozzie and Harriet and the Cleaver family when you need them?

  2. Wesley Bishop on said:

    1953 was a very good year!! Your descriptions bring back many memories as I also grew up working on my grandparents northern NY dairy farm and identify with everything you mention down to the automatic gutter cleaner. It is sad to me that the simple things from that time are mostly gone and I am glad that I have been able to pass many of these things down to my children who do understand but may be the last generation that does. We are fortunate to be on the edge of the Adirondack Park so the recreation opportunities abound and for a short while longer there are many large tracts where there is no cell service so we can truly get away from it all. I feel very fortunate not to have been chained 24/7 to the machine but it is getting more and more difficult. Our public facilities are, as you mention, possibly the shining light of sanity in this techno world. Very refreshing comentary and thanks.

  3. Scott W. Rowan on said:

    Amen. As one with a 16 & 13 year old, I constantly am amazed at their level of confidence with technology, while wondering if it is truly such a wonderful thing. There was a PBS special last year about technology, and MIT (or Harvard, can’t remember) studied college kids who were adept at multi-tasking. What they found was they could do a bunch of things at once, but nothing was done very well, and that is my concern. We need play and recereation areas, and we need to remember to slow down and “smell the roses”.

  4. Beth Hamil on said:

    Amen! As a fellow 1953′er ( I stopped doing that math a long time ago), I can relate to your thoughtful and entertaining comments. It is just a matter of time before the technology generation relizes that humans can only take so much “data input” and have to stop and return to nature on a regular basis. What feels more natural than floating/splashing around in water. I hope that waterproof cell phones never catch on!!

    • Randy Gaddo on said:

      Waterproof cell phones! You’d better be careful talking about that idea; it’s just crazy enough to be profitable. I can see teens and tweens splashing around in the pool with their AquaCells strapped to their wrist, talking to friends, texting, splashing…there would be new “ExerTalkText” classes springing up where you can do water aerobics and text or talk to your friends at the same time. The possibilities are endless…in fact I’m surprised someone hasn’t come up with it yet:-)

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