technology

The Paper Problem

I recently discovered how sacred printer paper is to college students.

If we held a modern gladiatorial combat with college students, it would be for printer paper.  College students would arm themselves and head into the arena to battle to the death.

I am not sure about other colleges or universities, but at my school printer paper does not come free. Most lounges are supply-your-own-paper printers. Only the commuter lounge, which is really supposed to be used by commuters-only, resources are free of charge. That is, they are free if you know where to look. You still have to walk to a different room to pick up printer paper, and even then it is hard to get. I have gotten many looks from whoever is working there, almost to say, “are you REALLY a commuter.” When you finally get a hold of some paper, you bring back the paper and quickly shove it into the printer.  As you quickly select print, you realize someone else is headed to the printer.  And shooting out of the device comes their notes.  Of course, the paper they just used up was not their own, but they don’t care.  They are in the same rush as you are.  It’s every man for himself!

I’ve never actually gotten mad at someone for using up the paper that I have brought back because I know I can get it for free.  I would be frustrated however, if I brought in stacks of my own paper, and then other students use it all up.  I have seen people literally argue with each other over printer paper.  It’s so ridiculous but at the same time, if people would just respect each others materials we wouldn’t have any issue.

Finals week makes kids go insane. I have seen people hurrying to print out their 50 pages of slides just so they can study.  So it is no wonder students get upset when some lazy student comes in and just prints their papers without bringing any paper.  Some students will have no problem voicing their opinions, and you really see how rude people are on your campus. I had a girl yell at me for using her paper, when I had counted out exactly how many pages I needed and placed them in the printer. She ran over to the printer and whipped out her paper so I wouldn’t use it.  She left some behind, and instead of keeping it, I gave it back to her (although I really think I should have kept it).

Which reminds me, whenever you see printing paper without an owner, snatch it up! I have found many piles of paper that have yet to be used, and hey, if you don’t protect it someone else will!  I have also found that printing your papers at the last minute are never a good idea.  This is just increasing your chances of things to go wrong, which will only leave you stressed and angry.  I also have decided to bring only the amount of paper that is necessary to print my document(s).  This way you aren’t putting extra paper in the printer for someone else to use.  Also, put the paper in the printer right before you go to print something.

I never would have suspected that college students would go so crazy over paper, but I am starting to see it makes sense.  We need so much paper every day, and when people try to take the little resources you have, it can be stressful. Sharpen your elbows students, you may need them!

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Text This, Tech That: Where’d the Conversation Go?

It is safe to say that a majority of people have cell phones.  At&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint; they are huge companies for a reason.  Snail-mail is beyond dead.  We have the fastest way of staying connected, and it is something we should value.  One would think that because communication has become easier, staying in touch with friends and family would be simple.

Well, it’s not.

I’ll have to start at the beginning.  There are some people that I know, most of whom I do not speak with anymore, who cannot stay in touch with me even though their cell phones are glued to their hips (as the older folks say).  They have these fancy phones with huge screens, chic cases, and they are always tap tap tap-ing the day away.

It certainly is a challenge to try and strike up a conversation with people like this.  I try to make eye contact with them, but instead their eyes are popping out of the sockets to look at their tiny screens, nodding at the appropriate time just to make me think they are paying attention. 

Since the person appears to be readily available to answer a text, call or an email, you would assume getting a hold of them would  be a walk in the park.

No answer.

Maybe then you try again?

No answer.

After frantically typing profanities or calling them endlessly, you give up.  They finally realize you exist and reply with something like, “Lol sorry I didn’t have my phone on me :D”

You would think that since the person always sesms to have their phone out at any social gathering, meeting, school, or car ride, answering you would be no problem.  Yet, they seem MIA when you try to get a hold of them.

Have you known someone like this?

I have had acquaintances that groan to me about how “we never text anymore.”  Since I care about the relationships I have, I had decided to text my “friends” more often.  Yet when I would reach out to them, their messages were so mundane I wanted to hurl my phone across the room and never speak to another soul again.  We didn’t even talk about  anything.  It’s just “hahahah” this and “omg i know” that.  What is the point of making my fingers work for no reason?!  I’m tired of hearing that we don’t text anymore.  What about conversing face-to-face?  Where did it go?

I guess perhaps the reason I am so disgruntled with the texting world is because my major requires a somewhat platform of communicating with others properly.  I believe in correct grammer and work choice, and it’s a shame to see what is becoming of me because of my texting.  Everything is abbreviated and slang, and all we do is laugh.  I normally don’t “hahhahahaha” to all of my friends, but what else is there to say in the text-o-sphere?  I have no desire to waste my time talking to someone who won’t talk back.  “Lol,” “haha” and “okay,” is not a conversation in my book. 

Like my dad always says in his old-man-manner, “Cell phones are ruining the generations.  No one really wants to talk to each other, they just can.”

Dad, I may have to agree with you.  All we care about is what is happening online, or virtually, and when it comes time to talk face to face, everyone seems clueless.  Believe it or not, there is a world outside.  All we need to do is look up from our phones every once and a while.

Where’d All the Patience Go?

Yesterday I had to go to Walmart to pick up a few odds and ends for school.  I only had about five or so items, and everyone else had a lot more than me.  What made it worse was that there were only three registers open for checking out.  As I waited, I started tapping my foot, impatiently.  Then, I deeply sighed to myself in frustration.

Where are all the employees?  I have places to go.  I have to get to work.  I only have five stinkin’ items.  

That’s when I realized I was demonstrating a stereotypical American individual; rude and impatient.

This made me wonder, why are we so impatient?  Why is waiting in a line for more than five minutes life-altering?

Our lives are too fast.  Everything as at the tip of our fingertips, or sent to us in a fraction of a second.  Waiting in line for five minutes now seems like an eternity because we are used to our daily lives being super speedy. This makes me nervous because as time moves forward and our technology changes every month, we are continuing to grow more impatient, and lazy.  I really do not want this to be our future.

So what are we to do?  It’s easier said than done to just “stop being lazy.”  It’s actually impossible to some people.  In Walmart when I acted like waiting in line for a few minutes was the worst thing in the world, I just thought about how ridiculous I was being.  Instead, I thought to myself, “Well, it was my decision to go to Walmart on a whim so I have no right to be complaining.”

Like I said, easier said than done.  I know several people who would not be able to alter their thoughts into positive thinking.

I also think that our fast-paced days makes people develop rude habits.  For instance, obeying the rules of the road has now become faux pas.  If you drive the speed limit, you see a car riding your butt.  If you stop the appropriate amount of time at a stop sign, the car behind you rides your butt.  If you are going the speed limit in a lane, the car behind you zooms angrily in the next lane to get around you.  No one stops at stop lights when they turn yellow.  People constantly run red lights, and go too fast on the roads.  No one stops for pedestrians, even if they have a cross walk.  People yell profanities, and flip you off if you reprimand them (by casually beeping the horn the car came installed with) for disobeying the law.

Everyone needs to get to their destination lickity-split.  When they have to wait in traffic, dear Lord, it’s a madhouse on the roads.  You have to always anticipate the worst in life, and I think people are failing to forget to do this.  Some days you will encounter unfortunate events on the road, but this certainly does not give us the right to be rude and impatient.  You are endangering not only the safety of yourself, but others.

Sometimes you have to have patience.  It is really difficult at times, but I think developing patience is something that everyone should try.  You will see yourself becoming more relaxed, and notice others around you to appear more calm than usual.

Frankenstorm Didn’t Kill Facebook (Although I Wish it Did)

Now that Frankenstorm has done it’s damage, it’s time to sit back and think about what we learned.

Wait, what?

You heard me.  I think that we can learn a lot from this storm.  For one, you can never be too prepared.  As much as you think that nothing bad will happen to you or your family, you can never be so sure.  Although my family was prepared, we never could have anticipated the water damage we received after the storm.  There were tons of leaks in multiple parts of our house.  We know now that we should expect that as a worse case scenario.

Something else that I learned, is being grateful for everything that we have.  We live in a first world nation.  We are constantly connected to the internet, our phones, our electronic gadgets, and electricity as a whole.  That’s why with a storm like this, people went ballistic.  I can’t tell you how many Facebook statuses I read, or tweets, saying “OMG NO POWER.”  The first thing these kids were thinking of wasn’t “Oh no, how will I be able to heat up food, or keep my food refrigerated ”  No, the first thing people do is update their statuses to Facebook.  Let me just quick scroll through the list of people that told me their power was off, like they didn’t know that was going to happen.  First, I would like to point out that this was a given.  We were expecting a tropical storm to hit, what did you think?  The endless virtual complaints angered me so much, I just got off my computer.  I was thankful enough to have kept my power.  It went off for about a minute tops.  So, call me biased but I think the complaining is ridiculous.  Your power will eventually come back on.  I know it feels like you can’t do anything, but maybe being without your laptop and cell phone is a bit healthy?  It allows you to talk with your family or friends, with no electrical interference.  Sometimes, good ol’ quality time can make the day go by a lot faster.

I drove by houses today and saw several uprooted trees, broken power lines, and a few slightly destroyed houses.  It really makes me sit back and realize how lucky, how unbelievably lucky my family is.  If a tree fell on our house, I know we would not be able to afford the repair costs, and I’m not sure how insurance works with trees crushing your house.  Also, if you really want to be thankful, we can look at all of the houses and cars that are destroyed, and lives that are altered because of this hurricane.  The places where the most damage was seen was obviously along the cost.  Some of these houses are either flooded, or destroyed.  Streets in New York were flooded.  Shore houses need full repair.  I think it’s a little sad that we are complaining about not being able to charge our phones.

It’s hard to compare a mountain and a mole hill.  But, I think with situations like these it makes sense.  No matter what happens to you in life, you need to learn to pick yourself up, and think of all the good things that you have in your life.  Bad things are always going to happen.  It’s all about how you deal with the situation.

I hope that the people who have damaged homes, or loss of power for days and days, will seek peace soon.  I surely wish that there was something I could do to help.  I think keeping a positive attitude is the one think I can do for sure.