Is 2015 the Year of the Future?

Back when I admitted my failure at blogging wrote my first post of 2015, I claimed that 2015 is a year of minimalism for me.  Boy – is that the truth.  Since January, I quit crossfit (more to follow), only wrote four times on this blog, unsubscribed from 30+ daily email subscriptions and, in general, slimmed down my calendar invites.  This was all for the sake of reducing my stress levels.  Sounds like a novel concept – doesn’t it?

Part of my need for cutting back originated from an overwhelming surplus of data on a daily basis.  Buy this.  Take a photo of that.  Email her.  Respond to that text.  Call him back.  Follow so-and-so on twitter.  Did you like my post?  I started to feel caught in the crosswebs of driving my own life forward, and being overly involved in everyone elses.  How did we get to this point?

It’s hard to imagine that just thirty-three years ago, the CD-ROM was invented – and just three years after that – Microsoft released Windows 1.0.  In 1991, the world wide web opened to the general public, which now hosts 1 billion + websites.  In 2000, 100 million people owned a cell phone – only twenty-seven years after the first mobile-to-mobile phone call was made.

Needless to say, we’ve come a long way since the late 20th century… because now?

-4 billion, out of the 6.8 billion people on the planet, use a mobile phone.  Weird side fact: only 3.5 billion of them use a toothbrush.

-220 million tons of old computers and other technology devices are trashed in the U.S. each year.

-90% of text messages are read within three minutes of being delivered.

-The average 21-year-old has spent 5,000 hours playing video games, sent 250,000 emails, instant messages and text messages, and has spent 10,000 hours on a mobile phone alone.

and my personal favorite:

-Of the 60 billion emails that are sent on a daily basis, 97% are considered spam.

source: Website Magazine

 A couple of months ago, I read an article about whether 2015 is the year of the future.  I can’t, for the life of me, find it, but it talked about how far society has come in the past twenty years regarding the amount of data that can be processed on a tiny processing chip, and other recent technical advancements.

Remember this?  Btw. The hoverboard has already been created.

In an age when “yottabyte” is a word that doesn’t refer to a cartoon character, the average 21-year-old has spent enough hours on a cell phone to achieve mastery in a field.  By the time Bill Gates was 21, he had mastered programming.

I get that technolgy is important – particularly in the realm of safety and healthcare.  But, I’m starting to wonder if, in 2015, we’ve tipped the scales too far off balance.  When 220 million tons of technology are thrown away each year, is it time to reevaluate?  Have we made enough technical advancements at this point that we can consider ourselves ‘there,’ and can shift the scales to idolize the simpler facets of life?  I’m panicking that the next generation of kids will never know the feeling of creating donuts in the parking lot, or how to say Hi to someone without a cell phone, or a watch, or a tablet, or a computer.  Get what I’m saying?

This whole process of thinking led me to a minimalism challenge.  I think it’s the perfect way to shed the constant feeling of needing to be ‘online.’  I love technology and its ability to easily connect me to society and my loved ones, but I don’t want to be the master of it – nor let it be the master of me.  So, for the month of June, I’ll be completing the following minimalism acts for each day of the month.  Will you join me?  If you’re reading this on day 4 or day 10, it’s never too late to join in!

source: pinterest

Follow me @crossroadsheart on instagram to see what i do each day.  I know, I know… it’s technology!

I guess we can’t escape it all.

Repost: “When I Knew I was a Grown Up”

This week, at MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop, one of the prompts is: A moment you realized you were a grown up.  I immediately thought of this post that I wrote more than a year ago for a small link-up that I hosted.  I’d love to hear in the comments about the moment that you realized you were a grown up, too!

Originally posted: February 13, 2014, slightly edited

**

The alarm buzzes at 8:32AM sharp.  “Sh*t,” I manage to mumble as my eyes open, and refocus to the light shining through my bedroom window.  My right leg, notably missing a sock, swings out from under the comforter and gently grazes the carpeted floor.

Or, what should be the floor.

Instead, my foot swiftly kicks the wooden banister of my trundle-bed before slamming into a red, warm, gooey pile of leftover jello shots from the night before.

$%^&*******

Despite my verbal antics, I’m careful not to wake my slumbering roommate as I separate the crooked blinds and peek down to the Pittsburgh road five stories below.  A light dusting of snow covers the pot-holed, fraternity-lined street.

My second alarm rings reminding me of class in 20 minutes…

“Yeah, this isn’t going to happen,” I think as I face-plant back into bed.

**

The alarm buzzes at 3:45AM as I jolt awake and jump off the queen-sized mattress.  I stumble my way to the bathroom and quickly flick on the light.  “Sh*t,” I manage to mumble as I realize my eye de-puffing cream has done nothing to improve the bags under my eyes.  I quickly rinse off in the shower and throw on my new suit before attempting to fix the blue and green circles under my bloodshot ocular.  What’s a girl to do without foundation and powder?

My phone buzzes next to me indicating that a cab is on its way.  “Crap,” I think; only six more hours until our presentation to the client, which includes a one and a half hour flight and a 2-hour drive through the back roads of South Carolina.  I check my phone as I grab my suitcase and laptop bag, and stumble down the poorly lit steps.

An email from M. around midnight (why is he emailing at that hour, let alone awake??) awaits my response.  Did I print ten copies of the presentation?

“Hmm…,” I ponder as I hail down the cab, which already drove yards past my house.

**

My Pitt shirt reeks of stale beer and barbecue sauce (?) when I stumble into the kitchen later that afternoon.  A note from my roommate indicates that she would like the kitchen cleaned… and soon.  I push the post-it off to the side as I pour myself a glass of orange juice.  Don Perignon for a college student; that stuff is like liquid gold, given how expensive it is for a girl who can’t even afford her rent.

I flip through the pages of my accounting and marketing books, while Sex and the City plays in the background.  Numbers mix with advertisements, which mix with accounting tables and marketing budgets.  It’s like Mad Men meets Turbo Tax.  It takes all of 15 minutes before I realize that I just don’t care.  We spend the majority of our college careers trying to plan for our future, but who’s to say that future is actually going to happen?

**

Wheels touch down in Washington D.C. a quarter after 7pm.  I think about the week before.  Just four short days ago, I remember running around the client site printing the ten copies of the client presentation in frantic haste.  My job is not perfect, nor a true, deep passion of mine, but I care for it and keeping it safe.

I text my family members to let them know I successfully survived another flight.  As the taxi pulls into the driveway of the house with my loving friends and dog inside, I’m consumed with the feelings of caring about them too.

A pineapple in a bar is grown up.. Right??!

I think the moment that I first discovered that I was a ‘grown-up’ was the moment I realized that I truly, deeply care for the things in my life – my job, my people, my health, everything.  It feels weird to write this because it’s not that I didn’t care before, but I feel like I was so lost in the bubble of what the heck am I doing with my life? that it was hard to concentrate on other things and people around me.

Now that I’m on my own and accountable for my own things (mortgage, dog, food, happiness), I feel more responsibility for choosing the things that I care about and putting effort into that care.  In college, these thoughts are just a little fairy tale, but, once in the income-making world… they get real.

**Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop