The Phone is To Blame!

For some unexplained reason, my Google Chrome browser “failed to connect” yesterday.   I noticed the little blue light on my modem, the light that’s supposed to assure me that my Wifi is working, went dark.

No light, no Wifi.

I called Comcast, dialed “1,” listened to the instructions, dialed “3” for Wireless Internet, and was attacked by static-ridden music you’d only listen to if you’re captive on the phone . . . as I was.

After 9 minutes and 28 seconds, a human voice welcomed me.  I explained my reason for sitting on the phone listening to irritating music and the man who identified himself as Jerry disingenuously gave me the well rehearsed “I’m sorry, Mr. Kaplan, that you’re experiencing this problem with your Wifi” line and proceeded to trouble shoot.  15 minutes into our conversation he told me there’s nothing he can do on his end.  I need a new modem.  Grrr.  Wasted time.  I hate wasting time, but my time wasting had only just begun.

The “need a new modem” statement is followed by three choices. I could ship my modem back, have them ship me a new one, and pay shipping charges.  I could schedule a visit from my friendly Comcast technician (full knowing the technician never arrives in the scheduled window of time) and pay for a service call.  The third option was the most appealing.

“Stop by your local Comcast office and they’ll just trade it out for a new one.”

I chose option #3.

I arrived at the Comcast office, walked into a roomful of people, and was given a little ticket that said 04.

I was number 4!  Yay.

Oh wait.  Not yay.  The number four would have been really good if they had started at zero.  It would have been really nice . . . had the voice not called out “number 82.”

Yes, “4” came 5 people after 99.  And we were still in the low eighties.

In all I spent one hour and twenty minutes at the Comcast office, another 75 minutes on the phone with the “Activation Department” and I conclude, life was simpler when we only had one phone line and an answering machine, a desktop plugged into an Ethernet cable, and only 75 channels on our televisions with premium channels limited to HBO and Showtime.

All in all, I had given more than three hours to the task of getting my internet connection working as it should have been to begin with.  Three hours sucked from my life for this single exercise.  This is the inevitable sacrifice we make to have the benefit of new technology.  Three hours here, three hours there, and a number of minutes listening to recorded voices giving us menus of options.

Here, in this 21st century, it’s interesting to work with people who have to find time to exercise.  “I don’t have time” is the most readily available excuse” and people love to pull it out anytime they’re challenged by a decision to commit to movement.

These people are busy.  Very busy.  They have jobs, families, obligations, and . . . technology.  Let’s assume the job takes 8 hours out of the day.  Let’s give 4 hours to kids’ obligations and family time.  That does seem consuming, but it should allow for 30 minutes of exercise on any given day, even allowing for a full eight hours of sleep.   What, then is robbing people of that additional time?

I point the finger at technology.  Yes, the very computer I’m typing on right now is a time thief if I let my guard down.  I believe the technology we treasure is becoming a parasitic epidemic and unless we take some control back from the automated world of texts, tweets, and log-ins, we’re doomed, at least physically.

As technology invades, humankind moves closer to becoming a swarm of expressionless blobs with forward head and rounded shoulders and chronic back pain (from sitting hunched over a computer all day)

Since my Comcast experience yesterday, I’ve been highly cognizant of the bane of technology.  After my workout today, an exercise session in a gym where everyone is wearing ear buds or big headphones, where conversation is limited to the occasional yelling (to be heard over the headphone music) of  “are you done with that?”, I stopped in one of my favorite local sushi restaurants for lunch.  There were 9 people at the sushi bar when I arrived.

I sat down, said hello to the sushi chefs and was greeted by the waitress.  I then realized, the others at the sushi bar weren’t people, they were zombies.  Their blank stares gave it away.  They were the undead.  Oh, wait, they weren’t staring at nothing . . . they were staring at their phones.  All 9 of them.  Just staring, and touching, and swiping, and robotically shoving rolls into their mouths, and staring some more.

What in the world are all these people so busy with?  What majorly important tasks are being performed through their cell phones that warrant a commitment to the blank-faced stare?  What can each one of them be so busy with that they are prevented from connecting with the world around them?  Are they watching their investments?  Texting remedies to sick relatives?  Match-dot-comming?

I decided I’d ask.

I turned to the woman on my right, and said, not-by-accident loudly, “I was just out in California and when you sit at a sushi bar there, everyone talks to each other.  I realize here in Florida, people are busier, but I wonder what important things everyone’s dealing with on their phones?”

The woman looked at me uncertain of how to respond, caught in a tug-of-war between giving me her momentary attention or returning to the safety of her phone, but the guy at the end of the bar broke the silence when he said, “I was just reading about the missing plane.”

“Did they locate it?”


“So what are you reading?”

“That they’re still looking.”  This is breaking news?  They’re also still looking for Jimmy Hoffa and the other shooter on the grassy knoll.

After hearing the inadequacy of the plane-watcher’s answer, the woman on my right then realized it was probably safe to reveal her recent activity.   Two words said it all.  “Candy Crush.”

The older man with the bushy gray hair said, “I’m still trying to figure out how to use this iphone.  I was used to my Blackberry, so I’m reading my emails and practicing sorting them.”

The electricity of the conversation extended beyond the sushi bar.  A woman at the table behind me held up her phone and said, “Facebook.  Did you see the video of the synchronized walking?”  The young man on my left acknowledged that he had.  If there was ever a moment in my life that made me feel as if I’m missing out on something, this wasn’t it.  I daresay if I went through the rest of my life without watching a synchronized walking video, I wouldn’t shed a single tear.

After five minutes of chatter, everyone went back into their phones, mindlessly emptying their plates and chewing without a visible sign of pleasure.  They chewed.  They stared.  It reminded me of a movie years ago with Robin Williams and Robert Dinero where comatose patients in a hospital came to life for a brief period of time, and then fell back into their comatose states.  For 5 minutes the sushi bar was animated, and as I left I walked away from The Chewing Dead (a new HBO series beginning in September).

I now understood.  The important urgent cell phone interactions are games, busy work, and mindless stories designed to infect us all with Attention Deficit Disorders.  No worries. There’s medication for that.

Listen . . . you can’t not have time to exercise!  Yes, I know, that’s bad grammar, but I reject autocorrect and while I’m rejecting . . .

I rebuke Twitter.  I shun Social Media.  I renounce Craigslist.  I even refuse  At least, as long as they try to prevent me from finding exercise time.

OK, here’s the good news.  There are 59 people who manage to balance life, technology, exercise, and radical improvements in health.  They are the people presently going through my ALIVE Across America program.  They rely on six foundational exercise movements they can do anywhere.  They learn to exercise in sessions as brief as 9 minutes, as lengthy at times as 30 minutes.  They learn to lose fat without dieting.  They commit to only six minutes of exercise in a single day.  They even learn to use social media to help them improve physically.

Yes, this is a program for 21st Century America, and it delivers extraordinary results.  As we enter Week 8 (of 10) the participants are seeing differences in body shape, in energy, in well-being, in fat loss, in strength, and in overall health.  People are getting off medications they’d been on for years believing the prescriptions were lifetime sentences.

I know the skepticism these claims summon up.  I encourage you to be skeptical, but ask the question, “what if it’s true?” and hold on to an open mind.

I invite you to join me for a 45-minute webinar during which I’ll share the science behind A.L.I.V.E.  I’ll show you how simple it is, even in a busy world, to gain control of your body, your metabolism, and your health.  Register for the Better and Better webinar (mixing technology with empowerment and human interaction), April 22, at 7 PM Eastern Time and put me to the test.

I claim that 45 minutes can change your life.  Find details on the Better and Better Webinar by clicking here and prepare.  Life will take on a new vibration.  You’ll be gifted with a new sense of your own potential.

A sense of awe and ease await you.

Find more info on Better and Better, the life-altering Webinar.

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