Living With Animals: High Touch vs. High Tech

Sure, we live in the very Center of the Tech Universe but, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence aside, this weekend I had to return my new desk lamp after receiving a scary recall notice from the manufacturer. Really, how am I supposed to trust my life to driverless vehicles while worrying about dying in a fiery inferno because an everyday and assumedly quite simple appliance apparently left the factory with frayed wires? Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the new best thing simply because it is new (and perhaps best) but neither am I a Luddite. I like when tech helps. For example, cursed with a terrible sense of direction (likely my direct ancestor was the reason my tribe wandered 40 years in the desert) I adore both my car’s and my phone’s GPS systems (both have very sweet first names and I routinely utter “thank you!” after being recalculated) but, as once described in an interview, it’s fair to say I am more high touch than high tech.

Where am I going with this? I sit here, at home on my living room couch, balancing two laptops. One of them froze just a few minutes ago and I had to start this column over after a complete shutdown while the second one has purred, smoothly and without interruption, ignoring the expletives tossed at the damn machine. Yes, cats do indeed make the best laptops.

Fitbits, the Apple Watch, and other Dick Tracy derivative wrist wear are meant to encourage physical exercise but does anyone who lives with a dog need more than Fido’s stare (a combination, somehow, of guilt peddling and sweetness) to get them up and moving? Does the response from virtual friends to a photo of lunch proudly posted on your social media account come close to you pup’s reaction to the real meal? Trust me, even a veggie burger gets a lot of attention! Touch vs. tech? Pets win!

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