Six little numbers

Modern life. An unrelenting, unforgiving and downright brutal grind. At the best of times.

I hope that’s put a smile on your face.

Years ago, TV programmes such as “Tomorrow’s World” promised us that we were within reach of a new golden age, where work would be done more quickly and, as a result, leisure time would expand. Well, they got that spectacularly wrong. In fact, what could be further from the truth?

The digital, internet, always-on-the-go age now makes demands on us that our quite recent ancestors never had to suffer. And yes, I do mean suffer. It’s 24/7 and go,go,go these days. Aren’t you sick of it? Permanently contactable by phone (“I called you but you didn’t answer” people bristle, as if picking-up your own phone is an obligation rather than a choice), on Facebook, on Twitter, instantly e-mailable on BlackBerry and locatable (by the right people) via the signal emitted by your mobile phone. Great! “It’s a global world” the men in suits sagely advise, though I’m yet to hear them mention what other sort of world could possibly be on offer. An un-global one, perhaps?

Many of us, and I include myself in this, do sometimes seem petrified that the world (the global one) will cease to revolve on its axis if we don’t immediately notify our Facebook friends that we “had fish & chips for dinner…yummy” before we even wash the plates or throw the wrappers in the bin. We are busy, busy people.

We should therefore thank the Lord, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha and the dear old Flying Spaghetti Monster that “Lucky Dip” remains an option that’s open to us when we are selecting our lottery numbers. Having the opportunity to save perhaps ten seconds of our busy lives and devote them to other pursuits (such as standing in the queue) is a truly wonderful thing. One day, I suspect, historians and social anthropologists will debate exactly how it came to be that an advanced civilisation reached the point where selecting six numbers from a choice of forty-nine became a task so onerous, so daunting, that a short-cut just had to be devised. If you know why, then answers on a postcard please. Or an e-postcard if you’re too busy to do a bit of handwriting.

There are many methods for selecting those six magic numbers. However, if you really must rely on “Lucky Dip” please may I politely ask you NOT to provoke internet chatroom/forum discussions on the “unrandom” nature of your numbers over the past two weeks. Some people do, I assure you. I’ve seen the debates they have with each other (all in the course of my research). They think that having the number twenty-seven last week means they shouldn’t have it this week. Incredible. And they put these witless observations on the internet, in the same way that I put my witless observations on the internet. Fortunately, I am right and they are wrong. How do they find the time anyway, given that manually selecting six numbers is apparently too time-consuming for them?

The conclusion is, naturally, that we will always find stuff to do in one area of our lives if technology has allegedly saved us some time in another. This may not be an original thought. In fact, I’m certain it is not. But next time someone attempts to sell you a wonderful product or service that will allegedly transform your life, please bear this in mind. Then headbutt them and walk slowly away.

Or run if your next “Tweet” is overdue.

Inevitably, there’s an app for this

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