My Corner, Your Corner: Could you disconnect from social media?

My Corner, - Your Corner - Tony Callaio

I’ve always been a techno geek, going way back to my early days. I love technology.

There were plenty of TV shows in the 60s that used technology like “Lost in Space,” “The Time Tunnel,” “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.” Even the comedy spy spoof show “Get Smart” had technology when Agent 86 had a two-way radio in his shoe.

The space race was fully engaged and I was so fascinated with the fact that we could send someone to the moon and back with computers. Here’s a crazy fact: there is more computer power in your iPhone than the three on-board computers the astronauts had during each Apollo mission.

When I was growing up, flying cars were to be a thing of the future as were portable phones. Speaking of phones, I remember being so fascinated by the phone I had to take it apart to see how it worked.

Usually the only phone you had was installed on a kitchen wall. If not, then you had a wired phone in a TV room or living room. You couldn’t walk too far because of the cord attached to the wall.

I remember when my parents ordered an extension phone, meaning we had a second phone installed and my parents put it in their bedroom on the second floor. Wow! Did we feel important having that second phone.

Our house was a rather long home so if you were on the second floor and the phone rang, you had to run like a maniac to answer it. Plenty of times you’d drop what you were doing to race to answer the phone only to have the caller hang up before you got there. Drat! Remember, no caller ID back then so it would get frustrating when the other party didn’t call back right away.

Cell phones were still a long way off in the 60s and 70s but how great was it when we became free of the wire and could take our home phone anywhere in the house with the new technology of a cordless phone (as long as you were within distance of the base)?

You could even go outside to talk on the phone with a cordless. It was heaven.

Eventually, articles would pop up about the new technology of cell phones. Remarkable!

Could you imagine being able to make and receive phone calls from a phone just about anywhere… even while driving in your car? All of a sudden, the future was upon us and, in a few short years, billions of cell phones were in use.

Cell phones are so commonplace that many people have opted to get rid of their home phone and use their cell phones as the only phone. If you use DSL to obtain your Internet signal, then you have to maintain a home phone. The only way to eliminate your home phone is to use a cable modem.

Of course, all the technology offered today comes at a price… and I don’t just mean financially.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you know about all the trouble the folks at Facebook have gotten themselves into.

Facebook has been selling off customer information where the highest bidders could have access to your personal data unless you use caution and have regulations placed in your account.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder, chairman and CEO, is estimated to be worth $62.2 billion. Yep, you read that right – BILLION dollars. At 33 years old, Zuckerberg has niched out a pretty good living for himself.

I had my suspicions about Facebook and Internet use itself when I read that Zuckerman black-tapes over his computer camera. That’s right, the King of Facebook tapes over his camera. What does that tell you?

Not only has Facebook sold your private information to companies, but then there’s their involvement in the last presidential election, allegedly allowing Russians to influence voters.

So where do we draw the line? Did technology get ahead of us so fast that our heads are now spinning?

Every time we log online, we put ourselves out there and privacy… forget about privacy. Accounts get hacked every day and hackers just don’t stop at hijacking your Facebook profile. They take your bank accounts, Social Security numbers and the list goes on.

Here’s the rub – what do we do now? How do we change things and how do we let go of social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others? We have been sucked in and it’s extremely hard to let go.

French philosopher Edgar Quinet said, “What we share with another ceases to be our own.” Quinet hit the nail on the head but what is so remarkable about that statement is Quinet lived from 1803 to 1875.

But darn it, I do love my technology and will find it very hard to stop.

Who will wish me happy birthday? Who will offer me condolences or congratulations? Who will answer my question if I’m looking for a reliable plumber or electrician?

After decades of not hearing from distant relatives, I now have them at my fingertips and just a click of a mouse away. What will I do after I disconnect?

So many questions that need to be answered. I wish those with all those billions of dollars would be more responsible for the people who got them to that position in the first place.

Quote of the week

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett, British novelist

Thought of the week

“The primal principle of democracy is the worth and dignity of the individual.” – Edward Bellamy, American author

Bumper sticker

“Greatness is the dream of youth realized in old age.” – Alfred Victor Vigny, French poet

My Corner,

Your Corner

Tony Callaio

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at

Reach the Sunday Dispatch newsroom at 570-655-1418 or by email at