We Don’t Control Technology. Technology Controls Us

At a first glance it might sounds silly, but every time I look around me, I can’t help but think it’s true, and it only gets worse by day. Think about it. You go to a restaurant and see a family or a group of friends, at the table, all on their tablets or smartphones, browsing the internet, not exchanging a single word during the entire meal. Later, they all pack their stuff, and leave. I always wonder why did they went out in first place and not stay locked in their rooms and chat via Facebook, while eating alone.

Visiting a new city / country often turns, for most people, into a quest to find a Wireless Network, just so they can talk to someone else, or update their Facebook status about the new ‘exciting’ location they are at. We are losing ourselves into the technology in our pockets and not living in the present day. The acute desire to always be connected and record every move we make, makes us forget to actually enjoy the moment, and be there, with the persons sitting next to us.

The social disease of recording our moves, checking-in from every location, posting pictures of the food we eat, and look in a certain way for the photos we ‘HAVE TO’ upload online, turns us into the slaves of the applications we’re using. Some people say: ‘I need to check-in now, because later it won’t be valid anymore.’ or my old time favorite: ‘I need to smile in a certain way, because otherwise I can’t post the pictures online.’. To whom are we trying to prove what, by acting in a way we are not, just for the sake of being connected, with some people we most of the time don’t even like? It seems like lately what’s more important than anything, is live to the expectations of a pretended life.

I don’t think, for most people, there’s anything more painful when going out into the real world, than the lack of internet connection or the ‘Low Battery’ warning. It makes me wonder, when and where do they actually live if they are so busy with technology all the time? They live on the social network or in the real life? Because most act like their life is over when the battery dies.

I believe we are missing on a lot, because of this kind of perspective on socializing… We have no idea how to enjoy a moment of silence in the nature, we can’t enjoy a peaceful meal with our loved ones, without obsessively check our phones every few minutes and posting a picture of the food on Instagram or Facebook, and we definitely don’t enjoy special moments in our lives, like birthdays, holidays, fireworks and so on, without letting go of reality, and moving ourselves into the piece of technology which has to record it all.

I find it particularly sad to know some people can’t spend a moment alone with their own thoughts, without playing loud music to push away loneliness, and without connecting to a social network, to scroll through other people’s lives. Is like we are trying to run away from … ourselves.

And what is so social about Facebook? What does it have so special that makes us give up the most beautiful application, REALITY, just to spend virtual time, with out eyes glued to a screen? Why are we so afraid of the Low Battery warning, when it actually means: ‘Why don’t you look around you and find someone real, to really talk to?‘. What makes us chose the pretended life of so many online ‘friends’ (who only wish you happy birthday because Facebook informs them to do so) over our real friends and family, sitting right next to us?

Such a beautiful world out there, and we push it away for a small box with a screen… Who controls who again?

Remembering Why … Circle of Concern vs Circle of Control

I’m pretty sure not many are aware of this, but All Right Choices isn’t the first website I’ve administrated. Some of you might not even be aware of the fact that I’ve been an animal and environmental activist, for pretty much all my life.

When I was only 16 years old, I was quite active on ASPCA online community, signing petitions, getting involved in online adoptions, fighting against animal cruelty in any way possible.

Going fast from creating only a group against animal cruelty, to opening my own online community for animal lovers in Romania, a full time job started, which lasted for more than 2 years. That’s the moment when Romanian SPCA Online Community was born (September 10, 2008).

With almost 500 animal lovers actively involved, we really got it going. We became the voice of the voiceless  and did what we could to get animals adopted worldwide, send petitions all around the world to gather signatures, create petitions and forward them to the responsible authorities, write articles, inform people, start competitions, games and share our love for animals.

That community became my online family, bringing into my life a lot of wonderful people, which are up to this day, part of my family.

What went wrong?

The online platform which used to host the community went from free to … expensive. For a high school student, with no income, that translates into the end. I had no other option but to shut it down, and it was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do, up to that day.

This year is spring I managed to find the ruins of my community, on web archive, and I can’t even begin to describe what went through my heart when I saw the page. I went from happy to sad… That community meant the world to me at one point, and to take just another quick look at it, was a complete miracle to me.

Take Two

As I was working on becoming a programmer, I decided to bring it back to life, just as an exercise, to see if I can do it. Not being provided with the infrastructure of the online platform which used to host the original community, I had to start from scratch, with only a mental image of how it should look like.

Soon enough, I realized I don’t really have the knowledge to finish the job. A lot more learning was needed. So, I took it slow: learning how to create the database, then making the database interact with the website, building the homepage, working on the sign up form.

Little by little, it all started to fall into place, and made me wonder if I should finish it and put it back live again.

The Decision 

Even if the community is long gone, I never actually let go. You can’t really give in to animals being abused. Sometimes, however, it becomes a bit too much to handle. I have problems understanding why people like to project so much hurt around them. And even more, why would you hurt a defenseless soul?

I’ve decided to do a bit of reading, on the page of an animal protection group, and see how I feel about doing it all over again. In just a few seconds I came across an article about a guy who decided to kill a dog by splitting the animal’s head into half, with an ax. The answer: I can’t.

It hurts way to much to put myself in the middle of all of this, once again. I can’t go on a larger scale anymore. It’s bad for my sanity. Instead, keeping in mind the circle of concern and the circle of control, I’ve decided to help at a smaller scale, one animal at a time.


I can’t help all the animals in the world, but I can completely change the world of a few animals, so I better focus on that. The alternative is way to painful, and I just don’t have anymore what it takes to keep it up.

That being said, project RomanianSPCA Online Community will remain at project level. Good exercise for my coding skills, and a wonderful way to bring back great memories.

Through this post I want to thank the absolutely incredible people who came into my life, through the community. I am very happy to call you part of my family, and I hope this post will bring back some good memories for you as well!

Relationship Status: Who cares?!

If you use Facebook you probably have at least one friend like this. Which friend I’m talking about? That friend who’s always single during the week, in a relationship during the weekend, and has the acute need to advertise it, like every person they meet is THE ONE.

Then breaks up, deletes all the pictures, and posts a status in which drama is overflowing into every one of their friend’s News Feed. After a few such dramatic posts, someone tries to be ‘nice’ and asks: ‘What’s wrong?‘ or ‘What happened?‘. The answer comes shortly after: ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ or ‘Message me on private‘. I always have to wonder: Why on Earth do you whine about it in public then, if you don’t want to talk about it?!

This person is very heartbroken, posts quotes about how the nasty ex is guilty for everything bad happening in the world (Ebola and the Global Warming suddenly appear into the picture) and about how strong you have to be during such moments.

After this, the period when the friend tries to appear happy arrives. They post pictures with descriptions like: ‘With my friends xoxo‘ , ‘My dog who won’t break my heart like others do‘, ‘On this amazing trip, getting drunk and having fun‘ and so on. 52484175

And this goes on and on for months, until he/she is in a good mood after being in a few months of stable relationship (what an accomplishment! *rolling eyes*) during which you are bombarded with pictures of ‘the meal we ate together‘, ‘us holding hands at my fish’s funeral‘, and other such ‘important’ moments in the life of a couple.

If they don’t break up (which involves again deleting pictures, and posting nasty quotes) they get married after five months and divorced one year later, when the cycle restarts.

I’m talking about that friend which goes on the profile page and when Facebook asks ‘What’s on your mind?‘, takes it too seriously, and uses the wall as a tissue.

Why would some people who barely know you (coworkers, colleagues from school, people you added to play games with) be interested in what’s going on in your bedroom? Isn’t it a bit embarrassing to invite in your bed a bunch of strangers? Oh, you post it for your ex? Right … Please, tell me more about how those posts will fix things between your two, or make him/her feel worse about the way things didn’t work out.

Why does Facebook need to know what’s going on in your private life? If your future employer looks through your profile, would he feel impressed about your changing dates more often than your underwear?

What happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Do you want, in 30 years from now, to have an electronic list of all the people who ever checked-in in your bed?

Believe me, no one cares! You just amuse some of your ‘friends’ (usually the ones who ask for more details and act interested) and get others to pity you, and delete you from their list.

So, do yourself and us all a favor, stop being such drama queens and stop wiping your nose on a status message. Invest the time wasted for all this nonsense, into actually fixing and dealing with what needs to be solved.


I apologize for the large amount of sarcasm, but it just had to be said 🙂