You didn’t used to have to have a password to conduct your daily life. I remember you had to have a combination for the lock on your gym locker for P.E., and for the lock on your bicycle if you didn’t want it to get stolen. You also had to have a key for the front door of your house. Oh, and when you got older you needed a key for the car, but as well as starting your car, it also unlocked the car door. But that was about it. Life was as simple as that. You didn’t need to protect your bank account, your social networking sites, your credit card information or your identity.
But it’s not like that anymore. It hasn’t been that way for a long time. Now you have to have a password for anything you try and do; and let’s face it, a good percentage of our lives are conducted online, on a laptop or on a smartphone. But just because the phone is smarter than we are doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s really all that smart. After all, some of us are not so smart. If we were we’d probably not be conducting our lives on a smartphone, an ipad, or a laptop where the government can monitor our affairs so easily. We’d probably be out there doing our business in person, actually interacting with other people and places where we don’t need a password, just a drivers license so somebody can look at our picture. It does, however, occur to me that a smartphone is smart enough to ask us for a password, and that’s where I begin to feel inferior, and discouraged. I can never seem to remember mine, any of my passwords really, and sometimes I wish the damn phone, or the website, or whatever, would just forget to ask me.
Now I’m not trying to disparage anybody, or the way of life that has evolved so conspicuously around us, but I can’t help being dispirited by all the security it requires of us to get through a typical day these days. I mean I need a password to log into my email account just to see if somebody has something nasty to say about something I’ve written.
I don’t need a password to open my mailbox at the foot of my driveway.
And I like that better.