“Your Dumbphone isn’t welcome around here!” Ever feel that way about not having the latest technology in the phone and gadget world? I know I do. Even though Kelly Rivard told me this in a completely joking manner during last night’s #agchat twitter conversation, she made a pretty valid point. Maybe I’m naive, but I think my LG Slider, with only texting capability, is perfectly capable in today’s world. And as a bonus, it easily survives, snow, rain, mud, stocktanks, truck tires, and hay hauling.

I don’t have a the latest smartphone, tablet, gadget, or what-not. One, I can’t really afford the phone or the data plan. Two, if I had the internet in my hands all day and apps to do everything for me, what would I really get done. Proponents of mobile technology say it’s great, they are more efficient, can receive information quicker, and get more stuff done. Really? I’ve seen more than one person who can’t figure the simplest of cattle breakeven or basic feed rations on scratch paper because they learned how to do it on a computer. Are we becoming so dependent on computer technology that we are becoming lazy and forgetting how to do the simplest of tasks? I’ll say yes.

No lie, I went to take the GRE last week. The lady at the desk asked students to write a paragraph in cursive handwriting. There were college graduates who had the hardest time remembering how to write in cursive. Not that writing in cursive is a life skill in the world, but were we not supposed to learn that in the 2nd grade? We text and type and write papers electronically so much these days, cursive has become a dead language to young people my age.

I hear old timers in the cattle industry all the time say “Oh that guy has just done research in the lab. He doesn’t know how things work out here in the real world.” And to a point, they’re right. I have seen several occasions where people forget how to do basic procedures because they do everything electronically. I’m not saying ban all electronics and technology, but what are you going to do when the power goes out? I’m will to bet you complain you can’t watch tv. Oh wait, there’s an app for that too…

Advances in technology are great. They have helped me learn more about the cattle industry, ranching in other regions, and new discoveries in science, but I still have a strong appreciation for the hands-on skills and a lil elbow grease. I’ll gladly send you a text message greeting or give you a phone call to tell ya all about it, but you won’t find me surfing the web from horseback (At least not this week). I’ll just Facebook you when I get to the house.

What’s the biggest advantage you have found from using mobile technology? Can you name a basic task or calculation you have forgotten because you now use electronics to do that?