Technology not always best option

It's the time of year where people sign up for gym memberships, give up a favorite food or tell column readers this is the last time they'll do a column about New Year's resolutions.

I won't do that this year, but I will give you some resolutions and how I got there in the first place.

Nov. 23, 2012, was a crazy night in Las Cruces, and I was mentally drained from marathon Clovis-Las Cruces High football game. Record 110 points and 1,100 yards between the teams, and there's a lot of note taking to be done and texts to be sent — some dummy promised he'd give scoring updates to the newsroom. My phone now remembers J.J. Granados, who scored eight of Las Cruces' 10 touchdowns in the 70-40 victory.

After a mentally taxing game like that one, comfort food was a must after I filed my story and photos. I wanted a green chili cheeseburger, but it was now 12:15 a.m. and the only respectable place left for such an endeavor was the closest Whataburger.

You may find a better green chili cheeseburger at some mom-and-pop place, but Whataburger's Green Chili Double is at least in the discussion with two patties, two kinds of cheese, a toasted bun and green chiles cooked on the grill. And mom-and-pop shops close well before 12:15 a.m., so there was no discussion that night.

"Hmmm, the front desk worker does a night shift," I thought. "I bet he's depended on Whataburger some shift and knows where one is. Nah, I'll just ask my phone."

I searched for "Whataburger," and took the first one on the list. I programmed it into the GPS, and I was off for a 15-minute round trip. Down a business street, onto the Interstate, off onto another business street, into the drive through and back the way I came.

Sandwich in bag, hotel a few blocks away … nothing could derail the pending satisfaction. Well, until I turned back onto the road of my hotel, and stared directly at the Whataburger two blocks away from where I originally started. I may have sat through a green light alone on that empty street, dumbfounded to say the least.

How could this happen? Had I bothered to ask the hotel clerk, he'd have told me I could walk to it. Maybe a second look at my phone screen would show me the Whataburger locations were ranked by customer reviews, not distance. And I might have caught it on the drive, except tunnel vision got in the way. "Sorry, Whataburger, I'm busy going to Whataburger."

In just 15 minutes, I had the basis for three resolutions in 2013:

  • If the choice is between interacting with technology and interacting with a human being, you might be better off interacting with the human being.
  • The first option isn't always the best option.
  • Don't get so concerned with the destination you ignore the journey.

I hope you had 15 minutes in 2012 that you could learn from, too, and that it makes you a better person in 2013.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Clovis Media Inc. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by email:

kwilson@cnjonline.com

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