“1234? As a password? Andy, you’re not supposed to do that.”

He laughed and set off to change my landline from one division, enclave, fiefdom of my TV-Phone-Internet Kingdom to another. A simple, five minute job to get my bill reduced by $5.00 a month. The password would cease to be when the switch was done.

Four and a half hours later Andy was still live-chatting to finish what was to be a five minute job. Didn’t happen.

Andy returned the next morning. He’d talked with a TV-Phone-Internet lackey in the interim and was told of a simple fix to my problem. He should work with a tech on that.

He left one and one-half hours later after having learned the phone adapter from one fiefdom would not work with my router from another. Oh, well. Just one of those things. Back to the original set-up.

I didn’t want to imagine how long that would take. Not many minutes, as a matter of fact, but my monthly payment rose by $21 because the Kingdom no longer allows what I’d been paying. Note: if you like your rate, do not mess with the bundle. In any way.

We think we can’t live without our cells, email, texts, internet, even landlines. I know I don’t want to. I adore email. Not having to waste time blathering on the phone when I want one small piece of information is truly fine. I don’t want to go back to driving to a library to spend hours on research that I can now do at my desk. I do not want to give up streaming funky British mysteries on my Mac or iPad or iTouch.

This is our life. We might rage about hours spent with techs. We wonder about our worship of the cell. We castigate ourselves over becoming addicted to silly games on cell or tablet. We go beyond miffed if a friend keeps cell talking or texting when we’re having dinner together.

Do we ever feel like free agents? Are we in a new form of the Stockholm Syndrome? Have we sold ourselves to an overlord, embracing our serf status? Whatever we’re in, it looks like we’re going to stay there. How could we not?