Good evening ladies and gentleman
Due to a general oddity that has recently occurred in my peculiar day to day curiosities, we are temporarily diverting our attentions to something that seems interesting, an event in which i didn’t react in away i could have anticipated.
So. Around three weeks ago, my smartphone stopped working. It just seem to decide to go from being the “computer in my pocket” we have all become so used to in recent years, to being about as useful as a paperweight used hundreds of years ago when writing scrolls. Now, as you read this, i suspect you’re expecting me to continue through this post on the vain of “oh it was terrible- its like having a missing leg, not being able to function… haven’t been able to text someone or tweet or…” because to tell you the truth, this was how i had been expecting to react to this “terrible” loss.
While i admit, there was no dramatic feeling of loss, no longing to watch a funny cat video or be able to “google” something at the drop of a hat, post something to Facebook while on the move that seemed so interesting or Snapchat a weird moment in time, there was a strange feeling of well, nothing. Its as if i didn’t feel anything. I often wonder about our technological needs in modern society. Its as if we feel the need to sell to the world and the people we know how interesting and dynamic our lives our, so its totally worth spending time with us because some amazing stuff will happen etc. etc.
I didn’t consciously hope to miss my phone, i just flicked to this way of thinking as soon as i put it in to get repaired, as if was working off an auto switch to “OK- I’m supposed to feel like this now.” This is problem because we seem to need have the whole world at out fingertips these days, wherever we are and at whatever point in the day. Its become a part of life to “google” it wherever we are, to make constant updates on Facebook about things we convince ourselves hundreds of people, some we may have never even met in real life need to know about.
This compulsion i feel is based on our opinions and (as much as i said we would divert out attentions) the categorization issue. As we show the world, broadcast more and more of the details of our lives everyday, its as if we are looking for people all the time that are similar to us, that share our values, opinions and understanding of the world, so we can live together in our little box, while we continue to show the world how interesting we are, never really paying attention to the outstanding moments of life, because we are too busy tweeting about them. This seems a shame, because these moments are a privilege to be a part of, unique and outstanding snapshots into the world we can often spend so long ignoring, something we may not even be able to explain, but are still so happy to feel the joy of the moment.
So how i actually felt about the loss of my paperweight remains a mystery to me. Its as we have become convinced we are less “connected” to everyone and everything without a smartphone and access to all the social media we are supposed to desire, thus without this, we as uniquely wonderful people are somehow “less” in the eyes of this modern phenomenon. These days smartphones seem like they are supposed to be an extension of the anatomy, endlessly posting updates on Facebook, telling people we may have never even met how interesting our lives are. We have an issue with seeing this technology not as an extra, an aspect of modern society that we should be proud of, something to be respected and used to connect to more of the world than we ever thought possible but as things that are necessities to our day to day function. These things are not necessary for us to function as human beings, but its the aid for connectivity that they bring us. We have our world, then the extras that modern technology can provide us. I don’t miss having my smartphone, to tell you all the truth, its not something fundamental to life, but i think the connectivity is the most critical part, the major positive to the extras modern technology can give us.
That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with of not having my paperweight the last few weeks. It allows us to connect with the world in ways for beyond what we can imagine, but it doesn’t mean that we do. We do what we do, from Facebook to Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, but we can often miss the inter-connectivity aspect that modern technology can provide us. Just because we can reach far away, it doesn’t mean that we are ever going to. Not having mine for a while has highlighted the interesting lack of connectivity that i have without it, as well as the general ignorance i have for the capabilities my phone gives me to connect to the world outside of what occurs every other day of my strange life. Its been around three weeks and you learn a lot abut things i know I’ve taken for granted in the past, because the lack of connectivity can leave you feeling distant in the world, as if your stuck on the sidelines, spectating the world revolving around you.
Quite an odd sensation really…
How do you feel about technology? Is it an obsession, or a necessary connectivity we take for granted, even though we have a habit of ignoring it?