Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday Scribblings - "Disconnected"

People who live their lives through their Blackberry (or whatever other equivalent) are completely mystifying, their pride in being “connected” to everything somewhat bizarre. Now, I’ve no idea of all the things that a Blackberry can do that make it so indispensable that some people own and use more than one - at the same time! So, say that you can call people, listen to music, watch a video, read a book, send/receive email, make appointments, book tickets, take photographs or videos, watch live TV programmes and everything else on your Blackberry that makes it a multifunctional item. Brilliant. Very cool. Very clever.

Does it mean that you simplify your life by getting rid of your ipod, TV, video/DVD player, music system, phone, camera, videocam, computer, books and possibly your secretary? No. So if you’re still going to have all those things anyway, what’s the point of a Blackberry?

Phones that play music, ipods that function as phones – what’s with that? I would be happy for my ipod to just play music and do nothing else. I don’t need my ipod to be a diary, an alarm clock, a radio, a DVD player, a TV, computer or anything else. I have all those things separately, and they all work just fine.

I have a nice large-screen TV on which I enjoy watching TV programmes and movies. I have never been overcome by an irresistible urge to watch a movie on a 3” screen anywhere, no matter how little else I have to do. Even on long-haul flights, when I could conceivably be expected to be bored and require entertainment, I don’t bother with the 3” screens on the back of the seat in front of me.

I don’t think I’m a Luddite when it comes to technology. I just don’t feel the necessity to be connected all the time to an electronic leash, everywhere I go. Technology is a utilitarian thing, as far as I'm concerned - if it does what I need, that will do. When an item that's meant to make your life simpler turns out to need training to operate, because it's complicated by the sheer number of things it does, those technological "advances" defeat the original purpose - simplicity.

I wonder what they would do, those very important, very tech-savvy people who are addicted to their Blackberrys, if they were disconnected from the electronic world. How would they survive the lack of entertainment at the touch of a dinky little button on a dinky little screen?

Me, I’d read a book – just your normal, printed book, which wouldn’t tell you the time, remind you of an appointment, play music, make a phone call, receive an email, take a photograph or do anything other than be something to read. The kind of book that would have pages made from paper that you could touch, smell and feel, the kind of book that wouldn’t need batteries, mains power or recharging. That kind of retro book.


meerkat said...

I think what you need is this and this

Pollux aka Paps said...

And add me to the retro book fan list...