I used to be an embracer, now I am just standing still

I have always loved technology. Not because of its abilities, but the differences it could make. Like almost everyone of my generation, technology was a means to an end. To make communication easier. To make creation quickly. To be closer with everyone.

When Friendster came out, I was immediately on it. The same with Orkut…and many others. Same with Facebook…and all these others. In college, I was slowly saving for gadgets. First…web cams, digital cameras…mp3 players…it was fascinated.

But when the iPhone came out, I back-pedaled. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone wanted one. I have a history of trying to be different. Then one year passed, I still had a Nokia. Another year passed…and another…I upgraded my phone to a Blackberry Pearl. Without a real sufficient data plan. And yet…I still refused to get a full smartphone.

I was suddenly that minority. I do borrow smart phones frequently from work. But there’s something absurd about it all that causes my own reluctance.

Like Hayao Miyazaki of Spirited Away and My Neighbor, Totoro fame, there’s something incredibly isolating about those personal devices. I admit that I am dampened by my ever-present social anxiety in public places…but I do want to have the ability to talk to people without feeling like I am interrupting their concentration on a small device. But there’s more.

What happened to arriving on time to places? Yesterday was the first time in a long time that I had arrived on time without calling or emailing the day of. In fact, the time had been set five days prior without a single reminder. Was that ok? Of course it was.

What happened to serendipity? I know that I am cursed with wanting to research all places? Sure there are apps on phones that can surprise you in suggesting a nearby place that you may be interested in viewing…but it’s often too incorrect. What if we could browse, walk, look…allow ourselves to be pleased with an unexpected enjoyable surprise? What if we looked at buildings, people…instead of checking the digital map in making sure that we’re going the right way?

What happened? I miss phone calls.

At least now I feel closer to people that I cannot see regularly.

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