Saturday, 7 April 2012

Digitally Disconnected...

Last weekend, i had a monumental level of disastrous disconnect.  I was removed from the major part of my world, rendered unable to contact friends or family.

I dropped my blackberry in a glass of water.

This traumatic event got me thinking how much we rely now on not only the internet, but a constant connection to it from wherever we are.  I know, as long as i have my trusty phone, that i can call for help, take a photograph, pull up a map to tell me where i am, or most importantly, update my facebook status.

It seems five minutes ago that nobody had a mobile phone except yuppie poseurs, and the idea that you would walk round in the future with an always-on internet connection in your trousers was not even considered. Even in futures with flying cars, sentient androids and memory implants, if you wanted to make a call, you needed to find a phone box...

Now in 2012 we have gadgets on us that make even recent sci-fi tech look clunky, and rather than sentient AIs we have google.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all.  I love my smartphone, and the whole day i was without it while it dried out in a bag of rice, i was lost and confused and felt alone...

Twitter, facebook, this whole social media thing is just another way that humans do what we've always done.  Form groups and talk about interesting or cool or funny stuff we've just found.  We've just outsourced it to our technology.  The UK government's likely plan to monitor all that is nothing that new, really.  Conspiracy movies have been telling us that The Man is monitoring everything we do for ages.  We're told, of course, if we have nothing to hide we have nothing to fear, but who has nothing in their life that they don't keep from other people?

Being able to be seen doing everything we do is the price we pay for being constantly connected.  Is it worth it? I don't know.  But i know i hated not being able to use twitter on the train...

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