Monday, November 22, 2010

Just Because We Can...Does Not Mean We Must

A perfect Example of "Just Because"
Now don’t get me wrong, I embrace technology as much as any other old fart. I am not a Luddite and in fact just last week I had some of them fancy electric tail light thingies installed on the back of my buggy. Truthfully, I embrace new technology and walk through places like Best Buy with those glazed over “Oooh, look shiny things” eyes at all the new gadgets but I believe technology is there to help me not run my life.
My latest rant about the abuse technology is derived from a video posted by a friend on Facebook showing a “live” concert at arena in Japan that featured an anime hologram performing her latest hit. I thought the fact that people were flocking to see “The Gorillaz” live was insane until I saw this. At least there were live musicians on stage for the Gorillaz. You just paid a hundred bucks to see a freaking cartoon character dudes! Yes, in the sixties and seventies there  were television pop groups like “The Partridge Family” as well as animated groups like “The Archies” and “Josie and the Pussycats” but guess what? We knew they were cartoons!!
The other thing the advancements in technology have done to the music industry is erroneously elevate the DJ to talent status. No, these people are technicians not artists. Some of them are fantastic technicians but do were refer to a great plumber as an artist? No all they do is remix someone else’s music and play it on their laptop. Those musicians are the talent and the artists.
I recently moved into the 21st century and purchased a 3G Smartphone. I find it convenient that I can now check my email and update my Facebook page on the go and I have even caught myself texting. You may think this is nothing but if you saw my bratwurst-like fingers and thumbs you would understand how difficult it is for me. If you couple that with my total lack of coordination and the fact that I learned to touch type properly on a QWERTY keyboard it becomes an endeavour to hunt and peck with my thumbs. Texting has its place but if time is a factor try actually phoning someone. You will get all your answers quicker. While travelling I have seen tourists in particular, younger women walking along busily typing on their phones rather than enjoying the sights. I can only imagine the text “This place is so boring all I’ve seen so far are sidewalks and my pretty new shoes.” There are multiple functions on my phone that I haven't even bothered to figure out and at this point I have no intention of adding any of the thousands of available apps. Why? I am too busy living!
My first big realization that a lot of technology comes under the category of “just because we can” was long ago when fax machines were first starting to become the norm in business communications. I was just balancing the till and getting ready lock up the store when the owner asked “Have all the girls gone home?” (To him any woman under 60 was a girl) I told him yes and his face dropped. “But I need to fax this letter to my lawyer tonight”. “No problem, I can do it.” I chirped. “You can” he said with a doubt in his voice. He followed me to the copy room and watched as I punched in the phone number, inserted the paper and hit the “Send” button. “That’s it?” he asked “but what are all these other buttons for?” My answer was “I don’t know and I don’t care.” I later asked the manufacturers rep the same question and his answer was a vague “It’s all in the manual.” Apparently there was all kinds of programming and memory functions available but in all the offices I ever worked in I never saw anyone use them since.
My new phone also has a camera but I have never bothered to use it. I own three very good digital cameras with much better resolution and proper lenses to take photographs. This again brings to mind the good and the bad of digital photography. The good thing is we can now take as many pictures of as many things as we like. The bad thing is we do! There is a delete function, people! This ties in well with people posting their vacation photos online in particular on Facebook. A few hints please: 1) do not post every photo you take, we only need one shot of the family on the beach at sunset. 2) identify who, where and when in the photo 3) rotate the photos so our necks don’t get twisted. 4) unless it’s the only shot you have of the Loch Ness Monster leave out the out of focus ones. Us old folks keep thinking our glass prescription needs upgrading.
My final suggestion to everyone is move out of the virtual world on occasion and have a look out in the real world. Believe it or not, if you go outside you can see a rose instead of looking it up on Wikapaedia. Let technology help you live not become your life.
Now that I’ve insulted everyone, I will take full advantage of the current technology and carefully watch the Caller ID on my phone to make sure I avoid your irate calls and keep my finger close to the “delete” button in anticipation of your nasty emails. ;-P
Thank you and enjoy the rest of your day here in the Magic Kingdom. Oh crap, wrong theme park!

1 comment:

  1. Good job, Dennis... now I have no guilt when deleting photos.. ;)