Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Ethereal World

Look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology!

I was thinking about some of the ways daily life has changed for digital people, particularly since the year 2000.

Email for work and personal communications. Old school pen and ink letters have trailed off considerably.

Cellphones. Land lines are becoming obsolescent. I switched entirely to mobile phone years ago. Seemed radical at the time. I do retain a work land line that is, indeed, very obsolete. Tony Soprano ring tones, etc.

Voice mail. Not that long ago, answering machines seemed scary to many people.

Caller ID. An excellent filter/defense mechanism/heads up.


YouTube and comparable services.

Digital photography and video.

Music downloads.

Samples of text, etc. International translations (still a little rough).

Online banking. Online bill paying. Online shopping. Ebay, Amazon, etc. PayPal.

Online reservations. Online appointments. Online information gathering. Movies, etc.

Text messaging/IM. I try to avoid these as too time-consuming in real time.

Wireless. Laptop/handheld devices.

On Demand cable TV.

Requires discipline!


Fragile system subject to disruptions and breakdowns when the electricity grid goes down. Battery backups.

Sporadic communications.

Etiquette Limbo. Butchery of lingo.

Less real time with real people, face to face.

Addictive qualities.

Security/Privacy issues.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.

Birthdays: Henry Knox, Thomas Eakins, Maxfield Parrish, Emmett Till, Walter Payton, Iman Abdulmajid (pictued above), Thurston Moore.



JR's Thumbprints said...

As long as technology doesn't get me into trouble, I'm all for it. We've certainly come a long way in a short period of time.

Danny Tagalog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Danny Tagalog said...

I still resent having to carry a mobile phone with me - thought the choice is there to ignore it admittedly.

International translations will be rought for some time yet. Machines will be able to understand subtleties soon, but 'words' often change meaning according to the semantic environment they are placed in. Funny as Babelfish is, it can't replace good old fashioned human thinking, and probably never will - at a high standard that is...

the walking man said...

All of this technology was developed to give us old people new stuff to learn so Alzheimer's sets on later in life, because we spend 3/4 of our time trying to figure out how it works which exercises the brain cell I have left

Charles Gramlich said...

Amazing how I've come to take so many of these things for granted, even though I often think of myself as a luddite.

Email, cellphones, and internet are a big part of my life now.

Pythia3 said...

Hello Mr Erik, thanks for the compliment :)
I love modern technology - communication at our fingertips. However, I feel that when relied upon too much it can actually cause the reverse effect. When something is so at hand one tends to take the convenience for granted and thus fall further away from it. For example, because I know I am able to communicate with many people at anytime, I don't feel the real need to. And as far as reaching people via cell (mostly teens) their phones are conveniently 'off' at that time. This causes more grief and worry for a parent. I remember when I was young, I left in the morning and returned in the evening. My parents had a phone number of the place I would most likely be and there were know worries. They did not expect to reach me ASAP at any given time. Now, when I cannot immediately reach my child via their constant companion - their cell phone - I begin to worry and wonder what is happening . . . I have a cousin on the East Coast and she is an antiques dealer. She refuses to get on the computer and get an e-mail address. So, I have dug out my beautiful stationary pads (and they were missed), blew the dust off and even found some matching envelopes to send her a letter (hand written, of course!) Sounds like fun to me!
So, I agree with you regarding the pros and cons of modern technology. I do love it, but it does take more discipline to keep a realistic perspective on it, as well as maintain a healthy balance.
Have a great afternoon.

Johnny Yen said...

I had only a cell phone for a few years as a cost-cutting measure. I got a land-line (Vonage) for safety for my kid-- I wanted him to be able to dial 911 easily if needed-- and frankly, cell phone reception in my house was (and is) shitty.

Several English teachers I've talked to hate the way IM'ing has spilled over into expository writing-- using "u" for "you" and "4" for "for," etc. Not good.

I love online banking and bill-paying. Unfortunately, the gas and electric companies use it as an oppurtunity to gouge. Though it drastically cuts their costs, actually charge extra to pay online. Bastards. I still send them checks.