Several years ago — yes, I am a terrible ingrate! — my sweetie gave me an Ipod. I haven’t touched it since. He’s forgiving and knows I’ll get there eventually.
This Christmas, he gave me a new shortwave/AM/FM radio, and it hasn’t been turned off since I opened it. It’s coming to the deserts of New Mexico with us on vacation this month and I’ve been reading the SW guide — Radio Havana, here we come! One is free the minute you use it; not the other. One is a link to a wider world, literally and linguistically, while the other safely shuts me deeper into Myworld, where the only things I’ll listen to are those which I like and choose for myself.
Yes, some of this is generational. I get that.
But some of the reasons I so resist some forms of technology isn’t the cute, curvy forms it comes in, waggling its little finger at me, but the values its 24/7 usage endorses:
isolation versus face to face connection
tuning out voices and ideas that you don’t agree with instead of hearing someone who totally pisses you off but might make you think differently
attaching oneself to a piece of plastic instead of sitting in the sunshine and soaking up some solitary silence
listening to choices chosen, edited or curated by others — who might thereby challenge my idols, entertain me, teach me something new or just free me from the gilded cage of My Ego
staying “in touch” all the time, using these sexy little tools like a five-year-old drags his tattered, stinky blankie everywhere, to reassure ourselves how deeply important and well-loved we all are
Clearly, I like and enjoy some forms of technology since I work every day at a computer (a Mac) and love the many programs we use on it. I do like the Itouch, but not enough to want to own one. As much as I need one professionally, I try to lose my cellphone whenever possible as I really hate being “in touch” all the time. I’ve never liked TV very much because it’s so time-sucking, although it’s valuable because it forces me to sit still for lengthy periods of time thanks to TCM.
I simply can’t think straight if all I do is interact. Can you?
In a world where everyone is now attached to a Blackberry, phone or PDA all the time — so that the rest of us unplugged knuckle-draggers are left actually looking at and speaking directly to one another, most often as we dodge the narcissistic hordes who walk, even drive, with their heads down interacting with someone much more important — it’s easy to feel out of step.
Is there any form of tech you have chosen to avoid or skip? Why?