Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PDAs, PANs and Twitter

Catch Me If You Can
Edgar Hunt
1945

I love this picture. It's painted by Edgar Hunt who was an Edwardian artist, and he painted wonderful pictures of animals. I think at some point in our lives, all of us can identify with this poor little turtle. We can feel the dogs nipping at our heels, and we just want to pull our head into our shell.

Modern life can be very hectic and stressful, and with each new convenience, life becomes more demanding. There doesn't seem to be any such thing as time anymore. There is only right now. One quality we are all expected to have is the ability to multi-task. With e-mail, faxes, phones, computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and cell phones, we have the Internet in our pockets or our purses. Personal area networks (PANs), otherwise known as Bluetooth, are fastened to our heads, we are all inextricably hooked up each other, and there is no escape. So-called social networks such as Facebook scare the tar out of me. Everyone is connected to everyone else. Do any of us really have 381 friends in real life? Who are all those people, and why do they want to poke us or send us a teddy bear? And why would I want to follow you on Twitter? Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing? I don't care what you're doing, and moreover, I certainly don't want you to know what I'm doing.

President and Mrs. Obama are in England right now, and they had a personal meeting with the Queen. As a gift, they took her an iPod, but she already had one. So now, the 83 year-old Queen of England has two iPods. And a Wii. Ya gotta laugh.

About a year ago I read a posting by a Blogger who said the best advice he could ever give anyone is that when they get into high school they should take typing classes and learn how to type. I thought, "Is he kidding? What is this guy, 100 years old? I guess he doesn't know that most six year-old kids nowadays know how to type. The April Fools worm was probably designed by a 12 year-old."

I love technology and gadgets. I'm the "go-to" person at work if anyone wants something technical done. I enjoy it. But I also look forward to going home at the end of the day, locking the door behind me, and turning off all the connections to the outside world, except to those people with whom I want to communicate. And if you really want to know what I'm doing, I'm off to watch the final segment of "Life on Mars". *sigh*

21 comments:

Miss_Nobody said...

Hmm lol Its like the more we crave for space,the more cramped we get.Like Myspace,is it really YOUR space? with a thousand people poking superpoking commenting and blargh so much more.Technology is okay as long as it makes your life easier,but a bane when it makes you loose touch with reality.I'm okay with social networking as long as I stay connected with my friends,present and some who have drifted aparted due to changes in school,their parents' transferable jobs and all,but surely not a Must be my burning desire for all things sn lol.

Leslie: said...

I knew you'd be watching LOM tonight!

I agree totally with the concept of coming home after a hard day's work and closing the door on everyone else! Especially when I was teaching!

Oh! I thought PDAs were "public displays of affection!" lol

TallTchr said...

I see the picture a little differently. The turtle is old--they live longer than anyone--while the puppies are young squirts. The turtle knows that whatever mischief the puppies are pursuing, it will pass and they'll all eventually settle into an understanding of what's to be nipped at and what's to be left alone.

Firefly said...

I don't have a Wii, or an Ipod, or an iPhone or even a laptop (although I would prefer one), but I do have Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Plaxo, LinkIn. I don't do MySpace though. Just too much like Facebook and one of those is enough. LOL. Lets just say I like to stay in touch.

SweetPeaSurry said...

I am so embarrassed by our President these days ... the stack of 'movies' for the Prime Minister and an Ipod for the Queen. Did he do NO research into 'appropriate' gifts to give the heads of other nations? *sighs*

Edward Yablonsky said...

I love technology and gadgets. I'm the "go-to" person at work if anyone wants something technical done. I enjoy it. But I also look forward to going home at the end of the day, locking the door behind me, and turning off all the connections to the outside world, except to those people with whom I want to communicate. And if you really want to know what I'm doing, I'm off to watch the final segment of "Life on Mars". *sigh*

You put the intrusions of our supposed progress as technology into its proper persepctive.We need escape,the escape, for me, is scholarship ansd learning in a quiet atmosphere where I can contemplate and have cerebral enjoyment. I could never savor that in this hectic madness of modernity, and need the insulation from that plastic and superficial madness we chide ourselves into believing as "modern profundity."
The ancients had much more understanding of medicine and the other disciplines. We coukld never,never build structures like the Pyramids and cannot to this day count for the exactitude of their construction. The wisdom of the acients confounds us, because this "age of modernity" has an abysmal dearth of what once existed in the world as true wisdom and profundity now obscured by our tech toys. I shut my dfoor on all that, to be sure.

the walking man said...

I think the real question is what music did they load into her highness' I-Pod? As for the rest of it...if I refuse to acknowledge it; it therefore does not exist. Did I say all that in less than a 140 characters...OMG! You only got about a third o...

Ruby Isabella said...

Those pups are playing with the turtle and she is loving it. That's my take on it anyway.

The Amish look at a piece of technology and way up the pros and cons before taking it. Society seems to jump at any new technology before thinking, "will this actually improve my quality of life or take away more than it is giving?"

Deb said...

I love that painting, it reminds me of my bird dog. I don't get facebook either, have been invited to join by several, have never posted any pictures, I like blogging, I have a family blog that is only for family and a few friends to look at, I don't share all that with millions of strangers, I would rather have a few close friends than 698 aqaintances

ivan said...

Leslie,

I like that "Expose Youself to Art" cartoon.
You know, the geek with the false pantlegs and the open raincoat in front of the art gallery.
Now that's a public display.

Maureen said...

Don't have a cell or PDA, and I live in NYC! They think I'm a freak. I spent time on Facebook, but my friends are really people I know and most of them live outside of the city. But what I really want to know is what you have to say about the Life On Mars finale. Tomorrow perhaps, I wait anxiously.

Kimberly said...

If my company didn't provide me with a cell phone, I wouldn't have one. I don't Facebook, Myspace or Twitter - I just don't. I feel I am to old for those types of social networking sites --- however, show me a blog and you'll have most of my attention outright. Is that wrong?

flowrgirl1 said...

Im 27 so the tech age a.k.a. cell phones, internet, ipods etc.. happened during my growing up. I think back to my senior year of high school( 9 yrs ago). I can't think of a single person who had a cell phone. Maybe one. Now, I don't know anyone with out one. Unless they recently dropped it on the sidewalk and are waiting for the replacement.

I remember sitting by the phone waiting for my friends to call. If we couldn't find each other then we hit the streets, riding our bikes looking for each other. However did we find each other? Well, we did.

Now if you don't answer your phone we assume that you are ignoring the call because we know you have your cell. YOu always do! LOL

Charles Gramlich said...

You got it. Those tools meant to increase our leisure have done no such thing.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I totally agree with you about Twitter and Face Book. I think they provide yet another substitute for real intimacy in relationships by creating the illlusion that one has millions of friends.

Of course the Queen has an iPod, but hers is probably solid platinum, crusted with diamonds.

Paula Slade said...

I hope it was a great episode Jo. Sometimes we all just have to tune out and turn the world off and that's OKAY! ;-)

jackc50 said...

privacy? what privacy? big brother is watching you, he really is...jc

Arley said...

Don't get me started on that pathetic little man we call a President. His "class" is the least of this counrtys' worries.

However, I have been a member of MySpace and Facebook for a number of years, and to me, it seems to have played out its appeal. I find more pleasure in Blogger then I do in either of those sites. (I have no idea what Twitter is)

I do have to admit. I don't own an ipod or a pda, but I do own a G1. I would be lost without it. We do have a Wii as well, but thats more for my husband and the boys....lol!

Country Girl said...

Good post, Jo. And I am really going to miss Life on Mars. What a great show. What did you think about the ending? I thought it was excellent.

lovelyprism said...

I cannot multi-task and I am a techno-tard so I am free of a lot of the things you listed. I tried Facebook then deleted my account, I just didn't "get it". Any and all of those people could send me an email, catch me on yahoo messenger or pick up the phone and call me! My go to people are my children. I'm good with that.

The Promiscuous Reader said...

I'm certainly embarrassed by so many of my fellow Americans! Fussing and obsessing over Obama's gifts to the queen, which turn out to have been quite appropriate -- and to answer the walking man's question, the new ipod was loaded with videos of her visits to the US and a few of Obama's own speeches, plus music of which Betty is reported to be fond, plus they gave her a rare songbook signed by Richard Rodgers, composer of one of her favorite songs. And what did the Obamas get in return? A silver-framed signed photo of their hosts. You could have learned all this easily enough from Teh Intertubez, but that would ruin so much lovely dudgeon. (I haven't bothered to check, but I'm beginning to wonder if the gift of DVDs to Gordon Brown wasn't also a tempest in a teapot; given the veracity of Obama's critics now, that's what I'd expect.)

But the genuinely bad things that Obama is doing -- extending the US presence in Iraq, escalating the war in Afghanistan, lying about Iran, lying about Korea, throwing huge sums at the same financial bodies that created the crisis to begin with, etc., etc., Obama's critics here don't seem to care about. (And the bailout was first pushed by Bush and Paulson, with the connivance of pro-Wall Street pols like Obama and McCain. There's no reason I can see to believe that McCain would have handled these things any differently.)

It reminds me of the Clinton sex scandal. The people who hated Clinton most didn't care about his real crimes, all they cared about was a cigar and a stained blue dress. Interestingly, though, most Americans disagreed with the wowsers.