These days it’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the flat, fast, furious world we live in. We’re all connected. Always on. All the time. 24/7. Multi-tasking, multi-screening. Terrorized by technology.
So it’s not surprising that every now and again we want to get away from it all. To the cabin on the lake, up into the mountains, in the bush, or on a remote island. But even there we’re still connected. Can’t go without your phone, now can you?
Google’s like a drug. It’s not just finding out about stuff. There’s breaking news, important events, keeping up with your trends. You don’t want to miss out on something exciting, right? And email. Who could work or live without that? And then there’s all that collaborative stuff, Skype, Facebook, Facetime, Google Hangouts and more. You’re constantly bombarded with invites, reminders, alerts, updates, likes, shares, and finds. And spammed up the wazoo.
Birthdays used to be something special, for family and good friends, about once a month or so. Now there are several reminders a day, of all your ‘friends’ who are having birthdays; who really cares? And who really has the time to efficiently filter the wheat from the chaff?
Let’s not forget Twitter. Originally a way to broadcast real-time snippets, it’s full of geeks and media people connecting with other geeks and media people to make sure that the right trends, well, trend. But it is much easier to get advice from your friends on Twitter than from Google or Siri.
And then along came Google Glass. The most invasive screen of all, on your face, in your face, hovering around like an over-attentive waiter. It sure is cool to share an eyeball view of your run down the black ski slope, or jumping out of a plane, but you probably have to wait until you get back to the lodge and your 4G connection before it goes live anyway. And it’s not that great with real questions, like “OK Glass, where did I leave my car keys?” Huh?
Sam Shepard, the actor and writer, was famously quoted as saying: “Nothing I really want to know is on Google, I assure you.” Like whether his ex is lonely without him. But then, he was using a manual typewriter in 2010. Do they still make those? Don’t ask Sam, he’s not on Twitter.
So now I’m going to enjoy the freedom of missing out. Unplug, switch off, kick back, and relax. Cook some slow food. Explore my creative side in solitary bliss. Maybe talk a long walk. The world will still be there when I get back. And don’t look for me on Google – I’m finally invisible. Are you?
ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be
Terrorized by Technology
“It is a bit Blade Runner, this world we live in. Technology is woven into every aspect of our lives. It informs our thoughts, our memories, our relationships, every thing that makes us human and alive and who we are.”
Carole Cadwalladr admits her addiction and explores her fears in The Observer.
The 2013 movie Disconnect is a dramatic thriller that explores the lives of four families struggling to connect in today’s wired world. Disconnect explores the ubiquity of modern technology and how it affects and defines our daily relationships – sometimes with tragic consequences.