USA Today featured an article about how our lives are inundated with “always on” connectivity at the cost of real face to face interaction.
Robert Redford was quoted in WSJ saying:
“As I’ve gotten older I’ve become intensely aware of the cost of wasting time. I don’t want to be a Luddite, but I don’t want to spend too much time looking at a piece of plastic and metal. I want to be free to look at the world around me because that’s where my art comes from”.
So, which way is the way to go: turning off the device and going on a sabbatical, or
putting it on pause to resume our dinner conversation?
Back in 1993, MCI put out a commercial about a telepresence Thanksgiving dinner (video call). Just yesterday, on Economist, Vinton Cerf still talked about IP TV.
If the trend took hold, we might very well be watching Robert Redford from Satellite IP TV.
In a recent TIME’s interview, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg
says technology cannot establish connection between people, it only enhances existing connection in ways that weren’t possible before (long distance lovers for instance).
One of those ways is Facebook, and sure enough, young and old, we want “in”
(trends are showing more middle-aged group log on to social network instead of “bowling alone”).
I am not sure how sustainable the trend is (Remember MySpace?) My guess is that LinkedIn will remain stodgy but steady.
Mobile apps will come and go, by nature.
Plastic and metal, yet those devices are here to stay, for good or evil.
As Mr Cerf said, “those packets are content-agnostic, what matters is how they are reassembled at the receiving end”.
Up to you and me, to decode, to put it on pause or to turn it off.
I am half way through “Master Switch”. And if history is of any guide, we tend to co-opt (TV as radio with a face, and now, video call is another Skype call with a web cam) and take control of new technology for profit (proprietary vs open). But then, the users in the end, will be the judges. Some artists still collect vinyl album. To them, it remains the number one sound encoding-decoding device. All the powers to them.
I wish for us a sustainable life style, with head like Einstein’s, feet like Samuel Davis J’s, and heart like Mother Theresa’s. What comes around comes around, on or offline. Before Facebook, there already was kindness which did not put people on “pause”. As I was saying……where were we. Oh, yeah, that thought.