Warning: rainbows, cupcakes and sprinkles raining from the sky. Edible weather is not uncommon here.
Last week was short and sweet and about things I like. Now back to our usual schedule.
Technology is all around us. Where ever you look you see a mobile phone (in a variety of styles), a laptop, a computer, an mp3 player (or at least the ear plugs for one) and so on and so forth. Maybe this is because I spend my days in between the comforts of home and the alien world of a university (yes, I am a student who actually goes to the place they call university) and the only contact I have is with students (who seem very technological) so I get a biased picture. But it’s true, isn’t it?
I know that when I leave the house, here’s what goes in my pocket: Wallet (with that all important transport pass and student card), mobile phone, keys, mp3 player, memory stick. When I get to university, I swipe in at the library. Blip. I go to the computer cluster (muttering darkly about the lack of computer spaces available due to everyone on Facebook and not actually working), find another cluster (empty *shock horror*) and log in.
We claim that we are not dependant on it, that it merely makes things easier. But what happens when it breaks down? When it stops doing what we want it to do?
Well, I for one know I do. My computer has been running a modest render (1000×1000 px render with a transparent background) but it’s been doing it for almost two days. It has been on since Monday. It’s as slow as a slow thing and struggles to do the basic tasks required to open a document, to open the web, to do research. It’s my own fault (of course), but I still sat in front of it last night muttering dark things at is as I struggle to type up my thoughts on the codes of conduct of the engineering bodies involved in my industry. It’s not a mean feat when your computer is ghosting what you type, lagging by about a sentance or two (or three).
When my MP3 player died, I cried. I then cried further when I was told how much it would cost to fix outside of warranty. When I left my mobile phone on the bus by accident (I still think it was nicked out of my pocket), I burst into tears on the Orange shop counter and had to be taken aside to help calm me down. I needed my phone. I needed it’s calendar and it’s calling facilities and it’s texting ability. I needed it because I needed to keep in touch with my supposed friends (who at the time thought I was ignoring them and were giving me the cold shoulder). When my laptop slows to a crawl, I rail on it’s sorry ventilated behind, storm off and go and get a cup of coffee.
It doesn’t do to swear at it in person. It might take offence.
However, I am not like some people.
There are people, it seems, to appear to have more money than sense. New model of phone on the market? Chuck out the old one. Latest swishy laptop? Must have. Games machines? Don’t go there (I’m on an “outdated” piece of kit that games are no longer produced for. We live very happily on second/third hand games does my PS2 and I). Sometimes I listen to some of my colleagues (that’s what we have to call each other. Not, “oi you” or “that one” or “miss bossy-britches-in-the-corner”) and I think “Why?”
It breaks down. It’s not going to last forever. Why do we need to have the best and the fastest and the shiniest (I swear thats how some are sold on how shiny and sparkly they are) when the current stuff does just fine?
Maybe I am a techno-phobe as I was so kindly called the other week by a loving family member. But I would rather freak on my aging laptop, walk away and come back later to pat it lovingly on the case and go “You can’t help it. I know you’re old” than have my brand spanking new Apple IPad (or whatever is up and coming these days) stolen by some light fingered thief.
But we are all dependant on it. We can’t not be.
Email is currently the only way our lecturers, potential employers and friends talk to us. They pass things on, send stupid pictures, confirm deadlines or meetings or holidays. We use our computers as calendars, address books, art materials, information gathering tools. Our library is extending it’s ebook collection because it recognises the need for internet access. My eyes nearly popped out when they said that. And although we don’t all live on facebook, twitter or deviant art, we still have a routine check. It’s almost a compulsive habit. And how many of us feel the need to check our phones when we hear a message tone in the room or that irritating buzzing sound when an incoming message messes with the lecturer’s sound system?
So yes, technology is all around us my friends. It’s called the future.