Friday, February 25, 2011

Slap Your Face Friday- Part 4, unrelated to parts 1-3


I like what’s next, I like what’s new and I’m a huge supporter of innovation and moving forward.  However, there’s an up tick in the impatience for “new” that's messing with my head. 

With the computer revolution and now technology “hyper-jumping”, we seem to be spiraling towards the inability to be happy with ANYTHING.  I used to be amazed that for less than fifty cents, I could put a piece of paper in my mailbox and in less than three days it could be across the USA.  Before I sound too geezer-y, please remember that our country is MASSIVE.  Texas is roughly the size of Germany, in my opinion. 

I adore the Internet and my Droid2 phone; my laptop has now become an extension of my arm, but when I see Verizon advertising that they have not the phone of my dreams but the one after it, I pause.

I hate that I’m being wooed by the notion that what’s NEWEST isn’t new enough. 

And when companies can bamboozle us into thinking we’re getting something new when all they’re releasing is a different ROM or a battery that’s more realistic for the product they released last year, or adding a blur we couldn’t get before, is it really new?  Small feature changes alone shouldn’t fool us into a buying craze, or what’s worse:  the feeling that we’re not keeping up.

The jump from land line to cell was big.  That was an innovation.  The leap from simple cell to walking micro-laptop was an innovation.  But the jump from my Blackberry to my Droid2 wasn’t much of an innovation odyssey; it was like trading in my fabric sofa for a leather couch, and there were 14 versions of each in between! (*not really, I'm exaggerating.)  The Kindle came out and as soon as it got a mainstream handle, it got smaller with a light to show you it was charging and some better buttons...and therefore new.  Now the one you were so excited about as an early adopter is done.  Old news. 

 iPad users are about to feel the same way.  “Is that the NEW iPad?”  Nope, it’s the one from seven months ago, so….it’s the dino-pad.  And in a New York Times article shared by a friend, I read that “blogging” itself is perceived to be a thing of the past because Tumblr is the newest “innovation”.  It’s just a site that people are putting pictures on, instead of words.  Is that really what we are convinced is a NEW thing?

Here’s a devil’s advocate position:  our main commodity these days seems to be etoys, so if we’re not buying the latest and greatest every 6-9 months, what does that do to our economy?  Verizon, apple, hp, and a host of others depend on our need for what’s next, even if all they’re offering is a change in font sizing, to spur their growth.  If I’m not buying into the latest screen size or car jack then am I responsible for someone being downsized?  I can’t live with that guilt!

I find a struggle between keeping one foot planted in the days of yore (1980), when cursive and letter writing were relevant skill sets, and wanting to jump right into toda-morrow (since today isn’t good enough anymore) where I can be an avatar in a cyberworld:  everywhere at once. 

I’ve been known to make fun of Buddha; however I do try to live with a peaceful sensibility.  I strive for the balance between external influences and the calm that my psyche craves.  When I’m bombarded continually with the pressure to want more, better, bigger, next…there is a disconnect between the life I want to live and the life I’m informed that I need to live.  You wouldn’t be reading this if I was firmly entrenched in the pen and notebook days of 20 years ago, but is it really so pressing, so vital, that you need it delivered to you on your mobile device in a feed?  I say yes, because I want you to read…but come on.  It’s really NOT.

What’s the balance then?  How do I live with contentment when my society and everything in it constantly yells at me that what I have is one step off from what I should have?  How do I jump into Twitter, StumbleUpon, HootSuite and RSS feeds but then shut it off when my family comes home? 

I don’t have the answer.  The world doesn’t stop for my desire for the quiet and connectedness that comes with one on one face time.  And when I do turn my back on it for an evening, or (GASP!) a week end, I’m left feeling like I’m missing out on some intangible “better thing” because I can still hear the noise of the blur going on behind me. 

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