I went to bed early last night, hoping to catch up on a bit of rest, and try to put some finality into the last remnants of a cold. I love the phases of a cold (NOT!) but I recognize them, and try to wish a warm goodbye to each, and a “hurry up and pass on through” to the next one.
I woke up early (too early) and am not wanting to get out of bed, but unable to find that blissful escape back into slumber. And, I started playing games on my iPad. Now yes, I should be grabbing a book instead (and this cold weather is encouraging that). I could even drag myself up and perhaps do some quilting.
I got thinking about technology. I definitely have my share of technology. I have a personal laptop, cell phone, iPad. I have a TV and source of music (radio). I do think about the fact I don’t have any significant stereo system, but that’s a different train of thought. I have through work, the use of a desktop computer, laptop, cell phone, and iPad. I have travelled before with 2 iPads, 2 laptops, and 2 cell phones. Yes, that sounds ridiculous when I type it in. Absolutely absurd.
I was also thinking about what I want my life to look like, where I’ve been since I moved back to Canada just over 6 years ago, and where it is going. (Some of the reflections you tend to do at the end/beginning of a year.). The use of technology came into that thought, and I started really examining what I think about technology in my own life.
It has definitely brought some complexities to it. I never used to carry a cell phone (which is an indication about how old I am!). One of my sewing machines is computerized, and I can embroider with it, and it has a touch screen where I select stitches, and stitch length, and select all sorts of options. I can sit and play games on a computer, iPad, phone instead of grabbing cards, a crossword puzzle to with pen on paper.
I can feel like I am connected to all sorts of friends all over the world through social media. I don’t actually have to reach out and call them, write a physical letter, drive over to their home to talk to them. I can send them pixels that are arranged in a string of discernible letters that magically appear instantly to them, and they can chose to read it, chose to ignore it, chose to delete it, all without my knowledge. Just as this is here. You have the same choices.
Technology allows us to feel like we are getting work done faster. Lets us feel like we are better connected because we can let everyone know that we are shopping for that last Christmas gift, without having to put forward more energy in contacting personally everyone we know to share that bit of knowledge, we just have to post it on social media for the world to see, and comment on, and we get attention that way.
We have created emoticons 😊😞😳😬😪😂😍🤗😤😡😖😵😭😨🤢🤒 to add emotion to these interactions. Makes us feel like we can actually share our emotions in a way that everyone understands. Our real joys, fears, tears, smiles, hugs, laughter is shown in videos, pictures, words, images instead of the messy real life version. It is shown in pixels that can be easily ignored, glossed over, not given the importance each of these things deserve because they are hidden behind glass screens. Veils on the world. Why would any of us want to have to deal with face to face the messiness of life! We can ask for sympathy in our virtual world, and the world can pass judgement back in a virtual way, and then you can shut it off. You don’t have to wipe the tears, give the hugs, share the laughter, feel the joy of seeing that smile. We are only imagining what we think people are feeling by what they are expressing. We are filtering the messiness of life.
I myself feel like I can spend too much time with social media, technology, and what it brings to my life. It does help me communicate with friends in different time zones, so I can send a message that they may find when they wake up, without some of the challenges of coordinating times to call / skype.
I feel like some of technology is pulling away the tactileness of life. I definitely am a fibre artist. I am an architect. I am a person enamoured with the tactileness of the environment. I love creating because of the feel of the fabric. The feel of the wood, metal, whatever I am working with. The selection of tile.
The feel of the fuzziness of the inside of my slippers on my feet. The softness of a scarf around my neck. The soft fur and warmth of my cat laying across my lap. Feeling the coats of the horses I was riding this summer. You can share sounds and images virtually. But, the warmth of that hug – there is nothing virtually that beats that.
I think that one of my focus words of the year for 2017 is clarity. I want to bring clarity to what technology is in my life, and not hide behind it. It is a tool, but doesn’t replace that sharing of a meal with friends in person, the snuggling with my cat, the sharing a laugh on the phone even. Being present in an amazing place and hearing, smelling, seeing, feeling your presence.