My Techno-Relationship Status is Fringing on Divorce.
I love technology. I love the smell of cybernetics on the horizon. I love the crisp feel of science fiction becoming reality.
Advances in technology are happening at lightning speed and the consumer market just can’t keep up. Personal computers are getting lighter, smaller. Mobile phones are getting bigger, and turning sleeker versions of their 1980s selves. We are starting to live our lives across iClouds, external drives and digital files. We are steadily removing the clutter of discs, photo albums, and paperbacks from our shelves as our lives are reaching into the broadest sense of interconnectivity and sharing. Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp and the small array of social media that dots our landscape have become primary sources for news and information gathering.
I feel we’re drifting apart. I’m beginning to think my relationship with technology is getting between us – you and me. People. Planet. All that stuff. It’s not me, it’s my Internet connection. We’re not communicating, we’re just talking AT one another. You’re saying your part, I’m saying mine and neither get to mingle or conjecture. I don’t look into your eyes and read between the lines, I speculate. I tilt my head to the left and read your emoticon. I turn into an online psychoanalyst and ruthless conqueror all at the same time, washing my eyes down a sea of statuses, email subject lines and 140 character world news in order to decide which I will “click to read more”, like, or comment on. The flicker of breakfast photos, sunsets, and foreign landmarks in distant lands intersperse these techno-clips and for a moment, a splash of colour is InstaFiltered into my broadsheet. For a few seconds I get to see some trees, a glass of wine and tartlet, and a random shadow along the seaside as an interpretive view casts a well-cropped box of cloudy sunset onto the screen.
If I plan things right, wait an hour, I could go down to the beach and cast my own shadow across a seaside sunset, but I’ve too much to look at still. I have entered the State of the Sponge, and I must absorb all the superficial matter before me. There’s a wall of disconnected emotions and inhabited virtual spaces I must look at in order to keep my relationship with the world alive and kicking. I must let a random selection of friends know I am thinking about them in the cacophony by tagging them in a photo or inspiring link of which I will forget all itemised insights as soon as I have clicked on that video link of the next best Internet sensation that will, in approximately half an hour, be cross-linked, shared via George Takei, and appear simultaneously through a multitude of “sharing pages” that no-one would even bother with if they existed as tangible concepts outside of the virtual sphere.
I now reside in a world where the run-on sentence runs at the pace of the average mind on the internet. Fast. Chaotic. A collision of ideas that HAS to be communicated before I lose your attention to that thing just below me in the scroll. NO WAIT. COME BACK. I’M NOT FINISHED. LOOK! CATS DOING THINGS!
We live in a world we have “photoshopped” together. We can apply any filter we want and have turned a means of connection into its polar opposite. We have muted our concepts of Happiness, Responsibility and Idealism into that skin you get on custard and gelatine desserts.
We are the Matrix, Neo.
Quite frankly, I don’t ever want to use a brand name as a verb ever again. I want to communicate with postcards. Send you a letter. Get cold on the snow because I only have a 2 season sleeping bag. Click a carbine, not a link. Define a well-framed picture by the trees I can squeeze between without startling the wildlife. Like something by enjoying it. Tell the world I am happy because I am physically smiling, and show-off I am mad by fucking swearing like Gordon fucking Ramsay you bollocks-face retard. I want my late night light resource to come from a campfire not a Retina display. And when I see a glass of wine, I bloody well want to hold it.
I want to transcend the need to scroll to find out how you are.