In the wake of the whole iPad hype/hysteria – do you do gadgets? Why (not)?

I think I’m somewhat behind the times on these things. I’m a little in love with my little baby laptop,  when I probably should be at least fingering an iPhone, or something with an i at the front at least.

I’ve never been an Apple though. The slick simplicity of the design actually bothers me a little. They all seem more like toys than computers. Even if they are actually quite often a joy to handle.

I walk a somewhat anachronistic line between techno-utopianism and neo-ludditism.

I think it comes down to an awareness of my addictive tendencies, and a distrust of the relationships that certain objects inspire.

Apple encourages the notion of a tactile physical relationship with it’s products. The sleek lines and bold curves. The responsivity of the touch controls.

There’s something intimate about it that kinda disturbs me. I don’t think anyone actually mistakes it for something like sexual contact. But I think they’re attempting to appeal to similar parts of the brain.

A tactile relationship with an object. An object that you use as an extension of your brain, mouth, ears and self.

It’s weird. We use technology to make us shout louder and reach further. We use it to talk to strangers and loved ones. We shrink the world and grow ourselves with it.

It’s addictive, and so we want it with us all the time. One day, no doubt projected onto our eyelids and encroaching on our field of vision.

We’ll welcome the added information, and we’ll make games of it and find new etiquettes to cope with the changes. We’re pretty good at that sort of adaptation.

But I never feel ready for the current layer of cyborg enhancement. Even my mobile phones are at least three years out of date.

I’d say this is a desire to not lose my detachment with the beauty of nature around me, and there’s an element of that; but it can’t be the whole story.

I’m pretty sure I’m just a little scared.

Scared of creating a new attachment to a little lump of plastic and metal? Scared of becoming over-reliant on a connection to the ether world? Scared of looking like a pretentious cock showing off all the latest apps?

Maybe a little, but I don’t think it’s the main thing.

Essentially, it comes down to a fear of having someone else design my life for me. Having my every moment plotted out by someone else’s systems analysis output. Becoming overly ergonomic in my life style.

I avoid facebook on account of the structures it contains. I enjoy twitter on account of it’s freeform near-uselessness.

It’s particularly absurd when I note how much my life is dictated so much by architects I’ve never met. City planners I can’t imagine making choices. And the confluence of random evolution that leads our world to look the way it is.

I guess it just takes time for these things to become invisible.

Then trust is irrelevant.

It’s life.

Illustration by Anna-kaisa.


About Alabaster Crippens

Joiner of Dots. Player of Games. Unreliable Narrator. Dancing Fool.
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