I understand I am personally to blame for the entire failure of the fourth estate. I stopped buying newspapers. This has its implications. I do recall being excited to collect a free copy of the Sunday Mail from my local supermarket recently. I have stockpiled it. How else can I clean the bar-b-que.
I have yet to see a publication on line that I am ready to pay for. I do look at the on line press daily and shake my head at the trite rubbish that pervades the popular press. Nothing could convince me to pay for what I have seen so far in the areas I am keen to know more about.
So it is all my fault - I apologise.
Then I read a piece like I saw recently and I know I am right. The standard of journalism is simply abysmal. I will not link to the story but if you follow the popular press you will no doubt stumble over it.
1. Technology does not save us time - like it ought to.
We are so tied to our devices that we can't be bothered to relate to the people who matter. I actually find the reverse, I am more in touch with the people who matter to me anywhere in the world. If I meet with them once a year I still know where they have been and they know enough about me to continue a conversation. If your personal technology takes more time then not having it then perhaps it needs some controls, but you get to choose. Once upon a time it was not a choice. You can now be as in touch and connected as you choose.
2. Record our lives not live them.
hmmm. I actually like recording my life. I have chatted before about new photography and how it has become an instant form of communication.
I see posts of people's meals and I post a few myself.
It seems so trite when you say it in words - posting a photo of your tea, but that is not the point. It is a light touch with your friends. It takes no time to post and no time to consume. But, for the one or two of your contacts, yeh I called them contacts and not friends, for whom it was relevant, it was a worthwhile touch. If I don't like the post, I don't need to spend any time consuming it. But if I love the "death by chocolate" you are having for desert, it may just touch me and add to some future conversation. I like it. I get to choose.
3. A password for the thing to store your password.
Such an easy joke.
That is actually my point. It is so easy to build a funny one liner on these issues and never dig deeper. I do have one password - the app. It is a password keeper for all my passwords. One password to rule them all.
Then there is another quick and easy joke:
"Count the number of apps you have then how many you actually need… I rest my case… "
Such an easy line.
It is not about what apps you need. It is about the apps you choose. I do not need to have an app for the flight boards at Heathrow airport. I don't know many people traversing that gateway. But I love having it. I love to be able to fire it up and see in real time what is happening on the other side of the world. I get to choose. When there is an almighty plane crash like this weekend in San Francisco I can choose to look at the flight board for SFO and see how it has effected the traffic there. It is part of my hobby. I love it. It has not destroyed my life. I always bought flight magazines and read all that detail - 8 weeks after the event. Today I do it all in real time, if I choose to.
4. Ungrateful and competitive.
I do almost daily pick up my device of choice and say out loud, "this thing is amazing." I hear people about me say similar all the time.
I know there are lots of people who are cross about their device because it is not delivering what they believe it ought to instantly. I hear stories from my local Apple Store of the people who believe in magic only to find that the magic in an iPad is still ruled by the laws of physics - and they don't like that.
I do hear people saying Siri is crap. They just do not get that Siri is a learning machine and needs to learn stuff to become perfect. Siri is not perfect yet, but she is much better than anything we had 5 years ago. And in 5 years time she will be a whole bunch more fantastic. And yes to me Siri is a she...
Every evening my family settles down to the TV, with iPads and iPhones about us for when we don't know enough about the story on the screen. We love the great ecosystem that feeds our craving for knowledge about everything.
Example: We were enjoying the TV show The Newsroom. There was a sequence about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The story unfolded a little differently from how we recalled it. We wanted to know more. Three of us in the lounge, TV show on pause, deep in our device of choice to discover just how the gulf oil crisis played out. Oh and BTW, the TV show was totally accurate.
5. End of General Knowledge.
It is just not possible to know it all. We see it published often that a student beginning a science degree this year will find much of it irrelevant and or wrong by the time they finish. Knowledge grows so quickly we cannot keep up.
It is sad that pub trivia nights don't work any more. Serious first world problem folks!
We are not going to know it all… but we can have access to it all. Isn't it wonderful? You have, at the end of your fingers, the sum of everything everyone has ever known. You only need to choose to unlock all the information.
Your challenge is to consume what knowledge you want to access and convert it to wisdom. Not a bad challenge really!
Yes the internet, technology can be a huge time waster, just like Radio was in the 30s and TV was in the 50s; and movies; and Videos; and DVDs; and records; and CDs; and; and; and...
There has always been the potential to fritter away the hours whether it was whittling or chasing the latest celebrity gossip. Whether it is a waste of time can only be determined by the consumer. The point is the consumer gets to choose.
In 2013 we have more choices than ever before. And the only thing I can promise is that there will be even more choices in 2014 -
pending the zombie apocalypse.