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Indulgence, isolation, irony

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Indulgence, isolation, irony

Post  mermaid on Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:18 pm

indulgence, isolation, irony

April 20, 2012

How clever, that Steve Jobs. I don't mean how he invented the touch screen, or created a device no bigger than a fat credit card that holds 8,000 songs. It's something far more brilliant. It's all in the naming of those wonderful inventions.

It's no accident they all begin with "i" — iMac, iPhone, iPod, iPad. In this world which is becoming increasingly narcissistic, there is no greater motivator than "I," as in, what's in it for me? Jobs even gets points for not capitalizing the "i" in his products — a nice touch of humility, I think.

What happens when you buy one of the Apple products? You i-solate yourself. Your activity with these purchases is mostly solitary. Turn on an iMac and you are lost in programs, games and Internet searches. Connect your iPod and load it up with music from iTunes that YOU love. And, ah, the latest technology seducer, the iPad. Brilliant device on which I can watch a movie on a 7-by-9-inch screen. And I won't disturb anybody, because I'm wearing iBuds. When I laugh or cry at parts of the movie, it will be between me and the screen.

Another arrival on the technology scene is a Wii (spelled with two i's). Guess what that does? It frees you up so you can golf, bowl, play tennis, dance or do any number of activities, all in the privacy of your family room. Of course, you can ask someone to join you, but why bother? There's a built-in crowd on the screen that cheers you on every time you reach a goal, hit a ball over the net, or get a hole in one.

We've all seen the i-gadget junkies. They walk into us on the street while they're texting on their iPhone; they groove to music only they can hear on their iPod; they play some sophisticated games — excuse me, apps — that they loaded onto their iPads.

The irony is, these devices are supposed to keep us in touch with friends, family, and, heck, even the world. The connections are frequent, but oh-so-shallow.

Now, here's the hypocrisy. I own an iPod and an iPad, as well as two computers. I love technology and use it all the time. But I want to distance myself from the aforementioned junkies. I grew up, got educated, was a parent and a professional before I knew what a keyboard was.

My life was no less joyful or fulfilling in those years. If anything it was more so, because of the people in my life. It was less about "I" and more about "we." Family and friends were my connection to reality. If I wanted to know something, I would ask someone more knowledgeable than I. If I wanted recreation, I would meet some friends and we'd plan something or let it happen spontaneously. Music? It was available on the car radio, our stereo or in a live performance. To enjoy it, there had to be consensus among all within earshot on what we wanted to hear. There were two benefits to this — we learned to negotiate, and our tastes expanded by exposure.

Games weren't apps. They were cards or boards with pieces. I wouldn't exchange an hour of my nightly Scrabble or Monopoly games with my father for 100 apps on the iPad.

Before I close, remind me to save this file. I think I'll name it indulgence, isolation and irony — all spelled with small i's, of course.

Mary Ellen Raab lives in Mashpee.

Love this!! Excellent !! bounce


Gemini Posts : 766
Join date : 2010-06-06
Age : 96
Location : Scargo Lake

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