Living in the Digital Age

Salam.

I was blurting random things on Twitbook just now, and thought I might write an entry altogether. That way people on Faceter can also read on.

Let’s start with the bad news. Or rather embarrassing it seems. My phone, the Blackberry Z10, went into a coma a few days ago. An app crashed or some sort, and when I tried to restart the phone itself, it got stuck at the loading screen. Desperate for a means of communication, I scoured the nine corners of my house and found my sister’s old phone, the Nokia C1-01. That’ll do. For now.

So the Z10 and C1-01 is, let’s be honest, like a kart and an F1 car (pardon my motorsports jargon, it is a GP weekend after all. Canada, in case you’re wondering). One is a state-of-the-art.. -ish, smartphone, while the other is just a plain one that can only count to 2 on the G scale. Now I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the C1-01 is a “dumb” phone, cos frankly that’s not the one in a coma. But after using the Z10 for such a long time (shy of a year I think), the numeric keypad and lack of activity that can be done needed some getting used to. That was the moment when I realized..

This is kinda fun actually.

Phones used to be physically attractive: sliders (my personal favourite), clamshell, flip and turn, even down to what made Blackberry famous in the first place, the QWERTY keypad. The variety of looks is so vast, phone makers rely on visual perception to catch one’s attention. Now look at them. I wouldn’t say all, but the majority of current mobile phones have one pattern: the screen. If you take say, ten different touchscreen models from ten distinct manufacturers (I recalled a time where a phone is referred to as a “Nokia”), it would be hard to tell which one is the most eye pleasing. Rather, we have to rely on what is written on paper: processing speed, memory, user interface etc. to determine which is the most preferable. Now here’s my point:

It seems that this, has affected our behaviour as a human being as well.

Back in the day people went out, whistling to cute girls at the bus stop. They take their SOs, preferably on scooters, on dates and afternoon rides at the park. They went to the beach, sand under their feet, strolling the shore as the sun sets, basking the world in its golden glow. We get to know people by ACTUALLY getting to know people. Now, it’s all Whatsapp this and Instagram that. We judge people by their online profile and avatars, even by their text messages. I’m sure at some point you’ve come across the infamous “I didn’t say you stole my money” phrase, where the meaning shifts on which word you emphasize on. Of course on-screen words can be easily read, but how can we be certain of the way it was intended to be?

Sometimes, I get to be called a robot by the way I act and speak, and sure I find it hilarious too :D But if we keep doing things based on codes and not conscious, then what different are we to those mere machines.

Get out, and start living.

ws.