On a recent trip to Johannesburg I was reminded of just how much the country (or perhaps the world) has changed. And I am often accused of “not moving” with the times enough.
What the people who accuse of me of this usually mean is that yes, I have embraced a certain level of technological advance, but I have not altogether embraced (and accepted so willy-nilly like most people have) every fad that makes one’s life so “easy”.
Example: I am not on Facebook or Twitter…I am not suffering from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and I still pick up the phone to make an appointment with someone. I don’t sommer do the meeting request thing on e-mail or on doodle or, or, or…and sometimes I get scolded for not doing so. Other times I am lauded. The point is: the email appointment is mostly noise to me.
I have to decipher too many variables to get to the meeting time and date. My phone call is infinitely clearer: “Hello, meet you on Thursday at 3pm at my office.” Very clear! No noise. The other one (the email one) has the words Harare, Pretoria and GMT and Date (without a “day” stipulation – so I still have to go to a calendar to check what day the date falls on), a time that I always have to convert from 15h00 to work out if it is at 5pm or 3pm etc etc. Now imagine a few of these per week? Call me old-fashioned but I like the phone call version better.
Be that as it may, my reasons are my reasons. I have seen (too many times for my liking) the regression that some of my friends, acquaintances and colleagues are suffering at the hand of so-called technological progress.
Many of them that I work with in the show business industry have become less focused and are so addicted to their Twitter/Facebook/Linked-in and, and, and accounts and are so scared to miss out on anything that they check their phone every chance they get – whether in the middle of a rehearsal or not.
And, whenever there is a free moment they are on their phones – and I just know their minds are not with me.
And often I am tempted to say to them: “If you want to be with that person or those persons on your phone so much, then why don’t you rather go to them?” I don’t ever do it, but I think it! And this is becoming more of a frequent phenomenon. And now, with WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messaging, that apparently are free services, it seems to be at its worst.
At least when they paid for the service they were selective…one or two text messages and then it would be over. Now that it’s free, for every one SMS they would have sent, they can now afford to send limitless bits of nonsense messages. And don’t get me started on updates, and the desperate need to see if anyone made contact…or the desperate need to self-promote.
And it has become so bad that conversations about “the self” have become so damn boring, and seem to permeate and dominate everything – especially social settings. And it is astounding to see the number of people that now want to talk about how small or big their cell phones are, or how hard their drives are on their computers. And I often feel quite left out. But to be perfectly honest, I am happy to be left out of those conversations. They bore me to tears.
Just realised – this is not what I wanted to talk about at all. I was going to talk about the reminder I had as per the introduction to this piece.
I was going to talk about a completely different subject – the way in which the world has been moving regarding accents and hair! But, hell, it’s all connected anyway. So why bother?