You know the “me-generation” has reached it’s zenith – no pun intended – when their technological gadgets are named “I”.
Zenith, by the way, for all you iTrivia buffs, is a former American manufacturer of televisions; the inventor of the modern remote control, and; - something for which I’ll always bow down and worship them for – they introduced HDTV to North America. Now, alas, Zenith has for some time hit it’s nadir and belongs to LG Electronics of South Korea! But, as is often the case, iDigress.
The first self-indulgently named iThing was the iPod. Today the iPod comes in shuffle, nano, touch and classic. Funny, I thought iTouch was something else and if you did it enough you’d go blind. But again, iDigress.
Let’s for a moment ponder over the iPod. With this device you can download music to a wallet size, virtually wafer thin device via your computer and play it back anywhere using headphones or something called a docking station. Space-age , indeed. Too bad the quality of the music wasn’t space age, too. For my money – and iPods and all their accompanying iGadgetry can be expensive – give me a big honking stereo in my living room.
You know the only thing remotely close to an iPod that ever gave me real pleasure was a T-shirt I bought my baby grandson with the phrase iPood emblazoned on the chest! Although, his mother wasn’t nearly as impressed as I was.
Then there’s the iPhone. How self-aggrandizing is that – something called an “I” Phone! But this, however, regardless of what it’s called, I can understand. It’s gone beyond being just a cell phone. With over 25,000 applications and counting you can follow a GPS system all the way to Antarctica, catch all your favourite TV shows, and play a gazillion iGames including something called “Shake The Baby” – something for all you iWanna-Be baby killers out there to pass the time. Shake The Baby aside, the iPhone is the ultimate gadget for the ultimate techno-geek. iWant one!
And what’s next? The ultimate in personal grooming – the iComb? How about the next breakthrough in the bathroom – the iToilet? Or the iShower? (Why am I stuck in the bathroom?)
One has to admit, personal communications technology has come a long way in a very, very short time. And the way we communicate, using these devices, has changed too.
Facebook, MySpace (another “me-me” name!) Twitter, Flickr – all these “social network” platforms didn’t exist a decade ago. Now, they’re as common today, as the black rotary telephone (the what? –isn’t that politically incorrect?) was in it’s day. And back in it’s day, that is to say my day, it was called “the” phone not “i”Phone.
So social networking has come a long way. It brings people together, even though they’re miles apart. Although, as my wife likes to say: social networking is anti-social because it replaces face-to-face contact. Let’s face it. People are lazy. They’d rather send some one an e-mail or a Tweet than actually have to see them.
Mobile phoning, e-mailing, texting, Facebooking, Twittering – the options are endless. However, our missives or messages are not. Take for example Facebook and Twitter where the user is limited to the number of words he or she uses in their status updates. It’s like the popularity of these social networks rests on the degree of Attention Deficit Disorder possessed by the user. For heaven’s sake even news organizations are using Twitter, a platform which limits “Tweets” to 140 characters, to get the news out. And they wonder why newspapers are dying?
It’s kind of funny that the corollary of the quality of our technology improving is that the quality of our communications has gotten worse. Would Hemmingway, Frost - Shakespeare for that matter - approve? I don’t know. Me? I now live in a generation who’s motto would appear to be “iTweet, therefore iAm”.