Thursday, June 10, 2010

Electrons going haywire

Many of us don't realise it but the world runs on electrons. Energy excites the electrons and we see things, hear things, do things. Movement of electrons generate the energy for things to happen.

Electrons power the Internet. Yay!

As a reading addict, the Internet is both a boon and bane. The sheer amount of information anyone with a connection can access is almost unimaginable. Consider that a person of my stature fifty years ago would not even get to read a fraction of the stuff I could get my grubby paws on right now.

With all the gadgets that we have now; 3G cellphones (4G now?), iPads, netbooks, PDAs, we are connected 24/7. Services such as Twitter and Facebook keep us connected with people we wouldn't have thought about in years, much less care that they are alive. It gives us a false sense of popularity. Sometimes I see people with more than a thousand friends and I marvel at how they check their friends' status updates.

Maybe they don't bother.

E-mails used to be an exotic wonder when I was an undergraduate. Not many people have Internet access then (no kids, this was not the prehistoric times. It was a mere dozen years ago) so people keep in touch the old fashioned way.

Semaphores, wireless (no, not WiFi), smoke signals, talking drums, etc.

Just kidding.

The connectivity that we have now can be claustrophobic. Ask anyone whose bosses think nothing off ringing/texting/e-mailing them at all hours just because they can.

Some people think of it as a badge of honour to be hounded so; it makes them feel like a vital cog of the organisation. What it makes you is the go-to patsy. Not to mention that cogs can always be replaced. There are such things called spare parts.

This connectivity is also addictive. Studies have shown that little packets of dopamine rushes are the reason why you keep checking that little LCD screen for the newest status updates/comments/RSS feed/spam in the inbox to be relegated to the trash bin. We are addicted to information and the toys that gave us access to it. Texting messages mean more to us than making we sure we don't wrap our cars around the telephone pole.

Personally, I think that all this information availability at our fingertips is inducing ADHD in us. We learn a lot of things, but not in depth. Tony Schwartz puts it "our attention under siege". This is not good for someone who has the attention span of a gnat (i.e. moi).

Isn't it a good thing my finances don't allow me to get an iPhone?

*scurries off to check for new fanfics*


Anonymous said...

beb, about checking ur frens status wen u hv thousands of em.. i think they don care.. They jez wanna be popular, hoping others check on em.. celebrity in their own world..

Aku yg baru ade bbrp org kwn nih pong selalu sgt miss apa kesah kwn2 itu huhuu ;-(

Snuze said...

Celebrity in their own world ...

I really like that and I think you're right. We are the heroes and heroines of our own story, no?