13- Topic – Electronic Mobility

So much of our world has gone online. Mobile technology has taken over.

As a race we have gained the ability to communicate despite distance but are now increasingly crippled in more intimate situations. I don’t think our great grandchildren will know how to initiate a human conversation in the flesh. Calling someone on a phone is still holding on, despite things like video calling and Skype and such. The number buttons are on their way to becoming obsolete. And that’s just the way it is, the times are waiting for no one. Technology moves on.

Social media is decreasing our need for physical socializing. And we are forming stronger attachments to our devices than to most of the people around us. The price some will pay to not be without their smartphone still disturbs me.

I believe in humans at the end of the day though. If the war between human and machine happens in my life time, I will be fighting on the human side. I don’t believe that human interaction can quite be replicated. There’s something about that human touch, of a genuine heart. “A.I.” is a cool movie and all, but I hope the robots never learn.

There is no denying I have a certain level of dependency on my technological devices. It’s all so advanced now that the only time I really need a computer is for school. Angie Sea is fully up and running with no computer, when I’m not in school. I’m writing on my trusty ASUS Eee Pad Slider right now and using a paper dictionary as opposed to the app on my smart phone. And I have my lovely pen and pad by my side as always.

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And that’s the way I like it. It did take me two days to transition some other things though. Here’s what happened, two days ago, my Samsung Galaxy smartphone, stopped booting, you could tell it was trying because it still did the vibrating thing. But it would keep pulsing vibrations but not load the OS or anything else. So all of a sudden I was cut off, and for the most part, offline.

It’s amazing how many things that ‘phone’ did for me. I had made it my planner, my alarm, my recording device, my social media central, my timer, and so many other little things that I go to use daily. That device had become a life tracker for me. If it brought me tea it’d be so close to a personal assistant. It was almost a crutch.

The past two days have been days of healing, and detoxifying. I didn’t realize how much my smart phone stressed me out, until being without it for two days. With that said, I think being without it will probably stress me out more through time. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss some of its functions.

Finally I did what I usually do when I have a problem, I Googled it. All the troubleshooting led me to no fix, most said this was the result of a stuck power button. And I definitely don’t know enough to confidently open up my phone and tinker with it myself.

So I dug out my old old phone. It was only three generations ago when I was using my trusty LG not smartphone. And that phone was already a huge upgrade for me. The Nokia I had before that didn’t have a color screen or half as many functions as my shiny LG. This bad boy even slides and has two cameras.

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I’d take an operating non smartphone over a dead smartphone, no debate. But when I was on the bus, I did feel a little dorky. The only other people who used a phone with no multi-touch function are all old. Definitely somewhat self-conscious of pulling out my old phone. I had been forced to take it back to basics and I enjoyed it to a certain extent, but it was hard to see everyone else typing away on their touchscreen full keyboard and here I was.

Looking at our phone has become impulsive for so many of us, it’s just like how I can’t walk past the fridge without opening the door and peeking in. The power button has become another fridge door. Surprisingly I was never that attached to my smartphone, I got one because it came knocking and I didn’t see a reason to turn it down.

When I visit my mom in Hong Kong I could easily go months without a phone, if no one needed to get a hold of me. See that’s the root of it all, when you’re holding a mobile device, you’re never quite alone. There’s so many platforms connecting us to everyone else, and we become mutually accessible.

Electronic mobility is when a person, along with their every online connection, and platform (like social media), are actively online, only wireless. To not be at a computer that is hooked up to a LAN cord and still present on the internet.

I like how simple it all was, when I didn’t have the option of choosing a different notification sound for everything that happened. Partly because there wasn’t much happening beside the functions of an actual phone. But I’ll eventually be electronically mobile, all the time, again.

Thank you for reading!
– a.sea

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