Friday, November 28, 2008

A disconnect can be a good thing

I recently came back from visiting my Mom in Winnipeg. She still lives in the same house I grew up in, and being there is a bit of a time warp.

What I mean is for five days I didn't have access to my regular online fix. No high speed. Not even dial-up. If I wanted to plug in, I had to brave a -25 windchill and drop by a wireless cafe.*

All this made me realize how Internet-dependent I've become. Addicted, really. When so many people could simply care less. For them, computers are a past-time, a way to share jokes, look up a movie time, buy something.

They haven't crossed over to the 'new media' promised lan. They still consume TV, read local papers, go to the mall and talk to the folks behind the tables at the community displays. They get most of their news the old fashioned way.

Perhaps it's our profession and its fascination (obsession?) with the latest and greatest communications tools. We're ravenous for information, 24/7.

But as admirable as I think this may be, it's important to remember there's a parallel, albeit slightly slower world right here beside us: let's call it the 'first life'.

It's a place with less MB and more MB. Where everyone's connected, just not like that.

*OK, a disclosure: I had my BB Bold so I wasn't completely out of touch. But, I wasn't glued to it the way I sometimes am to my laptop.


Janine said...

Well, my computer and I took a break from each other on Saturday evening. I did a Facebook stat update to say we were on a break, at least until one of us cracked.

That the computer might crack first seemed a real possibility -- we're that attached. Heck, it's almost 2 am on Monday morning and I'm still online.

Perhaps I need a 12-step program? Or to visit an interweb-free zone?

Julie Rusciolelli said...

Martin, you haven't met my mother! She still has her old Zenith TV from the late 70s, with a VCR "top-loader", no electronics of any kind -- no computer, no internet, all rotary phones, no dishwasher or dryer. She has a Moffat stove from the 60s too. -- Wait .. she has a great Smith Corona typwriter with the letter "d" that sticks all the time. Going to my mom's house is like a time warp to pleasantville.