Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Empowered By Tech?

Noticing that the world is changing. (Takes a bow, realises people are laughing at him not with him, slinks off the stage.)

No, seriously. Just commented on the question of the day at Jeff Pulver's blog, and realised - I use around a dozen forms of IM on a daily basis, keep up several websites as well as my blogs, have dozens of other contact methods all involving technology, and use most of them to get things done in my daily life. On top of that I also put in a full day at a regular job, and no I don't blog at work these days or run regular IM sessions on the company's network, those are things I do in my spare time.

If (as tonight) I have a lousy dining experience, I blog it, and if it's a superlative experience, I also blog that. The thing is, my voice here online affects stuff IRL. I noticed that several of my friends who'd normally go to Fast Eddie's have made the effort to go to Pizza Bella Roma in Fremantle recently, and one has become a regular there.

If I have a suddenly insoluble problem at work or with one of my extracurricular jobs, I mentally go through the list of my friends on IM for someone who works on that stuff and can help me work it out.

What are Trish and I doing this evening? ebroadcast has the TV guide for the evening, the movie theatres' websites provide ideas for movies we want to go see, and Twitter and various others have lists of local events.

Nothing on TV, no new movies, and no bands or places to go have a "leadsinkerburger"? Luckily I also receive about 800 - 1200 articles a day via RSS feeds consisting of blog posts, world news articles, hardware and software news, tech news, and tips and tricks so I'll never get bored. I'll skimread between a tenth and a third of them, and fully read between 10 and 50 each evening.

And I know I'm not Teh Bomb in this technologically-enhanced new social fabric - for proof of that just watch the real masters of the matrix, the sub-twenties. At 50 I'm one of a very small percentage of my generation who truly use technology but I just don't have the stamina or the educated SMS Thumb to keep up. My typing speed is a lousy two-fingered hunt'n'peck 40 words per minute. My brain melts after a couple of hours of trying to watch TV, read news, answer IMs, email my friends, and keep blog articles flowing.

Is my life better for it? I really don't know,because I have nothing to compare it to any more. But I do know that it's easier, it's more interesting, and I can do a lot more of the things that I want to do in my week than most other people I know.

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