An acquaintance of mine recently posted over on FB that he had bought a Pebble. Not only a that, but a Pebble steel. There was a round of comments congratulating him on his “new shiny”, and although my initial reaction was “Cool”, I paused, hands held over the keyboard, thought for a moment, and declined to comment.
Here’s the thing. Every day, we’re connected to the internet in more and more ways. Facebook? Check, Twitter? Check, Foursquare/Swarm? Check. And now, we’re using smart watches, to connect with the smartphone that’s in our pocket, to connect to the online world.
Where does it end? Do we go the whole hog and implant rfid chips under our skin, along with a gps locator? (There’s your Foursquare/Swarm check-in sorted right there.
I referred to this person at the start, as an acquaintance. I used to call him a friend, but over the last 8 or 9 months, I haven’t seen him. I realised that the only time I was seeing him in the flesh was is I organised it. Left to his own devices he wouldn’t make any effort, and sorry, for me friendship is a two-way street.
The last straw was when, after arranging to meet him one day for lunch/drinks, I called in the morning to remind him, only for him to check his FB messages and emails, and tell me we’d never arranged anything. When I pointed out that it had been arranged in REAL LIFE, the last time we’d met, so of course there was no reference to it online, he got huffy and defensive and said he couldn’t make it, and I should have emailed on PMed him!
I actually love when I go on holiday, and leave my phone and laptop behind. After the initial couple of days when I think I’ve lost my phone, I settle down, and really enjoy the liberation that comes from being disconnected.
The downside to this is returning to a mountain of email, but that’s besides the point. For one or two weeks, I’m free of the internet.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love the online world as much as anyone, BUT, sometimes it’s good to cut loose, and let go for a while. It’s also not healthy in a social sense, if you rely purely on an online existence for your social life.
Those gps and rfid implants can’t be that far off (if they’re not already here), and then it’s one small step and we give up control and the Borg become a reality.