choice would be a fine thing

On the day Steve Jobs died, I upgraded back to an iPhone. I was as shocked as anyone to learn, several hours later, on the same device that has equally blighted and bettered my life that the Big C had finally gotten the better of the father of modernity. Sadly I felt better that I was part of the iPhone gang again, and while I wasn’t quite weeping, prostrate at the steps of an Apple Store, I was struck that I would have felt left out had I still been using the Blackberry. Left out of the public mourning, what a thing to be jealous of not being a part of.

That said, with my newly improved phone prospects, I could survey the scale of this grief so much better. Commanding my Twitter and Facebook accounts with the swipe of a thumb, accessing newspaper reactions with the tap of a finger, I’m back on the grid and going by the regularity of my posts, I want everyone to know it. It’s hard being out in the cold in Social Networking Siberia. I found myself being admonished for not replying to a comment or not keeping up with a conversation chain simply because I was not able to get push notifications. The Blackberry doesn’t chase you with information; it’s very much a fish for it yourself process.

A few short weeks ago, I longed to have my updates chase me again, now I am considering turning them off! Think how satisfying it would be to check at the end of the day and have at least a half dozen or so comments and messages to follow up on. Undoubtedly it would go the same way as if you’ve ever left your phone at home however. When you finally come back to it and you’ve had one message all day and the only missed call has been from your Mum. I’ve never been so underproductive since The iPhone (my very own pocket Steve) reintroduced The Steve Jobs Effect to my life. It’s probably the reason for the lack of blogs too – I have Words With Friends to play now guys!, I can’t be weaving words for you here too!

At least 2 social networks to check (I can’t bring myself to link them), emails to read and delete from both my phone and the actual account. I’ve got the power to read the paper on the palm of my hand, to shop for train fares home, or presents for Christmas on the go; a power which I was so keen to have restored but ultimately, I end up emailing my sister Christine a lot of web links and ultimately not getting a whole lot done.

I imagine it is similar in type to when the telegram was rolled out. How eager people must have been to send a telegram, rather than a letter. The speed, the ease…the ultimate inconvenience. The original Twitter, a telegram, limited the amount of words you could send to the effect that the most serious message would still read like an 11 year old’s staccato text friendly sentences, imagine: *start* War has started STOP Looks bad STOP *end*

Even relationships are impacted in these modern times. My boyfriend Alun doesn’t have facebook, so I cannot recommend a link to him so I tweet him, he texts me back. An email comes from his hotmail account, I email back from my work account so I can flick back to my work emails quicker. We’re all out to save time, and increase convenience but while it’s great to have the flexibility of multiple mediums, how do you track a conversation developing across 4 mediums? Is any one best?

Being spoiled for choice is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just difficult to find the time to manage all these choices. Over informed because you are aware of everything or under informed because you don’t have the chance to take anything in? Whats better, all or nothing?

Without having to keep up with quite so many Jones, I’d have to channel that procrastination into productivity. Regardless of the professional benefits, opting out seems like a stretch.
I’ll persevere with juggling my communications: like most modern women, I’d rather have it all.


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