Sunday, October 31, 2010

This was yesterday

It’s 1050, I’ve toured the estate and secured a few wind blown items and have now settled for a cup of Aromatic Thai Lemon Grass packet soup, the last one of any left you’ll understand. This hot Asian dishwater experience has been supplemented by a much needed and long looked forward to boiled ham roll c/w mango chutney. Late breakfast or early lunch? Who cares. My thoughts then returned to the real but fictional Bob Servant; winning a computer in the ‘Booling Club’ raffle and only ever getting Spam emails and thereby constructing credible email conversations with the idiot spammers is a wonderful premise but is also worryingly realistic and possible. For me most emails are work related, captured and watertight in the work system they are relentless, continuous and generally low on humour or anything joyous and funny. The health & safety tomes are by far worst…that aside my personal emails are a different tin of processed meat and corn syrup. Like Bob my emails are high on Spam content also with those self generating ones from suppliers you’ve used once for on line purchases. That one transaction comes crashing back to torment as they see that point of sale moment as a regular opportunity to tell you of their dull wares and offers. Then there are the Freecycle people who offer used mattresses, soiled baby clothes and CRT monitors, rather than just cart them back to the landfill site they email in the hope you‘ll collect their trash and give them a token bottle of wine or a box of Maltesers out of eternal gratitude, oh and they get some woolly karma plus points also…so that’s about it.

I often wonder (when I watch mobile phone commercials about glossy people in street cafes chatting, texting and surfing in some stream of consciousness way to their many friends in Milan, Monte Carlo and Los Angeles) about the grim reality of my normal experience of these things. I can go weeks without a decent “friends” email and few days without a family text and maybe a whole day without a Twitbook update or bit of sharing. The thing is I’m perfectly happy with that, much of this stuff, rather than give your life some glamorous functionality that escaped your parents is just an intrusion. That’s a word you don’t hear much when mobile devices are being hawked, “this superb device will take your life to a whole new level of intrusion - and not the good kind either.”

So I’m settled in this paradox, the hours when my phone sits idle with the barrage of texts when a loved one needs lift or we’re low on milk, balancing the deletion of Spam with the once in a blue moon bargain that intrigues and leads somewhere constructive, the hilarious clips posted on Facer with tedious “just woke up” updates and the wonderful family holiday/birthday/just mucking around photos with, well nothing really. I’m just grateful to the boys at Star Trek for designing and building this brave new chattering world, now if only I could find a place to park and a drop off zone that doesn’t charge you a pound for the privilege (you wait, it’s coming to your high street and mall). Finally on connectivity and plugging into the heartbeat of the universe did I mention those guys you see grazing and shopping in Tescos with silver gunmetal Bluetooth headsets wrapped around their ears? “You look like feckin’ sad eedjits by the way!”

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