January 28, 2007

A few weeks ago, Apple unveiled its new iPhone. It's a camera, a computer, an iPod and a mobile. Is this really necessary? Why not stick a grill on it as well, then you can barbecue ribs while you're checking your stocks, texting your friends and deleting e-mails?

What's happening to the world? Why is it that a phone is no longer enough? It doesn't have to do my taxes.

I used to be content to sit at my desk and work on my computer. Now everyone I know has a camera built in so they can video-conference. I feel I'm missing out on something that I don't want to be a part of to begin with.

Whenever a new gadget comes out I get this sinking feeling, because it's yet another area of life where I'm being left behind. Technology is constantly moving forward; I'm not.

Men in particular have gone gadget-crazy. The more a man is obsessed with a gadget, the less attractive he becomes. If I'm interested in someone and he pulls out a BlackBerry, he might as well be pulling out a crack pipe. Part of it is that I feel resentful. That BlackBerry is getting all the attention that should rightly be given to me. But also, when a man I like has a BlackBerry, this means that access to him is unlimited. He's able to phone, text and check his e-mails anywhere, and there's never a reason why he can't be reached. So with all that at his fingertips, how is it that I still haven't heard from him?

I liked it the way it used to be - when I had room to assume there were valid reasons he hadn't called back. Any number of things could have happened. He could be out, in transit, or just not at his desk.

But now, when someone has the ability to check their messages while walking down the street? There's no excuse. If he can be available at all times, then the only reason he's not available is because he doesn't want to be.

Another reason why I find being around people with BlackBerrys disheartening is that it's a reminder that someone else has so much more going on than me. They have so many friends and so many plans, they have to manage them continuously.
BlackBerrys contain people's schedules, and they're always checking to see what party they have to go to. There's nothing worse than sitting next to someone while they tap away and look up every five seconds to say: "I'm almost done..." My response is always: "Don't worry, take your time." It's not because I'm being considerate.

It's that I don't have anywhere else I need to be and nobody is waiting for me to get back to them.

Whenever I'm around someone using a gadget, I can't help but feel they'd prefer it if I wasn't there. I get in the way. All human contact does. I get the sense they'd be more focused on what I'm saying if they were reading it while on the bus.

When Liza first got her iPod I went through a mourning period. It knew it was only a matter of time before the BlackBerry. If that ever happens, I don't know what I'll do. It will be like she's crossed over - like getting married, or becoming born again. I'll have lost her. It's sad, because I know the only way to be a part of that world is to join it. Since that's not going to happen, I'm preparing to say goodbye.