Posted this on Facebook, but I’m still interested in the phenomenon side of it, which seems highly bloggable. So I hope you’ll indulge me. Greg sent me this video because he’s a gadget guy, but I find it a little alarming.
I have had to wonder what it is about it that provokes such a strong dislike. Of course, if these things come on the market, no one will make me buy one, so what difference does it make to me whether there are people out there with superhero glasses on?
But there are some unimportant qualities of human experience that seem like they are getting stretched to the breaking point. We don’t feed our soul but we glut our prurient curiosity. We still don’t know what makes some people serial killers, but we’re devoting entire industries on analyzing and influencing a person’s buying behavior. We’re less connected with each other than we’ve ever been, but I’m having to fight merchants and computer applications that want my personal information because they want me to “friend” them and be part of their “community.” I’ve heard more than one totally secular intellectual lately saying that we don’t really know who we are and what we are, but we’re stretching some things way out of the normal boundaries and completely ignoring others — and we think nothing will happen to us?
In this case, how much can you subdivide your attention before you lose your mind? I feel like I have lost the ability to sit down and just do one thing from beginning to end, because it’s not how the world works anymore. You’re supposed to be multi-tasking. I can say all I want that multi-tasking just seems to be code to me for micro-tasking (meaning that none of the jobs — eating, writing, talking, listening, processing information — are done all that well). But the evidence is that some people can handle this, or at least they want to keep trying to.
It seems to me to be the kind of thing that changes what we are, what our life experience will be. If a person “came online” in their early teens with glasses that keep screens and the internet everpresent, what would the rest of their life be like?
Am I overreacting? Probably I’m overreacting. Just not looking forward to being obsolete. I’ll be the one in the corner reading funky-smelling old books.