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Selling Our Souls For Apple i-Fiddles

There’s another Apple i-Something or other coming out. I know this because people are so excited, about it that their nipples are hard. I don’t know if it is version 5, 6 or 39 but even the mainstream media have mentioned it more than once. I’d remember what it was if I didn’t zone out every time one of these things gets released.

Look around you.

Everyone has a some kind of mobile phone; most have a smart phone although if there was ever a mistaken appellation, smart phone has to be it. I hate to shatter anyone’s self-delusion but these things don’t think. They are crammed full of apps that do stuff we could already do and each version that comes out merely adds more stuff we could already do.

It was a big deal when Apple invented computers with a mouse, it’s Ho Hum City that it can figure out ways to jam more pointless features into a handheld device. I find it bemusing that many of those who protested against consumerism during the Occupy farce, used the latest techno gadget to do it. If there were ever slaves to consumerism, those tragically desperate upgrade seekers were it.

Within months of lining up overnight to get the latest version, a newer version will be released. Why? What does the new version offer that makes throwing away a perfectly well-functioning phone offer?

Nothing, or at least nothing of importance. It’s consumerism so bereft of commons sense that it makes Black Friday look positively sane.

It’s a phone. Got that? It’s a bloody phone. You use it to call people when you need or want to talk to them. The fact that you can text, and email, is a logical extension of communication so it sort of makes sense to include those functions; but who in the hell needs a phone that has a mini-television?

People line up over night to buy these things when they first come out as if there will be a world-wide shortage. People are sleeping in their shoes they’re so poor but they’ve gotta have a smart phone. They’ll worry about a bed or food or paying for university some other time but right now, they gotta have a smart phone.

A young man in China sold a kidney to get enough money to upgrade to the latest iPhone and before he had healed after his operation, Apple – the bastards – had already upgraded to the next version. I have often wondered if he used his old smart phone to search the Internet to see how many organs he could sell and still live.

It may seem selfish but I’m too attached to and fond of all of my organs to consider trading one or more of them in on a i-Gadget.

Smart phones are crammed full of apps. You can get the daily news headlines just like in that newspaper that is so conveniently delivered to your door. You can listen to your favourite radio station if you have their app downloaded, just like you could when you had a portable transistor radio or a Walkman and you can send text messages using your thumbs to type them out on a keyboard the size of a Ritz cracker.

You can even take pictures and seconds-long videos of the trivial in your life and then share it on YouTube without once getting off the bus your riding on to get home.

You can play games, check the stock market, Google, play more games, and download movies, music and even more games. You don’t even have to type for most of it; just flick your finger on the screen and wow, there it is – whatever it was you were looking for.

Be still my beating heart, how did we ever survive before the advent of the latest i-Thingee?

I used to have a Blackberry and got rid of it because the monthly cost was ridiculously expensive for simply duplicating what all the other technology in my life could do for far less money. I also got rid of it because I found myself devoting more time to fiddling with it than actually doing real work. Now, of course, Blackberry is becoming obsolete; a victim of its inability to add more gadgets and apps to a gizmo already more powerful than the computers used for the Apollo moon missions.

I used to get ridiculous text messages on my Blackberry that read, “call me.” Why didn’t the person just call me? Now that I just have a cell phone, they call simply call me which means I have cut my message load in half.

Landfills are filled with the remains of former tech gadgets, most of which are less than two years old. It is a never-ending cycle of upgrading for no real purpose and in the end, it has created a slavish addiction to mindless twiddling and twaddling that accomplishes little and signifies even less.

More than 90% of what gets texted, emailed and messaged is drivel and unnecessary. How do I know this? Spend a half hour on Twitter and you can confirm it for yourself. We have allowed large tech corporations to turn us into mindless automatons that line up over night to buy their next iteration of their six-month old product and in the process we have developed what can only be labeled an addiction to our hand-held devices.

It can’t be labeled communication because there is precious little communicating going on. We spend more time trying to find something to say than actually needing to convey a message. It is primarily inane and trivial messaging that is created because we feel obliged to use this thing on which we spent so much money…..or for which we sold a kidney.

People don’t talk to each other anymore, they talk at them. Wherever you go, you are surrounded by people texting, calling, playing games, reading stuff, watching stuff or trying to read type on their device’s little screen that is smaller than the safety warnings on the side of a medication bottle. They sit beside each other in food courts fiddling with their gadgets rather than talking to each other and they risk their lives and those of others by texting while driving or crossing the street.

In the song, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, the devil tries to tempt a young man into losing his soul for a fiddle of gold. He might better have stood on Main Street and offered free i-Gizmos in exchange for souls. He’d pick up more souls in a weekend than all those of former politicians that came to him thanks to their own efforts over the centuries.

I know that some will label me prehistoric for my opinion but I wear that with some pride because my life goes beyond the need to get the latest app, the latest gadget or the latest game and then spend the rest of my day constantly checking to see if someone still likes me enough to have texted me.

Prehistoric I may be but I’m not owned by technology and the companies that provide it. I only use what technology I need and only when I need it and best of all, I still have both kidneys I am not a servant of the technology that was meant to serve us rather than us serving it. I’ll leave being servants to the tragically needy, hip and trendy.

I’m happy living a real life with real people in a real world.

© 2012 Maggie’s Bear

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  • Pingback: A Bears Rant | Grumpy Opinions()

  • http://abearsrant.com thebear

    I don’t have an issue with technology as a tool. My issue is with people so addicted to it that they are oblivious to what is going on around them. Your example of texting while driving is only one of many. I don’t go anywhere now that people aren’t constantly checking their smart phones, texting, calling, emailing and usually to the exclusion of whoever they’re with. It is no longer a useful tool, it has become an addiction that promotes separation anxiety, isolation and a constant search for reassurance. It’s bizarre.

  • http://www.twitter.com/geneuwin Cal Johnson

    When do the new i-Fiddles go on sale?! (Just a bit o’ humor) i don’t covet EVERY Apple device,but love my iMac – 200% more than any PC I’ve owned.

    I know that wasn’t the point of your rant and agree that some people worship at the Apple altar at the expense of much more important pursues.

    By far, the most serious aspect of the craze with gadgets is the irresponsible idiots that drive while texting. Texting while driving should be treated is seriously as driving while intoxicated.