At what point has it gone too far? I have my macbook, iPhone, bluetooth mice and keyboards, Quad Core PC running Windows 7, a GPS for my bike that syncs wirelessly with a power meter (and another for my wife’s bike), with some friends I text more than I talk on the phone, and unlike most people on this faculty I know the difference between “reply” and “reply to all.”
But six months ago I committed Facebook suicide. If I used to be your friend, sorry, I’m not any more. I haven’t started Tweeting. I’m not going to buy a $500 video game/screen, no matter how many times Steve Jobs calls it amazing. But this is a step beyond all that: A new iPhone app, already available for Japanese, will sense your dog’s barking, translate it into English, and tweet that to whatever idiot wants to follow your dog’s twitter posts. Log in to your iTunes account in a couple months and look for “Bowlingual.” BTW, today is not April 1.
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
I’ll be the first to admit that I spend more time than I think I should on tweaking settings, making a Keynote animation flow just right, or analyzing the power data from my bike computer. One of the challenges of all this digital noise is balancing the useful with the useless, the productive with the productivity-sucking bits and bytes floating through the air, gobbled up by your wireless card and your brain. Do I really need to follow your dog’s moods? Apparently 300,000 downloads of this app in Japan suggests that more than a few people think I should. What else do we spend our eyeballs on? Have you asked yourself this question? Has anyone else “repented” of a part of –all of– their digital life?