One year in a dog’s life is about seven years in a man’s life. With technology, the same principle applies, only with double the lever. I learned about this concept when my oldest boy was being condescending about my laptop (thís very laptop, I wrote most of my Bites on it). “You know that one year for a computer is fifteen years for a human?” Me: “Is that so?” Cosmo: “No, I just made that up. But is is still true”, and he then he drives his point home: “Your laptop is about six years old, see how unbelievably slooooow it is”.
Next weekend we are trekking with a group of five families in the foothills of the Himalayas, six hours eastwards by local bus from Mussoorie. No WIFI, no electricity, no running water, basically nothing. Looking forward to it, bigtime. Since the birth of Bites in 2011, I never spent more than a day without connecting to the Internet. Our Himalaya hike encompasses no less than four consecutive days without access. Expect some Bites next week on how thát feels. In the mean time, this week I will post two Bites per day, in stead of one. Thanks for bearing with me.
For a couple of months my laptop was bugging me with a pop-up screen urging me to convert to Windows 10. Every time it appeared, I clicked it away and proceeded with what I was about to do. This week, the messages grew more perseverant (“This is really important”). The folks from Microsoft probably excelled in developing and putting nifty new features into their latest operating system, but in all honesty: I don’t use most of them. This whole Windows conversion thing did confirm what I learned countless of times before: I am a deadline kind of guy.
One is fortunate when in the company of people you can learn from. I am particularly blessed that my children have a habit of educating me all the time (mostly appreciated, sometimes not). Little sparks of inspiration, just of the cuff. Their perspectives are original and lack the conventions that narrow an adult mind. Upon telling them that I only got my first e-mail address in 1995, first cellphone in 1997 and first website in 2002, Quinten (9) responds: “When we grow older, do you think we are going to say about our childhood that we only had iPads?”
The Smartphone Generation has grown so accustomed to a hybrid world that to a certain extent their sense of reality becomes distorted. What they consider real is real only partially true, as their multiple screens merely present sugarcoated images of reality; an interactive layer on a varnished version of what is really out there. I love every opportunity the Internet offers, yet the value of being submerged in surreality erodes quickly, once you mistake staring at a screen for face to face contact and clicking for dialogue. What reality offers can never be matched by web nor app.