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A little too connected

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OVER the weekend I became irate. In an inexplicable fit of frustration, I had a wanton desire to fling my Blackberry as far as humanly possible.

Not because it wasn’t working correctly. Oh no, it does that too well! But it was providing me with too much rubbish.

Ironically enough, as if by some interesting coincidence, Blackberry Internet on a global basis today became debased and its various functions have been inoperative all day. It was an interesting test.

My premise for wanting the device, aside from the bandwagon effect, was generally so I could try and be a bit more effective with my time. Every time I turn on the computer there are gmails, Facebooks, Outlooks, Inlooks, flickrs, journals and a whole load of other sites and platforms flagging themselves for attention. So, I thought, I can do these things when I’m commuting to college and when I actually go near a computer I can use it for useful things, like essays.

Wrong! All it did was exacerbate the situation entirely. Now there’s a whole new aspect to the problem. Checking in here, there and everywhere, uploading photos of entirely useless things for nobody to see.

If you’ve ever wanted a definition of an apriori truth, the above is probably it.

Not only do I get dings and dongs for phone calls and texts, but also for gmail messages, Facebook notifications and emails to my college account.

Before I go and dig out my Nokia 3310 and return to a retro state of bliss, there’s a genuine question I’m going to address.

Realistically, being “connected” has arrived at an uncomfortable level. So much so, it has and will continue to compromise social situations, friendships, relationships and a good old fashioned chat.

I overheard elderly gentlemen recently say to each other “Sure, there’s no calling around to people anymore, they all just talk on their Facebooks and Skypes!”

They’re not far from wrong. I’d be far more satisfied to call around to people as a substitute for having conversations on Facebook.

There are several elements to the incessant connectivity which has caused notable upset.

Firstly, I’m not sure I understand the checking in business. Who cares if you’ve checked in in Costello’s, shouldn’t you be having a good time? And who cares if you’ve checked in at the Library, shouldn’t you be studying? (Guilty as charged).

For some individuals it seems to exist only to serve a certain air of what I’d describe as “Oh, look at me!” We really need to know your every move, great!

The infamous summer rioting in England was facilitated and organised by means of Blackberry Messenger. It allowed for huge, encrypted group chats. There is an argument that they would have done it anyway, but has this connectivity made it too easy?

The only advantage I foresee for my Blackberry is that I can listen to ULFM on it. I’m still going to find my Nokia though…

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