Technology can sometimes be all-consuming. Shiny new gadgets amaze us for all the ways they seem to expand the possibilities of what we can achieve. Every new application or social network interaction seems to increase our engagement with technology while it disengages us from the real world.
The capacity of technology to captivate was fully evident today as Facebook launched its IPO, effectively placing a US$104billion value for the company. All eyes were on where it would end up at the close of day trading.
To start at $38 a share and end on $38.23 doesn't seem to justify the level of attention the Facebook IPO received, but it was hard to ignore. It's incredible to think that what is effectively an idea, in the form of an online, intangible piece of digital technology, has captured the world's attention this way.
I had a wake-up call this week in regard to my own attention levels on technology. As I travelled home from work on the train this , I became so engrossed in the Draw Something app on my iPhone that I got off the train one stop too early, with my eyes glued to the screen the whole time.
It was only when the doors had closed and the train started moving away that I looked up and realised that I was in completely the wrong place, and was in fact walking off into the darkness of the gravel embankment at the end of the platform.
On the extra long walk home through shadowy streets and back alleys, I had plenty time to think about how my technology addiction had led me astray. And yet, I still turned to the Google map app on the iPhone to plot me the shortest route home.
I had warned myself that this would happen when I first got my Apple device. At that time, I was hoping that the tangibility of the physical act of drawing ink on paper would keep me grounded in reality. And I can honestly say that it has, while acknowledging the irony of admitting this fact on a blog!
Note to self. Switch off your device. Experience the physicality and beauty of the world around you that exists in the ever-present now. Resist the urge to tweet and listen to the tweeting of the birds in the morning chorus. And of course, put more of that ink onto paper.
Then you will have something really worthwhile to blog about! :)