Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Technically Ambivalent

I've grown up in the era of technology, where life is unimaginable without the Big Brother Internet, the ubiquitous cell/smart phones and endless other gadgets and devices that make you wonder, really question, that what you were doing with your life before the tech-epidemic was merely exist. It is only now that you have learnt how to experience anything.

Just like everything else, I don't buy that. Not fully. For me, that question is an answer of both yes and no.

I've owned a cell phone ever since I entered college (under graduate) and customised it to serve my needs. Which it did, very efficiently. I took utmost care of it, being my first phone and all. Its sudden hardware malfunction 18 months later also resulted in a major heart break and I replaced it with a device as like it, as possible. I warmed up to it eventually, but that sense of attachment was a bygone feeling. And I shrugged it off as a sign of growing up. Two years after, I needed a replacement again. But this time, it was not simple need that dictated the decision. There was more.
After saving meagre sums of regular and special allowances for years, it was finally possible for me to invest it in a device of some reckoning. And it seemed a commendable decision to invest that amount in an Apple product, the holy grail of technology and of course, experience. 

Until then, I was strictly opposed to the idea of accessing Internet on the phone. I was just in college and didn't have any deal-breaking or life-changing emails to send or receive and whatever endless information I needed to access could wait until I reached the safe environs of a desktop and home. It seemed too much of a disturber of peace to have one device be something of a be-all and end-all.

Six months later, eight to be precise, I couldn't agree more. The iPhone experience has transformed the way I do things, truly. Some apps, especially one like Evernote, I cannot stop gushing about. Even this very post has been written on Evernote on my iPhone, and that's where I do whatever little writing I have done, in the past few months. And it did help to have Internet on the device when my home Internet was down over the weekend and I had a couple of important emails to send and receive. Also, I must acknowledge that keeping in touch has become easier with the era of Internet-enabled smart phones. However, I vociferously believe that no matter how smart our phones get, and how crazy our lives, texting and calling will be the two most primary uses of a cell phone. We might invent innovative and cost-effective ways of texting and calling, but these conventional means will remain unabated. 

Despite this utility value, I wonder how different (read simple) my life would have been without these services.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I like making lists of things to do- short as well as long term. It helps put things in perspective, helps prioritize and gets me to actually work, rather than just think about them. While some things get done, evoking a really awesome sense of self confidence, others remain static, recurring in successive lists, a blot on your self esteem. It's almost as if that undone task stares at you from list to list, telling you in no uncertain words, that your soul will hang around in limbo if you die with that task undone. And every time that that happens, you motivate yourself, that this time, there's no escaping that task. It's do or die. Now or never. 

Of the many undone things in my lists, learning Adobe Photoshop is one that has been a cause of worry for me in the last few weeks. It would be polite to say that my relationship with this item in my life is complicated, in fact, it is strained. The endless possibilities - to create, to duplicate and to enhance that photoshop offers, are overwhelming. I find it hard to imagine that even the developers know the software, fully and completely. My amateur pursuit of photography further cemented my procrastination because it seemed that photographic ethics and ideals contradicted with the creative freedom offered by this software. Of course that was not, and in fact, cannot be true. It was just a comforting alibi given to the lethargic self.

To make a long story short - I wouldn't make an attempt to learn it when I was free, because its scope was limitless. And nor would I do it when I required the services of the software because urgency drives out necessity and any hints of exertion obliterate wishes of curiosity. Consequently, year after year, this task continued in my to-do list.

However, now more than ever, I realize that this must change. I must make some attempt to get acquainted with Mr. Photoshop. We may never become the best of friends, but it is quintessential to forge a cordial bond, so that His Highness will come to my rescue whenever I need His help. 

Just as I would leave no effort unmade to make a good friend out of a formal acquaintance, similarly I must approach this gentleman and convince him of my sincerity and honesty. Surely, I will be supported and responded to.

If not, the regret of not having tried will be mine.

And to that, amen.