Friday, February 4, 2011

Me and the so called digital habit

Okay, I figured that this 2.0 era has started getting in to me.

I have a feeling that lately everything is 2.0. You don’t just call people or send them SMS. You mention them in twitter to make sure they receive your message. You leave a post on their FB wall, because sometimes, people check their FB more often than they check their message box.

And of course, you don’t just (or perhaps you no longer) write in your diary or personal journal. You blog.
People seldom joke about if only they can undo the mistake they’ve made. If only life is as simple as that. No regrets needed. Just one click and everything will be just fine.

Believe it or not, the thought crossed my mind several time. Unconsciously, every time I made a mistake, there’s this voice saying to me: okay, let’s just undo whatever it is that you have done and start all over again. Am not schizophrenic or anything, but I guess that’s what happen when you spend almost half of your waking hour using computer.

I spend about 7 hours of my time in front of the computer every day. So I guess it’s not really surprising isn’t it when whatever you do with the computer finally becomes not only a habit, but also affect your mind, the way you see things, the way you do things in real life.

The latest symptom I had was when I was writing on my personal journal. Yes, I keep a journal. Not a diary because they say diary is for girls. Since I’m an adult (*cough), I think personal journal would be the best to keep.

Anyway, at that time I realized that I kept thinking of clicking the save button every now and then. I was in the middle of moving my pen on the paper when this thought crossed my mind: Okay, let’s just click the save button before something happen and you loose this one and a half pages of writing. Of course I wasn’t really clear what it was nagging in the back of my mind at the first time. But after two or three times, I started to feel annoyed by this familiar feeling. After almost an hour of writing, I’d finally realized that it’s exactly the same feeling I have whenever I’m working on a work documents. There’s this subtle urgency to keep clicking the save button every 15 minutes (even though I have actually set the automatic save to 1 minute), or every time I have completed one paragraph.

Of course, such unconscious feeling should be harmless. I mean, compared to our familiarity with the existence of the undo button? Living with a mindset that you can always undo your actions (while actually you can’t) would be dangerous.

It’s harmless, but nonetheless unpleasant.

I tend to build this imaginary wall between the 2.0 world and the ‘ancient’ world, represented by everything not digital, including writing in paper personal journal, using pen. The 2.0 world has its own characteristics, and one of the most improved aspect is time-related. Speed, real-time, all unlimited.

While in the' ancient' way of living, patience is the most explored aspect. You wait for things to happen. You wait for the postage to deliver your mail. You write patiently, pages per pages. And yes, you have to write carefully, if you want your sheet to remain neat and clean. Erasing will be a hard work. And cause some irreparable damage: torn paper, dirty sheet, dirty fingers, etc.

Hence, my annoyance of this mixed up feeling.

It’s a bit annoying when you try to take yourself out from the high-tech world for a moment and retreat to the time when everything is simpler and slower, you find yourself disturbed by this nagging urgency that actually belong to the 2.0 world. It feels, so, uhm, otherworldly, you know…

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