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[CULTURE] My New Hobby: Retro-Tasking
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[CULTURE] My New Hobby: Retro-Tasking

September 2nd, 2008 · 2 Comments

The world is spinning out of control and I’m blaming the internet and cell phones. Ok, that’s a bit extreme…I’m a big fan of both of these technologies -  but I am honestly starting to wonder about their long term effects on our society.

For example, I’ve been experimenting with the micro-blogging service Twitter. As part of this experiment I signed up to “Follow” a service called “Breaking News On“. This service promises to deliver “Live breaking news and developing stories… 24/7.” Thanks to the unique functionality of Twitter, these breaking headlines can be delivered straight to your cell phone via SMS (text) message so you will always be on the cutting edge of the latest news. Since I live outside Silicon Valley and don’t have many friends using Twitter, this seemed like another legitimate use of the service. Sound interesting? Sound overwhelming?

During the last couple of months I’ve been alerted to every piece of news throughout the world as it has happened. I’ve been kept abreast of the turmoil in Georgia since the first shot was fired, I knew about every Olympic milestone the instant the finish line was crossed, I was notified the moment that Gustav made landfall. I was also notified one saturday morning when a person was decapitated on a rollercoaster near Atlanta, and have seen more notifications about plane crashes and malfunctions than I ever cared to be made aware of.

What this is all leading me to is the realization of this hyper-awareness and constant connectivity in our society is really changing the way people interact. I can’t tell you how many times in recent months I’ve encountered this conversation:

Me : “Do you remember the name of the guy who  (insert famous accomplishment here) ?”

Person I’m talking to : “You’re the one with the iPhone, look it up.”

Sadly, I quite often do look it up and place the entire organic flow of the conversation on hold. Remember when we used to be able to hold entire conversations without the collection of all human knowledge at our disposal?

I do…and I’m going to start getting back to those days with a new hobby I’m dubbing “Retro-Tasking”. Here’s how it will work…from time to time when a question comes up that would now be answered with a few taps on the iPhone, I’m going to just say “I don’t know”. Or maybe we’ll reach out to an old friend who is a real history buff for the answer and continue the lines of communication that had gone silent. Instead of looking at Google Maps for an answer, maybe we’ll get lost for a while and stumble on to something even more exciting than our original intended destination. Sometimes it’s just not as exciting as I thought it would be to have all the answers.

Tags: Culture

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Eric Lee // Sep 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    Hi there,

    I looked over your blog and it looks really good. Do you ever do link exchanges on your blog roll? If you do, I’d like to exchange links with you.

    Let me know if you’re interested.


  • 2 iPhone News » Blog Archive » [CULTURE] My New Hobby: Retro-Tasking // Sep 2, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    [...] designkloud added an interesting post on [CULTURE] My New Hobby: Retro-TaskingHere’s a small teaserHere’s how it will work…from time to time when a question comes up that would now be answered with a few taps on the iPhone, I’m…Person I’m talking to : “You’re the one with the iPhone, look it up…. [...]

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