10.24.2009

Digital Fatigue

I don't have a clue if "Digital Fatigue" is a real term or not - and I can't be bothered to Google it, because if it isn't, then I am a fool for using made up terms, and if it is, then I am a thief for stealing it. So let's just let the term float around this post, like that butterfly you couldn't catch in the jar as a kid, but was still there in your company, as much "yours" as if it was in that jar. Fair?

Good.

Anyway, that's what I'm suffering from lately - Digital Fatigue. I'm sick of technology. I seriously can't stand to open Twitter or visit Facebook or turn on my Xbox or even use my iPod right now. I can't really explain it any better than this: for the first time in my adult life, the thought that technology's pendulum has begun to swing in the direction of harm has crept into my head.

I can't tell you how horrible the hives are when I hear someone who used to make fun of me for being so internet-inclined and device-savvy get excited about this brand new Pandora app they found for their iPhone. In fact, you can't go to dinner in any restaurant in the United States these days - from Waffle House to Per Se - without seeing someone with their nose in a mobile device... Even the servers.

Sure, the argument has been made before, with every single major advancement in technology. The telegraph would ruin letter writing. Radio would cause cancer. TV would wreck society (and of course, it has, but never in my years have I honestly considered society something that wasn't wrecked in the first place). And it's not that I see the internet or even technology in general as evil... I'm just plain tired of it. It's like the rest of the entire world finally caught on about this thing I and many other first-adopters had to fight like hell to not only build, but be respected for even using.

"You met that girl on the internet? She's probably psycho... Or a GUY! HAHAHAHAetc"

"You read that story on the internet? Can't possibly be true... Huh? What the hell is 'Reuters?'"

"You bought that over the internet? Aren't you afraid it'll break?"

"You chat with people on the internet? Don't you have a life?"

And now, everything's Twitter this and Facebook that and App Store those. Everyone I've ever known - even people in the 3rd grade - have the same level of access to me as my best friend Mike does on Facebook. I take no joy in discovery on the internet, or with development or digital design, because to me, the discovery is now gone. No matter where you look, someone's already there, planting a flag and pretending they're the ones who discovered it. And they're not... They just can't see the people standing 20 feet away on the same plot of digital land, because their attention is solely focused on their own individual standing in this social internet whatever.

Again, I'm not saying these are bad things. I'm just WORN. OUT. Pretty shitty timing for it, too, given that my new book releases in a week and 3 days.