Friday, 14 November 2014

Mountains of Technology

Today I had a think, dangerous but it happened. Technology is what instigated it, am I a robot? Obviously I’m not, as my 128k Spectrum was smarter than me never mind the quad processor phone that fits in the watch pocket of my jeans.

My daily reliance on tech however is what made me ask the question. The day starts with my phone as my alarm clock, quickly leading to the checking of messages, email, social media; a laptop is my connection with work, the news and on the go TV; a tablet is my book and magazine. At work I try not to print off anything and use purely electronic documents (or soft copy, which is a really uncomfortable term for me). My little bit to saving the world. (I do try other ways of environmental conservation.) If it wasn't for spell check I would be compared to preschool age spelling level, including grammer (spell check highlighted my poor spelling of grammar, I have left if for poetic symbolism).
So what distinguishes me from a machine now, when my day no longer operates without a thingamajig running my life? So, I switched my thoughts to my outdoor life. “I go to the mountains”, I tell myself “I don’t need technology when I’m in the fresh air, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature!
I have an OS map and a Silva compass and I’m free from the ties of technology”
Then I think “Apart from my phone, in case there’s an emergency and I need to contact the emergency services, but that’s okay that’s to keep me safe.”

This then led to the bubble bursting like the Hindenburg! 

I use a website to plan my routes. I have an etrex GPS in my pack for the (un)likely event of being geographically misplaced. Sometimes I have my tablet tucked in my pack tracking my walk off-line on Viewranger, to later upload to Social Hiking. Introducing further electronic dependence when I return home. My camera, can that be included? Yes, as when I’m sat on the couch with the laptop saving my pictures on the hard drive, with the TV on in the background, then uploading those images on to Twitter orFlickr the electrical enslavement continues.

So I control my breath a little better and calm down. I am a gadget geek, I don’t know how the magic works but I try and learn the basics. I have just looked at upgrading my tablet recently. I’d love one of the new GoPro’s, what I do with it I’d need to try and figure out but I still want one. I have no real need for these extras and I am the first to admit it.

Am I going to change my life because of my minor panic attack this morning? In a word, No. What I will (try to) do is minimise my exposure time to the cyber world. I have just bought this stunning book The Great Mountain Crags of Scotland by Guy Robertson and Adrian Crofton, published by Vertebrate Publishing. It’s a beautiful book and I need to have a technology time out to take it in.
I totally understand the way everyday life is heading. I know my daughter whilst going through school will likely gradually have less and less involvement with books and writing. Which is a shame but her nursery were using the fruit based tablets so where does it go from there?

What else can I do? What do you do to minimise it? Do you minimise it or do you just accept it and embrace the change?
I will have to think more on this whilst in a calm environment. Probably during some outdoors time…