Life Tech

Advances in tech = 2D world and no guitar

Comment of the week:

Ben – aren’t you spending a little too much time on this web-site hobby of yours? Shouldn’t you be relaxing somewhere with a recently-emptied six-pack of once-cold beer at your feet and a guitar in your hands?

Which got me thinking: yes, I wish I’d spent at least a couple of hours yesterday enjoying my guitar instead of staring at this piece of glass we call a monitor and the (admittedly quite interesting) totally 2D world it presents.

Let’s follow that thought for a moment:

Most of us spend most of our days staring at a dynamically shifting piece of glass.

Of course, it gives us news, correspondence, a wealth of information beyond our great-grandparents’ wildest dreams, even fun stuff like naked celebrities and this incredible website.

But do the math: for an 8 hour working day (forgetting leisure time on the net) that’s 40 hours a week screen time, 2000 hours a year, 90,000 hours in a typical 45 year working lifetime… which corresponds back to a total 10.27 years of our life, minimum, staring fixedly at a piece of glass.

What would our great-grandparents have made of that?

OK, so this only really affects people that work with a computer – nurses, gardeners, truck drivers, teachers, postmen etc all largely escape the screen – but not for long, soon technology will probably find better ways to get them staring at screens too.

I think a brighter future lies in areas like podcasting, that use the same technology that delivers pixels to glass (i.e. the internet), to put the interesting stuff in our pocket, giving us the chance to get away from the screen and into the garden or park, to have an enhanced, 3D, multi-sensual and simultaneous knowledge/life experience, instead of waring our eyes out and narrowing our perceptions down to this 17″ (insert your monitor size) window on the world.

So here’s hoping that technology and the net works harder on giving us back our 3D life, focusing less on sucking us in and more on spitting us back out into the world, so I for one can spend more time in the great outdoors with a podcast, or with that six pack and my guitar.