In the old days, writers used to sit in front of a typewriter and stare out of the window. Nowadays, because of the marvels of convergent technology, the thing you type on and the window you stare out of are now the same thing.
The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
―Sydney J. Harris
Once upon a time, when dial-up connections plagued me, I consoled myself that long-distance messages once took a man, a horse, and several months to deliver. Since then broadband and wifi have spoiled me further. Now buffering lags―just a fraction of dial-up delays―are irritating.
But today, watching the progress bar crawl nearly backward across my screen, I realize we’ll soon live entirely online, with no reconnection trouble because we’ll never disconnect. Suddenly I’m grateful for the lapsed images and staggered movies in this small battle for seamless connection. Like the occasional red traffic light the delay makes me pause for breath. It’s a technology time-out when unplugged moments are increasingly rare.
There will always be a few purists who protect small pockets of unplugged peace, but most people revel in the ether and it’s closing in fast. I’ll try to be more careful what I impatiently wish for, even enjoy these current hiccups of progress. Because these technology time-outs will soon be sorted, but breathers are always welcome.