Tech Gets in the Way
It is common to see a group at a restaurant table and most of them are stooped down on their cellphones texting like it was a matter of life and death. Inadvertently, they fail to make the most of their limited time with the friends who are right beside them, in the skin.
Another manner that tech gets in the way is when people keep snapping photos or keep recording videos of an event. The view-finder or the lcd display gets in the way of *experiencing* the event instead of just *capturing* the event in digital bits and bytes.
Ibaba mo kaya muna yang camera and enjoy the scenery. What use is recording it when you can't remember how it *felt*?
Last of my examples is how technology sometimes makes us less diligent about investing time and effort to strengthen a relationship. Here's my story about tech getting in the way ...
Maya and I were having dinner at Yoshinoya at Megamall. Megamall has a newly constructed walkway outside the ground-level shops facing EDSA.
A familiar figure -- hairy and plump, with a signature stride espousing kewlness -- peeps through the glass panel separating the restaurant and the walkway. I recognize the creature immediately, flash a big smile and point both
Its Emong, a good friend from UP Eng'g! (btw, I take full credit for giving him that palayaw).
I immediately walk towards Emong. But here was a piece of glass separating me from my friend.
Here was Emong looking like a blowfish inside a glass aquarium. I realized that I couldn't talk to him directly unless we started shouting through the slit of the glass door. Another way was for me to walk around to the mall entrance and come face-to-face with the other.
We instinctively take out our cellphones, prelude to a modern ritual of exchanging phone numbers between re-acquainted friends. I typed my number on my phone, showed the number to him and then he dialed my phone.
Man, good to hear your voice, Emong! Musta mga anak? Dalawa na nga ba? Uy, kumpleto na ang quota! Uyang and ... what's the name of your son? Si Cele, musta? Uy, nagka-kilala kami ni BatJay, a - si Jay David! Talaga, andito pala siya ngayon? yadda yadda yadda. (fade out)...
It was a fun conversation, made possible by our cellphones but separated by glass.
But how about a handshake? Wala...
Apir, pare! Disapir nalang...
How about a bearhug? Hug-in mo sarili mo...
Let me rub that belly for goodluck! 'Di pwede...
Do you still smell the same? Ewan...
Let me land some punches on those
We could have done all of these "skin" stuff if we chose to walk a little to meet each other in the skin instead of just making a cellphone call.
So near yet so far. Tech got in the way.
I'll end with a quotation from my good friend Hien from Vietnam. This is what he said when I asked if he brought his camera to our little despedida lunch with friends.
We don't need a camera...Sniff sniff,
We take a picture with our eyes, our hearts and our minds. Then we'll remember...
Jedi Edong aka "Ang Solo"
after Jedi graduation
Read: International Day for Texting, Textiquette