The other day Jeff and I were streaming the radio, listening to the “Top 40 Countdown” from the USA. The host is none other than American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest; having been out of the states for so long, we hadn’t known that was one of his ‘other jobs’! As we’re streaming the show, Ryan asks a question of his listeners and tells them to ‘Twitter your response back’. Jeff and I both stopped what we were doing (painting the living room) and looked at each other in surprise. When did Twittering become a routine part of radio shows?
I was catching up on my news stories a few days ago and came across an article about people who were charged astronomical amounts on their cell phone bills. In each incident, the person being charged the exorbitant amount was being ‘connected’ in some way. One gentleman was downloading a movie while on holiday, another man was streaming a football game while on a cruise. A young girl was secretly sending 100s of text messages a day to her friends, and yet another gentleman was stationed in a remote area in Canada and decided to use his cell phone as a modem…$83,000 USD later he realized it wasn’t such a great idea!
On Sunday we decided to order pizza for delivery (too hot to cook!). We now don’t pick up the phone, we pop open the laptop. We input our order (including what toppings we want added and removed) and hit submit. Approximately 30 minutes later our pizza is delivered to our door.
I discovered the other day that my very good friend was fighting off a bad case of pneumonia. I also read that her mom, who lives in Arizona, had fallen and needed to get staples in a gash on her head. I learned of this all through Twitter. My friend learned about her mom’s accident via twitter as well.
Last week I called my mom in Washington State on her cell phone via Skype from Bangkok. While I was talking to my mom on the phone, I was chatting on Skype with my best friend who works in Shanghai. At the same time, I was sending text messages to my sister’s cell phone in the states via my email account.
This brings me to the question ‘what makes the web so powerful?’…I believe it is connections: whenever, wherever, with whomever. We have the ability to connect to anyone and everyone all of the time. I’ve only been routinely using the Internet for about the last ten years or so, but even I feel a sense of ‘emptiness’ when the Internet is down (don’t tell Jeff!). When I’m unable to get a signal on my cell phone, I suddenly feel cut off from the world, yet I can remember a time when hardly anyone had cell phones. I’m not sure when this switch happened, but it did happen. We’ve entered this digitally connected world and I don’t think there is any turning back. Whether we like this ability to ‘constantly connect’ or not, it is a part of this world we are now living in. I have to admit, rather reluctantly, that I am one of those people who likes the ability to be connected…often. But I still am holding out against getting an iPhone, one per family is enough I think!