Connectedness

Since the start of May I have taken a new approach to using certain communication tools. This has mainly involved how I use my phone. Firstly, I removed all email accounts from it, realising that they were only really there for killing time, endlessly checking for what shit needed to be deleted from my inboxes; this does open the question is it worth having an email address at all?

The next step was to remove Facebook entirely. Having an Android phone, Facebook Corp have managed to create a lot of crappy apps that just appear on your phone, the most intrusive lately was a message app. It was like looking at one of my parents computers after the annual phone call about pop-ups and not know where they’ve come from.

All other ‘social’ apps shortly followed with the exception of Instagram (it’s not social it’s a fkin camera app) and Foursquare (although thats future as a button on my home screen is still teetering on the edge).

20 days later (dammit! should have waited another 8 days to write this), I wanted to write what my feelings were in this action.

Email has certainly not been missed. The spam filtering works better on my laptop in general, with various rules for junking a lot of things which weren’t getting done on my phone, so this has returned to an automated process. I also avoid checking email, particularly work related outside of office hours.

Facebook, to no surprise works better on their mobile site anyway, but I’ve only visited it a few times in the last week as unfortunately important wedding plans for a bandmates wedding were being carried out through a group. Aside from that, I am finding Facebook gets visited from a device I am in control of maybe once a week. The only thing holding me to it now is that my account is the Admin and tied up with the band page for Here There Be Monsters. Although we’re defunct, I don’t want to lose that page. I could pass it on to one of the other guys…

I’ve spent the last few months culling down twitter follows. I’m down to about 60 I think and am swaying towards halving it again. This is down to how I use it but, none of my friends use it, it’s become an aggregate of reposts of the same links from a select few that are heralded as spokespersons for the web design industry and frankly, you could follow one of them and get the same shit from all of them.

What else has happened?

I’ve added more travel blog feeds to Google Currents. Right now I am really enjoying posts from Matador Network and Virtual Wayfarer. It’s given me a small pang to pick up the camera again, but that is another thing to battle with later.

I have nearly read an entire book. Instead of trawling through row after row of total bollocks, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, G+ I have instead been picking up a book. Currently I am reading through Wool, I’m on book 4 and finding it annoying that I keep having to put it down to do stupid things like, eat, sleep, go to work et al.

But the main change is that it’s forced me to send texts. I feel that I am more in touch with my close group of friends now than I have been in easily the last year. I’ve even rung a few, which they’ve found a bit jarring from the sound of their greetings but honestly – nothing is wrong, I just wanted to chat and see how you’re doing?

We’re living in proximity to people without wanting to feel, see or hear them and I can’t do it anymore. The impersonal sense I get when I see people organising get togethers through something like Twitter when chances are they all have phone numbers for each other saddens me.

I want to see people reverting to the primary and secondary objectives of mobile phones, to call and text, before we become so connected that we’re disconnected from the the joy that is getting a phone call or a text that isn’t about a PPI claim or 241 or Orange Wednesday. My Pocket is staying disconnected. If you want me, give me a call, or text me.

Published by

Andy Parker

User Experience Designer, headbanger, biker, skater, gamer from Brighton UK.