Archive: Was life better before the iPhone?

This is a little nugget of tech resistance I wrote when I still had principles, (before I became another iPhone drone). Hope you enjoy!

iphone addict

Our species is becoming ever-more engulfed in technology and the endless possibilities promised through the internet. We are now in trance, attracted like moths to a flame, destined to spend many hours bumping our tired faces against the blue screens of our smartphones.  The internet juggernauts seem to endlessly expand, with more users, content and tactics ( bank of Facebook out of the question?) It seems we are powerless to resist…. 

Firstly one point that I feel needs making is just how much information the tech savvy generation feels comfortable sharing, just stop and think about how much information YOU might have gleefully punched onto facebook, twitter , tumblr and left the imprint …  forever.

Consider the up-roar Identity cards kicked up, thinking about how important privacy is (supposedly) aren’t you surprised at the exuberance with which people pour all their personal data into their phones. Happily and pro actively we now hand over a running history of everything we do, think, create, the places we’ve been in a  narcissistic wave of Instagram filters, all tagged and begging to found. #everyonemustknowwhati’mdoing ALLTHETIME! even our finger prints aren’t safe any more.

I admit..  Recently I’ve been thinking how convenient it would be to have that camera when I need it or that GPS, email on the move or funny cat video at the touch of a button.  And I’m currently considering buying a smartphone.. But Slow down! Do I really want to become another iPone douchebag? when I think of all I would lose if I just did everything on an iPhone,  I don’t think people really realise what they are giving up. Once converted to the church of Android they are doomed to an eternity gawping into their personal gateway…. Taken to another world of shiny mass media and cat videos.

Not to mention how lazy modern technology has made us. I remember having to use my brain to store important information I needed. Like phone numbers, addresses or what I was doing, but now I can release my brain from any real tasks  .. winning!

Maybe it is time to retire my brain, it’s done enough so far.. It deserves a break.  Would this take us closer to the sci-fi visions of a synthetic future, that occupied the Brains of many a 20th century science fiction writer? – The tech probably knows best, and will probably do a better job of my life than me alone…. But why do I feel a bit like John Connor? …..  F@#k the machines!

Telephones once were wondrous devices, allowing people to hold conversations across Globe. Ironic that smart phones are now responsible for killing the art of conversation in pubs across the land. 

The idea of just a conventional telephone is now so outdated it conjures images of big black handsets not exactly holding a thrill fro the new generation; weaned from baby hanger to iPad.  Old hardware like a land line will belong in sepia-saturated old photographs or buried deep in the back room, kept as a relic.

I will sign off with this, for all of you smart phone users (pretty much everyone)When you’re in the pub, restaurant, out with friends and you feel your fingers creeping towards your smart phone, just ask yourself this: Is whatever you’re about to do on your phone more important than the real people and moments all around you? What are you missing as the world moves past you in the blurry mid-distance? It’s hard to see past the bright logos and updating statuses but let’s not lose touch with reality. And if you are that guy who can’t leave his phone alone you will also become a rude, conversationally stunted douchebag. However I probably will still buy a smart phone soon.

Are you addicted to your smart phone? You can find help by cathartically sharing this article (try to resist the craving to use your phone)

 

Conjure up some winnings : Poker event

Tucked away in the borough of London “Borough” I know confusing right? is a Mobile App creative agency, This company is one of the new wave of young and dare I say it..  ‘innovative’ businesses (so over-used but this company genuinely is)  headed up by a young MD and entrepreneur Sam Clark .. the company is mobile app designers Conjure   http://www.conjure.co.uk   – very impressive as i’m sure you’ll agree , but what’s more important than the technological wizardry and sound designs… there is a monthly poker night held in the offices and it’s open to Digital media peeps, developers, designers and entrepreneurs.

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I found this business through the recommendation of a candidate: A very plugged in Social media professional, and when I asked “what’s the  best networking event you’ve seen in London”  this was at the top of her list  .

And I have to agree…. This has got to be one of the most ingenious fusings I’ve come across… combining networking with a form of gambling is an inspired stroke for a number of reasons; the first being once people have been for a game, many keep coming back. Now speaking as someone who got the poker bug back in my student days in the dark underworld of Sheffield.. no, not Casino’s the unoffcial Derbyshire Cup actually (wooden spoon winner 3 years running). Anyway they keep coming back not just down to the innate nature of gambling, which has apparently shown some popularity to date, the real draw is you want to meet up with the people and personalities you met there the last time, not to mention, try and win back your £5 wager…

As someone that goes to many events.. and that’s not just me bragging ..  I can say under some authority that with many of these kind of events being so droll and lifeless it’s a refreshing blast of real people and fun. Infact in the more dark and depressing corners of ‘Digital networking events’ I have considered throwing any ‘internet enabled’ devices I had at the speaker’s head, and then diving through the powerpoint presentation slides just to spare everybody the misery of another soul crushingly patronising talk on revolution of social media.. yawn #twitterruinedyourlife

Also to Conjure’s credit this event has to be the best mix of laid back ‘getting to know you-style’ networking in a great environment. Combine this with 2 hours or more poker session .. and seriously what’s not to like?.. The beauty of this event has to be, even if knocked out nobody takes the game too seriously with plenty of laughter to had .. and copious amounts of beers and pizza to keep you going late into the night.

I guess what to take from this is if you want to make a successful networking event where people really get under the skin and keep coming back for more … up the stakes, literally.

To find out more about Conjure visit their new site http://www.conjure.co.uk  – also if you have any recommendations of the best networking events you’ve come across tweet me @markwears with hshtg #conjurewin