Monday, December 14, 2009

Stay connected but don't lose touch with real world

I BOUGHT a netbook and upgraded my 512K broadband service from a 44-hour per month subscription to an unlimited one last week.

The netbook was necessary because my sixyear- old desktop was beginning to show signs of age.

Before it dies on me and takes my writings with it, I got a new one at the recent PC fair.

The broadband upgrade was purely economic sensibility.

My teenage daughters will be accessing the Internet more for their schoolwork when they go to Forms Three and Five next year.

It is cheaper, in the long run, to opt for an unlimited browsing package.

Hopefully, with the subscription, I will able to wire upmy home with a Web-based security system that I can access anywhere using my mobile phone — something I had wanted to do since the webcam was invented.

While I have always marvelled at the wonders of the Internet, I would have never taken the need to stay connected 24/7 seriously if it had not been part of my job requirement once.

I would be happier with a Moleskine in hand on my days off.

Take a look around.

Have you no - ticed that we are slowly but surely becoming a city of people who cannot be without our netbooks, laptops and handphones, who have to stay connected to the Internet? While on the move, some of us are busy tapping away at our mobile devices.

Even at the dinner table among family and friends, conversations never cease to be interrupted by incoming SMSes or the checking of social network updates.

Owning more than one phone is now a status symbol.

With free Wi-Fi available citywide and ever cheaper Internet browsing devices, how many of us would be hopelessly attached to the devices if not for our restraint? Sometime ago, my daughter’s teacher found out that I had not taught my children how to blog.

“Start immediately,” she said.

“The Internet is the future and online is the way to stay updated and informed.

” I told her I did not encourage my children to do what their peers do on the Internet because I had always felt there was more to life than cruising the Internet superhighway.

What is the point of staying connected on cy - berspace but out of touch with the real world? These days, you can send audio emails or speak face-to-face with loved ones and friends on your laptop or video phone.

You can index their addresses and input the locations in your handphone, netbook, global positioning system (GPS) receivers or even mark them in your Google maps account so that technology can help you get there in a jiffy.

But pray tell,what good will all that do if you do not pay them a visit, shake their hands and say hello, and find out how they are getting on in their lives?

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