"Any chance I can get a medical-marijuana card out of this?" I inquire.

"Get out."

I refuse to read anything on paper during my Techno-Gorge, and have instead downloaded Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue on a Kindle. My plan is to read half on the e-reader, and the last half on what's known as a "book" during my Digital Blackout. On a professional level, I don't care what people are reading on, so long as they read. I spent 10 minutes reading today, but, through no fault of the Kindle, was repeatedly interrupted by incoming messages.

Michael Clinard

Though I have no chance in hell with her, Natalie has agreed to a date at Branzino, where I now rule as Mayor. Before I can warn her about my digital madness, she's already knee-deep in her phone. Not wanting to appear uncool, I begin fake-swiping.

Our server offers menus, but I wave her off, as we'll be perusing the online version. (Showing the value of human interaction, she nonetheless recites the specials.) We use the BLUSH application to pick our wine, and proceed to photograph and rate each course on Foodspotting. Dessert is decided by CalorieTracker (Natalie has cheesecake, while I nibble a crumb that falls off the plate). Every occasion requires photographic evidence, and our server obliges, even waiting for me to upload the KissCam filter. Though they won't accept PayPal, I use the Tipulator for closing out. Walking Natalie to her car, we pull up the RU Drunk app, including the straight-line test that uses the phone's accelerometer. Sober, Taxi Magic is not needed.

As I post pics from my evening, I am approached by a homeless man. A schizophrenic named Jerry, he and I share the same birth year, and not much else. No amount of technology is going to aid Jerry. No status update will change his profile; he's already tried to "check in" to various shelters — to no avail. We won't be Facebook friends, or Linked now or in the future. He won't benefit from One Bus Away or Kayak. There isn't a Tippr offer that will ease his hunger; no Pin of a fireplace will make him warm.

We laugh as he offers me a Canadian fiver he's been given. I briefly ponder showing him my Converter+ app, but think better of it. The cold truth is that he and I live in an ever-widening reality, and the five dollars I give him isn't going to close that gap.


I've tried all kinds of advances with Siri, but she's all business. Ask her to cozy up, and she gives me a nearby Bed Bath and Beyond. More aggressive passes lead to Web searches for escort services, or her fallback, "Now, now." I'd be surprised if she hasn't put Gloria Allred on my speed dial.

Regardless of Siri's professional boundaries, I need to be constantly tethered to the phone, and have found a way to sleep with her — in a platonic kinda way. It's an app called Sleep Time. Place the phone on the mattress and the accelerometer detects movements throughout the night; an alarm goes off when the "sleep lab" senses I've had enough. Since Siri won't put out, this is the next best thing.

Speaking of sleep, the National Sleep Foundation found that more than 90 percent of Americans are regularly using their devices an hour before bed. That's not a good thing: Just when your noggin is getting ready for beddy-bye, the artificial light stimulates relaxation chemicals (melatonin). Bed-surfing also raises the risks for diabetes and obesity. But this week there is no "off button." Snoozing's for losers.

My desk looks like a combination of John King's "Magic Wall," the stock-market ticker, and the Al Jazeera newsroom. While Brian Williams blathers about "radical Islamic protests in the streets" of Libya, a video feed from the news platform Storyful ("Now Our Turn to Speak") features local Libyans telling a very different story. My own "sources" go far beyond the NBC newsroom: OccupyWallStreet posts their own footage in real time, On the Commons covers breaking news, FAIR fact-checks the networks themselves, and writers like Margaret Atwood shed light on "non-trending" stories like Russia's illegal gillnetting that you won't see in the #lamestreammedia. Even when Williams is reporting a story of interest — say, the Mars Rover — I'm so far ahead of him after following the NASAwatch blog and live Curiosity feeds that I might as well be the guy in his earpiece. As for local news, I like Dan Lewis and all, but the West Seattle Blog has just posted a picture of a guy breaking into my neighbor's house.

Five days in, my life resembles one of those annoying iPhone commercials in which famous actors ask Siri what to do that day. But instead of being the cloyingly sweet and spacey Zooey Deschanel, I'm Samuel L. Jackson: "Damn, I'm hungry, bitch."

Siri's reply: "Now, now. I found 14 restaurants fairly close to you." The only difference between me and the weird John Malkovich ad is that, instead of having Siri play Vivaldi, I ask for a blowjob.

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7 comments
chrisanonymous
chrisanonymous

TL;DR 
OP is getting old and starts to hate on new technology.
Goes on a quest to reaffirm his POV.
Quotes Shakespeare at the end to complete ultimate cliché.

loosecannonsbluesban
loosecannonsbluesban

The possibility of a solar eruption from the Sun which hits the earth is a VERY real possibility.  A solar eruption recently occured that, had the trajectory of it been towards the earth, would have wiped out all electrical connectivity world wide, maybe even wiping a large portion of our atmosphere away!  So, we would truly have an apocolypse.  We are not prepareing for this and we really should.  Buildings should be built Hobbit style, underground with HVAC systems designed to produce water and oxygen and food in the interior.  We're like rats that when faced with certain death will busy themselves with non-important things, even knowing that the danger of dying is clear and present. 

Ted House
Ted House

I still don't have any type of smart phone, and i get by just fine thanks. No need to pay for internet on the go.

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

Get lost. Be less addicted to FB/Twitter.

ckrescho
ckrescho

What is the deal with that photo?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

 @ckrescho 

 

Yeah that photo is more than a little creepy

 
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