"Ask nice now," she replies.

"Okay, can I please have a blowjob?"

"Michael! Your language!"

Siri's great on specifics ("What movies are playing?" or "Call Susan"), but not so good when it's more complicated ("What do you think I should buy Susan for her birthday?"). Luckily, the main thing cell-phone users ask about is the weather (47 percent), followed by local news (31 percent) and then popular videos (29 percent). Which is what I'm watching as I drive to the Ben Howard concert.

Howard's show at the Neptune is packed, and I'm happy not to be able to hear my phone. Half the crowd is filming the set, I assume to later post on YouTube, which is where I first got turned on to Howard. At one point I hold up SoundHound to see if the song-recognition software works. The app brings up Tom Jones lyrics. As I exit, I notice no one's buying Howard's merchandise or music. I often wonder how young musicians can make a living when so much of their material is available for free.

With the taste of stale Jägermeister on my tongue and a vague memory of singing a Tom Jones tune at Hula Hula, I ask Siri for a hangover remedy. She is completely useless: "Do you want me to search the Web for the cure for a hangover?"

"NO! MY HEAD HURTS!" I yell at her pulsing icon.

"I have found 14 hospitals very near to you," she replies.

Stepping out for some air, a friend Skypes. "Did I catch you at a bad time?" In "always on" mode, there is no bad time. A car door slams and I jump out of my socks; being constantly connected is making me seriously jacked and jittery. The SleepTime Lab results are also ugly: I'm averaging 6 hours and 17 minutes of sleep per night, during which 22 percent of the time I'm sleeping lightly, 22 percent I'm awake, 55 percent is Deep REM, and my efficiency rating is a lousy 78 percent.

There's a reason one out of seven people on the planet visit Facebook each month; it has a relationship component that's key. It also giveth and taketh away: I had a falling out with a friend; not a fight, but a misunderstanding — words unsaid, an uncertain next step. I recently searched for her on my friends list. When her name didn't come up, I realized she'd unfriended me. My heart dropped. It's not all virtual, it's not all bullshit. Some of it matters.

The term "digital tattoo" refers to the behavioral data that can be amassed via a person's online actions. (Yes, your future boss will see the Burning Man photos of you.) Though I've left a digital trail a million miles long this week, Google's data-mining techniques still haven't figured me out. Just because I like looking at Victoria's Secret models doesn't mean I'm buying anything from them. I'm also not picking up a penthouse in Manhattan. My "real self" has offline search habits (Glee and pharmaceuticals) which will not be shared. As for those cheap fares to Vegas — well, that's more like it.

I've scanned and bar-coded anything and everything in my path with a UPC code. My closest grocery is one of those high-end markets with cooking kiosks and fancy cheese celebrations. Without exception, every item I scan with my ShopSavvy app is considerably cheaper a block away at Safeway. The sad part? I don't move my lazy ass an inch to save a dime.

"Congrats! You must be doing something right, because your influence is on the rise!" Klout exclaims. Turns out I'm a peer influencer in the areas of yoga (thanks to a viral video I did) and history (due to a book I wrote, The Dead Guy Interviews). Cats? Not so much. By reposting my articles in trending topic areas and avoiding other networks like LinkedIn, my Klout score jumped to 53 points. And apparently less is more. A study from BuddyMedia suggests keeping tweets to 100 characters or less. As for the number of posts, the "TweetSpot" is four per day. After that, people begin to lose . . . sorry, what was I saying?

I'm an extremely slow reader. How do I know that? Because the PaperWhite Kindle's "Time to Read" feature told me so. (Thanks, Bezos. Maybe I'll come over to your house and rip your nerdy wardrobe.) I only got 68 pages into Telegraph Avenue, and the book is 425 pages long. While I'd like to blame the Kindle's brightness or hyperlinks or X-Ray functionality, I cannot; I was simply not able to sit down for more than five minutes at any given time. Even when I wasn't being distracted, my mind was "anticipating the ping," thus ruining my concentration. Perhaps I'll have more success next week, when my only distraction will be the sound of my overcaffeinated heart.

There are certain times and places when social media is inappropriate: during sex or yoga, or at the dinner table, the theater, or a funeral. Family friend Leatrice Kraft passed away this week at age 83. Though Lee had a wicked sense of humor, I knew I wouldn't be checking in on FourSquare at tonight's memorial. Returning home, I decided it was as good a time as any to to begin my Digital Blackout. For some reason, I didn't feel like sharing my solemn mood on Facebook.

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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.

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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