You’ve Got to Disconnect to Connect (With One Another)

I’ve always struggled with communications infrastructure. This became apparent in my Year 4 IT class, where I genuinely thought that my teacher was speaking another language. Linguistics was never my forte, much to my dismay. An infirmity for technology is to be expected from a child who grew up in the garden, climbing trees and concocting what I affectionately named ‘snail soup’ in a toy kitchen which my mother put in my tree house. This ‘escargot to go’, was plucked fresh from our strawberry patch. I’ve always had very affectionate feelings towards snails and felt like poisoning them with molluscicides was a bit harsh. While I was out in the garden, the TV was rarely on in our household unless Fruit Opera was on, whereby kamikazed fruit would form shapes to a backdrop of Pavarotti.

Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4feqLIgEJ5I (You can thank me later)

My disillusionment is not because I do not like technology. On the contrary, I love it and lobby for a new iPhone like my 5-year-old self lobbied for a new pet chicken. But all my technology seems to end up much the same way; slaughtered (humanely for the chicken; not so much for my laptops).

I could probably write a dissertation on my altercations with technology. I’d call it, “A Brief History of the Laptop; From the Big Bang to ‘Your Warranty is Voided’”.

The first MacBook Pro met a sudden fate when I accidentally poured an especially corrosive glass of fizzing Vitamin C water into its motherboard. My hairdryer managed to prolong its life before it blue-screened a few months later (it was declared dead at the scene). I upgraded to a bigger MacBook, thinking that something so heavy would surely be immune to the whims of the natural world. This proved to be pointless when the strap on my bag snapped, sealing the fate of my laptop with a decisive crack. My wonderful partner recently bought me a new laptop (a light, little Air). I never leave it unattended and carry it in a cushioned case. Maybe I’ll be okay at parenting after all.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 8.24.25 PM
The Survivor.

I believe, to this day, that a lot of my creativity was lost when I was introduced to the world of Facebook and Instagram. Guidelines for judging a woman’s worth has become homogenised into a few simple criterion; the size of her derriere and breasts; and her propensity to display them online. This is not to say that women should be castigated for flaunting their figures but rather that when it is only done for self-validation based on the number of creepers who make sleazy comments, there is clearly and issue. A new trend, which I regard with disdain, is the proclivity for men to give women a rating out of 10 based on their appearance. If a man thinks it’s okay to sit with his dropkick friends, with his gut hanging out and rate me, then his opinion is of no interest to me. I can’t help but blame our ready access to hardcore pornography for these uni-dimensional views of women.

Society is on the cusp of a social revolution where we are redefining socially appropriate and acceptable behaviour. This has had a profound impact on our relationships. Having grown up with parents who were high school sweethearts and a poster-couple for old-fashioned love, I had very high expectations when I went on the ‘dating market’. Technology has put an unusual spin on acceptable social mores. I learnt this when I was about 16, and I had a crush on a boy who spoke to me for a couple of months and then cut off all communications (I suspect that he had a deficienty of Y Chromosomes). My suspicions were sealed when his mother blocked me on Facebook. I find it très lame that a couple of generations ago, men fought in World War II, putting their lives on the line to protect the livelihood of our women and children. Now, ‘men’ cannot even dignify their love interests with a phone call. Now what could possibly be so scary about that?

My confidence in men was pretty low at around the time I met the love of my life, who swept me off my feet with his incredible attention to detail and intuitiveness. There is nothing more beautiful than organic emotions that are not fuelled by empty and meaningless shade thrown over text. It’s important to take each day slowly and reverently, as if the axis on which the world revolves rests on that very moment. There is an undeniable beauty in stillness, the anachronism of a moment that stretches on for a moment longer than astrophysics would ordinarily permit.

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