At a recent event produced by Pepcom -- a technology marketing company -- I scanned the Metropolitan Pavilion looking at all the tables of tech stuff with publicists, marketers and executives hovering around, and watched them engage journalists and analysts in conversations about the wares they were promoting.
I listened to the pitches, watched some of the demos and glanced at the literature I had culled.
I got into a conversation with myself. “Self, what am I doing here?”
I had to ask: what kind of writing do I want to do about all this cultural material whether it be the many versions of digital cameras, touch screen phones and various storage devices among the many others.
Besides my reviews, an interview or two and an occasional press conference report, I had to think how else I could write about all this without my eyes glazing over or my brain calcifying at the thought of finding ways to reiterate the tech manual.
I was at a gathering of New York’s many tech geeks and I wondered how many devices can one review; how many variations can you analyze or test without just stewing in minutiae.
Then I hit on it -- while we like to think other people inform us the most with films, tv, or music a surrogate or simulacrum for expressions of personal relationships, I think we really define ourselves by our devices.
Yes I do. We get command over our world by being able to manage a cell phone, tablet or new version of an operating system. In a funny way, the real surrogate for relation-building lies in our devices; they allow us to reach out to many and maximize contact.
I am not one of those quasi-luddites who speak of turn off your cell phone day and think they need email addiction therapy. I love my tools and tools they are.
Is our life informed by a use of utensils in the kitchen, our capabilities in driving a car or how we shape our environment by the ways we create comfort for ourselves?
I proudly say, "Yes," and figure -- even if I may not have the most original thoughts on how my devices work or the best judgement and reviewing them -- celebrate having the chops to use them with some facility and skill. So if my writing can do anything, it will be sharing the pleasure of getting better at it.