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This morning, I left home without my phone and I didn’t care. OK, it was Saturday and, OK it was only for a couple of hours, not the whole day, but still, I was a little surprised that it did not bother me.
You can find on my blog that I have written about my love/hate relationship with technology. I have been ranting warnings and concerns to think about for years, yet I even I, get caught up. I shall admit it right here and now. I grab my phone every time I go from one room to another. I even have the phone docked next to my bed. I have been wondering about that one lately.
One day, I did leave the phone home alone for the whole day. I felt naked and lost. I worried I would miss something. What? For most of my life, I did not have any sort of technology like this. It was barely a dream. Now, I seem to feel as if I can’t get along without it.
So, I have decided to begin to call this phenomenon tethering. How far and how long can one go before they have to be near their technology? Might I miss a call, perhaps need to check my texts or E-mail. Maybe, I will need my technology to do something with it. I have a computer and a phone. I can be away from my computer for a while, but the phone seems to have a different hold on me. I wonder if I had a tablet, would I have to take it from room to room, thus carrying two devices? If my TV were gone, what would I do? I seem to recall suffering from the tethered effect with my watch. If I forget my watch now, I can always check the time with my phone.
Here is a key. As a technology device holds access to more information that we need most often, the greater the tethered effect feeling will grasp a person.
This tether I am describing might also be described as a leash. Perhaps this would be a better term to use, as the term tethering is also used to describe a process whereby two or more devices are connected together for the purposes of sharing an Internet connection. In some ways, the term actually could apply in context of a human connection to the information contained on the device and for the purposes of connecting to the Internet. To avoid confusion, perhaps switching to the term leashing, or something else, might be a good idea. With this leash metaphor, one might ask, ‘who, or what, is leashed and who, or what, holds the end?’ This is interesting. Are you leading around your phone, or is it leading you around? It may be a complex relationship that combines both possibilities.
I think the main notion I am prompting you to think about, is wether (whether) to tether and do you have control? Do we have a need to be tethered or leashed?
We may well be developing a new human and social characteristic—the need to be constantly connected to information. With this characteristic comes the need to have an access device in very close proximity, as if on a leash, or we are on a leash to our technology device, depending on how your look at the situation. The smartphone does seem to be the handiest device. I can leave my wallet in a usual location in my house when I come home, yet, my smartphone I must carry with me where ever I go in the house. It is rather facinating, don’t you think?
Where do you think this inconvenience might lead? What about a watch? I wear my watch almost everywhere, yet, I do take it off at home. A watch may or, may not solve the problem. If we are permanently connected to the Internet, perhaps we will only need our brains for bodily functions. I have heard that some people are looking toward embedded chips. Now that harkens to the prophecies in the Bible.