Friday, October 14, 2011

Smartphones Part 1: The medium is the message.

I'm a highly sensitive person. (That's a real designation, HSP, see here.) What this means is that when I get something I really get it. My world is turned upside down. It doesn't happen often in big ways, though in small ways it happens every day.

All of that is by way of introduction to say that this week I finally got a smartphone. And now, finally, I get it. Or am starting to. But with one foot still in the before smartphone world (BSP, not an official designation but still very real for me) I want to post some insights for my BSP friends. You SP friends may gain from these too.

1. The medium is the message. And it's kept like a big secret. A smartphone is such a complex animal and so different from a computer that you can't possibly anticipate dealing with it. So no one tries, which means we all jump into it cold. Later I'm going to review my humble new phone from the standpoint of a BSP person.

2. The SP is an admission ticket into another world. Specifically, the world of a generation younger than mine. This is the world today, it is different from the world I grew up in, and even having a computer with all the latest stuff is still a step behind the world with an SP.

3. Twitter makes sense. Because smartphones live on a smaller platform than your computer (see #1). And because Twitter is good for really quick public posting, it's THE way to get the latest news. The real news.

4. Many many other things also make sense because of #1: The way the web has changed, the way icons have changed, the way we converse with each other. The fragmentation of our culture, thoughts, and values. The division in viewpoints. The loss of the semicolon in long passages, to be replaced by the period, which makes incomplete sentences the norm. And of course, the increase in speed.

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