Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Long live the death of the SMS text!

1.1  Apparently the peak of text messaging came and went this year. Other methods are being adopted by most folk, and the days of the SMS are numbered. Fine by me.

1.2  This year I finally got a mobile phone that I didn't then lose within a few weeks. I got the cheapest model in the shop, the cheapest deal. No fancy wotsits, there's something up with the answerphone, my teeth have cracked the screen, I don't know how to turn up the volume and I am thoroughly shit at pressing the buttons to make a text message. But I got a contract too.

1.2.1  Now for the first time - in MY life at least - I find I have a trace of history in the simcard, the memory, the little blueish inch-square screen of a phone. And it struck me that this trace will not be retrievable, will not be archived, will not be possible to share or remember in the way that a letter, a postcard, a photo, even a blog post might be. There will BE no trace: it is NOT history.  And this made me sad. Because I love the traces of my passing experience and engagement with this world and I spend a lot of time dwelling upon them - I cut out reviews of bands I've seen, keep flyers in a scrapbook, take photos and write a diary and then re-read, add-to & annotate, occasionally re-share these traces that I have kept.  All those conversations will be lost, and fair enough the vast majority of people would never want to know them and even I myself would forget they had ever happened if I didn't dwell on them. But I like the dwelling on them (it helps me learn about myself, ground myself, and think in a reflective way about life). And also, some of these conversations (messages = traces of) are things that I do, did, do, care about. Places I really wanted to go to or sentiments that mattered (& often about me, my contributions, how my company was or how someone's feelings were about me - quite rare and special sentiments that we deserve to hold onto).

1.3  So I have a new project. It will not be made public. It is a small self - to - self art project. A couple of examples are included here, but most will just be printed and collected in my scrapbook-diary. So it can also be seen as yet another take on the diary thing (I keep multiple types of diary, as I have probably blogged about before - this blog is just one form, most are paper-based). 

1.3.1  A photo, of a text, printed out, stuck into my scrapbook-diary. A personal memento.  Practically: this allows me to delete those messages that are sitting on my phone and allow me to read new ones! (Yes, I did say it was the cheapest model of phone).


2.1  And no, before a helpful technophile suggests it, I don't want a better phone, or a better service than text message SMS oldschool tap-tap-tap. I will never be an 'early adopter' of new technology. I do not wish to be up to date. I only wish to use the things (the useful things) that my ever-more technologically advanced society makes common once they have become unfashionable (or, at least, not-fashionable). Something old people use too. Something that has long-since left the style papers and is no longer subject to big advertising pushes. 

2.1.1  Because as a 'late-adopter' I am also more like a 'bottom-feeder' in my ecological zone, my society : I don't really actively reject what is around me, but I certainly do not give a shit about making it come any faster. I am actually ideologically and emotionally against a lot of this innovation and its social, environmental, psychological ramifications and I do not want to (will not will never) take it to my heart. It is only the use which we (them, you, then me) make of it that makes it valuable, and that is what my little personal project is about. 

3  Thankyou for reading. I hope you don't mind me sharing this with you. But I like recording the things I think, the decisions I make, the traces, and this too is one.