Sunday, 13 February 2011

SEX AND THE CITY - Computers, Exclusivity and Integralism

On episode 8 of the 4th season of Sex and the City Carrie experiences her first computer crash (I thought Mac were not supposed to break down but anyway...). She panics... and calls the boyfriend intervention who causes a complete shutdown of the machine.

World war desesperation occurs. 

I imagined myself in the same situation. I don't mean being a 35 year old curly blonde newyorker, I mean witnessing my laptop's death. I'd freak out. Being slightly more tech-savvy than Carrie I'd probably try a few tricks before asking specialised support from a technician but basically I'd feel lost.

Not only would all my data be gone forever but my entire life, my memories, my bank account numbers, my passwords, photos of my lovers past and present and souvenirs of all sorts would just be erased in the elapsed time of a second. Which led me to think that I rely too much on this box I actually treat like a son, protect as a home dog, that I rarely and unwillingly put into someone else's hands and that I (read carefully) share a bed with.

My boyfriend has more than once complained about the invading presence of technology in our relationship and has not welcome the arrival of a second child, my iPhone 4. The two kids together mean the world to me and I don't think I have spent a day without them since I have had them. The cinderella of the family, my iPod nano, is in line for retirement. But that is a different sad story and it's not what I now want to discuss...

So Carrie is at the Mac shop talking to the technician and finds out PC users are not compatible with Mac machines. The news strikes down like a final verdict. If there were any doubts about her relationship with Adain, the very clear separation in the computer world between windows and apples made them a certain fact.

So I wonder whether this applies to my life and my boyfriend's. Is my technology influencing the way I relate to people. Can there be or will there be a discrimination in the tech world?

One of my favourite magazine (WIRED) is of the opinion that internet and technology will save the world. I would like to think that as true. But did we consider how exclusive some of those machines are becoming? Not only the prices of some (like mine) are not accessible by everyone but the features and the application they come with are definitely setting them apart from the rest. There are things only iPhone 4 can do that no other smartphone can. And iPhone 4 now uses a microsim which just makes it easier to keep using phones with microsim, of which there are not many yet.
Wanna make a free call with Viber? you gotta have an iPhone!
And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

My children are setting me apart from the rest and my being a Mac person is isolating me from all other users. Is the "genius bar" at the apple stores just the embryo of what bars will really be like? you can't get in unless you have an Apple product at the very least?

I am writing on my shiny titanium MacBook and am aware of the fact that I would probably give my life to preserve its (or should I say HIS?). I have definitely passed the limit. I am a Mac integralist.

1 comment:

  1. You know. No one talks about backing up. You've never used that expression with me before ever. But apparently EVERYBODY is secretly running home at night and backing up their work!