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March 22, 2013

Things have changed.

I grew up in the days of LP records, Pink Princess Phones, skateboards with metal wheels… and, typewriters.

When I wanted to see one of my friends I walked or rode my bike over to their house. If I couldn’t go in person, I called them – on our one and only home phone. I still remember our home phone number. The worst possible outcome of calling a friend was a busy signal: Beep, Beep Beep…. It was awful. Who were they talking to? Why weren’t they talking to me? I still hate busy signals.

In the evening, we’d be out playing with friends in our neighborhood. When it was time to come home, I would hear my mom screaming from our porch: “Michael… Dinner’s ready!” It was simple but it worked every time. And every mom on our street announced the evening meal with the same cutting edge technology.

Things were pretty simple.

Fast forward to today…

Today I’m a dad. That’s the biggest change of all. It’s great. You’d also call me an “early adopter” when it comes to technology. Moxie CCA is a tech business. And, I like to have the latest gadgets and technology available for work and play. Over time I have become assimilated into mobile culture in ways I never imagined. A crazy percentage of my day is spent interacting with my iPad, iPhone and my laptop. Sadly, I often spend a lot more time interacting with these digital friends than I do talking with my human friends and family. I think a lot of us do the same thing… Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of communicating with my family and friends – maybe more than ever. Just not in person.

Here’s a snapshot of a typical day:

5:30AM The very first thing I hear in the morning is the alarm on my iPad playing music from my music collection. This morning it was Joe Walsh screaming the first lines of “Meadow.”

Very soothing.

Shortly after getting up I use the same iPad to tune in a local radio station so I can get a preview of the weather and my ride to work.

6:00AM Over breakfast I grab the iPhone to check “Words with Friends.” I have about half a dozen games going. I’m a bit competitive so…

6:30AM Before I head out the door to work I grab the laptop and take care of any e-mail that needs attention.

7:00AM I’m in the car and off to work. My car has a system that syncs my iPhone to the entertainment system. I can make calls with a voice command or answer a call with the touch of a button on the steering wheel. It’s pretty cool and I use it a lot. It’s also a lot safer than driving with a hand-held phone.

8:00AM I’m in the office, in a chair and working on the laptop. Fortunately, many of my days are on location shooting programs for our clients. That’s where I’m happiest. And to get to the shoot location – I use voice driven GPS navigation on my iPhone.

9:00AM I get a text (the first of many I will get today…) from my 17 year old daughter about her phone. She lost all of her contact info. Epic disaster. We text about this on and off all day until the mystery is solved. BTW, High school girls WILL NOT respond to a phone call. In fact, the ringers are never on.

Text good.

Call bad.

Go figure.

10:00AM I tear myself away from the laptop and visit Dave in our edit room where we are cutting a documentary program for a client. More computers, more screens. I bring along my iPad just in case I need to fire off an e-mail or check some facts on the web.

10:00AM – 12:00PM I split my time between the edit, texts, phone calls and e-mails… and working with Dave.

12:00PM Lunch – I eat and read a few chapters of crime fiction… on my iPad.

1:00PM – 5:00PM More editing, texting, e-mailing and phone calling…

6:00PM – Bedtime We try to have a family meal and talk about our day – just like the old days. But the iDevices are never out of reach. Later, I might watch a documentary on my iPad from Netflix or read some more of my book – also on the iPad. Or, I might make a reservation for an upcoming trip – all with a mobile device. If we watch TV, the iPad is right there in case I need to look up the filmography of an actor or director.

10:00PM I set the alarm on the iPad and get ready to do it again tomorrow

So, what’s it all mean?

I think mobile technology has certainly made a huge impact on how we live our lives – iDevices are fun! iTechnology has made our lives easier and more convenient. It has put information, shopping, entertainment and communication with friends and family at our fingertips. It has also made us very dependent on this same technology for everyday tasks that we once carried out in a simpler and more personal way.

I love engaging with new technology.

I miss engaging more with people.

It’s all good, only different.

Mike