JR at Cambrian House forgot his laptop while coming into work a few days ago. Of course, you’d think his world would end without the access and connectivity of his machine? Wrong. Sounds like he had one of his most productive days yet, as the constraints placed upon him allowed him to be more creative with his productivity.
I think this is a perfect example of the irony of computer connectivity. The more connected we are by machines, the less we feel connected inside. That’s why I think we need a balance or harmony between the two (and I kind of hinted at this at the end of my Paradox: In Giving, You Make Yourself Stronger post a while ago). In effect, just as much as we try to find ways to weave our offline activities online, we should also be finding ways to weave our online activities offline.
BTW I’m not saying computers are evil here. I’m just saying that the design of computers hasn’t evolved enough yet to let people interact face to face without the machine still being in the way. Design advancements are being made though, such as Jeff Han’s touch screen displays, that allow people to collectively collaborate together more intuitively, thus maintaining the physical and visual presence of one another while working with computer technology.
Funny, I just remembered a multiplayer gaming center called Bliink Interactive that I used to work at a long time ago before it closed its doors. I think this is the primary reason why I enjoyed the environment of it so much. You had all of these people connected both offline and online, thus you could not only see their actions playing a computer game online but also see their facial expressions and feelings offline as well.