Monday, February 28, 2011

Can I go to the metaverse now, please?

Posted By on Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Romantic, not at all ridiculous. A Second Life wedding.
  • Romantic, not at all ridiculous. A Second Life wedding.

The cynics say that technology is addictive, and that our obsession with it, fueled by the ever-more portable gateways to it, is breaking down our ability to deal with the real world.

To this I say: eh.

Getting distracted by my Blackberry Twitter app and nearly plowing over one of my coworkers doesn't indicate to me an unhealthy obsession. I could have just as easily gotten distracted by a passing conversation, or by my internal bitching that The Social Network didn't win the big prize last night. That walk from my desk to the commode this morning was enriched by my ability to scan dozens of tweets.

So, yes, I'm in love with the future, and I'm happy I live in it. I look forward to the day when I get to jack in and go to exclusive parties in the metaverse. (My only problem with Second Life was that it wasn't Second Life-y enough.)

And while most Americans share my love for connectivity, they are also conflicted by it, according to an Intel poll over at Fast Company.

We've long heard people complaints about PDA, or public displays of affection. "Get a room!" is the typical response. But now it's the other kind of PDA—the personal digital assistant, the smartphone—that's leading to public displays of an even more unfortunate sort. According to Intel's survey, 91% of American adults say they've seen people misuse mobile technology (which seems a little low, actually), while 75% think the problem is worse now than it was in 2009. One in five 'fessed up to engaging in bad behavior themselves. People are seeing about five such "mobile offenses" every day.

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