Tomorrow’s History Lesson
Mandy Chew

Hi Mandy. There is so much in all of this. I once thought it would be a good idea to draw up a decision tree the purpose of which was to help me decide between landline call, mobile call, e-mail, text, messenger, Facebook, whatsapp, FaceTime ( audio or video) and good old fashioned letter and face to face. The decision would be made based upon the most suitable method given my mood, the time available, the nature of the intended message and my relationship ( present and intended) with the receiver. It all became so complicated I thought I would develop an app for it. My prototype title was wchanL. I thought about putting an umlaut above the ‘ch’ to signify that it should be pronounced twice. But then I realised that I was being sidetracked. Naming things is such fun!

I’m not sure why I ran out of steam and gave up on my endeavour. Maybe I realised that there are some things which even my brain could do better than digital technology. Maybe I was jealous that since this app would inevitably reside on my smart phone, I would be ceding yet more of my power to my smart little friend who knew everything to my limited somethings. I imagined a venn diagram with a huge bubble inside of which had the words ‘ my smart phone’ and an infinitesimally small bubble with ‘ my brain’ written adjacent to it on a micro dot. Maybe there were just too many variables. I’d forgotten Twitter already, hadn’t I. I’d need to figure out what was the point of it. So what else! No. Better to just keep muddling through……

My practical tip. Switch off notifications. I did this immediately I realised that my smart phone was toying with me. Training me like a lab rat. What next? I’d start to crave a little red dot, miss the absence of a red dot? The worst that happens now is that I may not respond to a text for a day or so. And if that bothers the sender then they probably used the wrong channel. They will never know how close we came to having an app for that!

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