August 2nd, 2011
I’m here in the land of sun, sand and surf, for the start of my #Crowdsourcing Book Tour. As I took the Advantage Rental Car shuttle to the rental office, the bus driver commented on the heat.
“How hot is it?” I asked, resisting the temptation to check the Weather app on my iPhone. This was, after all, real-life conversation.
“Must be 75 degrees,” he said. I checked a little while later. It was 88 degrees, not 75.
At Advantage, they kindly upgraded me from a Smart Car to a Toyota RAV 4 for a “few dollars more.” Well worth it since I was going to be picking up nine boxes of my Crowdsourcing book and some uTest swag to giveaway and would need to haul it all up the West Coast for my upcoming book parties.
I then got my first lesson in using a GPS device in a car. I’ve relied on my iPhone and Google Maps for getting around the parts of Alaska where there is cell signal and have never actually used a GPS unit. Particularly not one that spoke to me. It immediately reminded me of this video “Tomorrow (GPS).” Worth watching (only 1:10 min).
As I drove to see a friend, Aparna, I realized that I hadn’t remembered how arid San Diego is, and was grateful for A/C, something I haven’t had to use all summer in Alaska.
Had dinner and an animated conversation with Aparna about careers. I was really conscious of how many times I grabbed my iPhone during dinner. Once to take a photo of my beer because, well, because it was Negra Modelo, and you can’t get that where I live. Plus, it made a cool Instagram image. And once more to take a photo of my meal. Foodspotting, of course! I think that was it.
In this day and age of constant connectivity and uber-sharing to social networks, I have found that we all have the tendency to reach for our smartphones out of habit, carelessness, automatic reflex. And when you’re with someone who totally doesn’t give a hoot about social media , their look of horror when you reach for your smartphone at dinner at a restaurant is telling. But do we even notice anymore?
When you’re with someone who lives and breathes this social media stuff, you can both end up sitting in the same space, across from each other, and barely look up from your screens, accepting the fact that the person you are having dinner with is sucked in by the vortex just as you are or at least resigning yourself to that fact.
I am happy to report that my dinner with Aparna had few smartphone interruptions. Other than my post to Instagram and Foodspotting, Aparana sent a few texts to her babysitter and her husband and later I saw she had sent one tweet about our dinner.
And then we talked. You know, face to face, with voice sans Internet. Yeah, TALKING.
While I’m excited about documenting my two week tour on all my favorite networks using all those handy mobile apps, I’m even more excited to meet people, connect with people, reconnect with people, and just talk.
If you’re on the West Coast, hope to connect with you along the way!