Instead, I'm still playing with my new toy. It's smart enough to capitalize 'I' and the beginnings of sentences, which is nice given the dinky awkward keyboard. I'm starting to get the hang of typing on it. I still don't love long bouts of writing but it's feeling more reasonable to do real compositions and not just quick notes. I admit, I'm coming to value its small size. I can write with it while walking. Try doing that with a laptop. I can even write one-handed, with it, albeit badly. Yesterday, I jogged home with the Idekick holstered -- it was a little annoying, but much less so than lugging even an ultralite notebook would be. Also, I don't need to wrestle a computer out of its case and onto the dinky airplane tray table. Come to think of it, there probably isn't a comfortable way to type on a plane, no matter what device you have. So I'm getting over the inconvenience of the keyboard thing.
It's a strange feeling, to be always connected. Last night, Lut and I went to Minsky's for dinner, and I left the Sidekick at home ... I confess, because it was out of power and not because I didn't want it. "I'm unplugged," I said to Lut as we waited for pizza to arrive. "For the first time in 48 hours. No electronic umbillical cord."
A lot of people see gadgets like this as electronic tethers, leashes that bind them inescapably to their jobs. One of my friends resisted a cell phone for years because he didn't want to be always available. He didn't want his boss to think he could call up any time and get a 'quick answer' to a question,, or otherwise interrupt his liesure time with work.
For me, that's never been an issue. I've never had a job that wanted to bother me at home.
But my social life has become increasingly long-distance. Online. Electronic. I don't know why that is, exactly. I've always been something of a homebody. I like people but there's some part of me that finds it hard to make an effort, to get out of the house and away from my familiar, much-loved routine. Online is easy, comforting, fun, if not exciting or adventurous.
For me, this little toy feels like freedom. A way to take that comfortable familiarity with me when I go off to do something exciting. I keep thinking of an xkcd strip where two stick figures decide to leave their computers behind and travel. As they look out over a sweeping canyon vista, one of them says, "And yet, all I can think is 'This'll make a great post for LiveJournal'."
As I fly over Colorado, writing this, I think of how much I am like that. My whole life, long before LJ or OpenDiary, I've had a running narrative in my head, composing the story of my life. Whenever I travel, I am thinking of how I would record my doings. Usually I never do.
Will this little gadget let me write these things down at last, capture them in spare moments before I forget them?
And if it does, will that be a good thing? Or will I be distracted from living my life by trying to write it instead? Will I neglect my in-person companions in favor of interacting with far-distant ones?
I hope not. But I know the temptation will be there.
Still ... I can't begrudge the time I've spent writing this on the plane. Airplane and airport time has always been a waste to me. It's not uncommon for me to write in a notebook during them, but it's rare that such notes are transcribed or kept. These may not be deep or profound thoughts, but I'm glad to preserve them just the same, to have a chance to look bacj on them a year or a decade from now, and remember wher I was.
Flying over Colorado.
It's an amazing world we live in.