Sunday, February 23, 2014

I'm Smart Enough To Know Her

Rolling Stone
I've been hesitant to weigh in on "Her." I stopped at the movie theater after work one day a couple of weeks ago to see it the film. I walked out of it thinking: yeah, I'm doing this right.

Doing what right?  Smart phone right. I don't have one. I have a completely outdated slide phone that I use for calls and texts. Oh sure, I'm slightly ridiculed for this, particularly from those who are as attached to their smart phones as they are to anything. I get it ... it's a computer in a phone. It can google, it can email a picture, it can look of fun facts that kills any chance for this Irish story teller to bluff, etc. etc. etc.

What I don't understand about this relationship between people and portable technology is why do they always want to be connected. I don't always want that small device right next to me so that anyone, anything can find me. It becomes a companion to so many. What's the one commercial ... boy, girl and boy has a gift for girl. He has to text to her to get her attention to give it to her, and she is sitting right there. Anymore, whenever I'm out at a restaurant or event, everyone is on their phone. A table of people might surround them and yet, whatever is on that phone is more urgent. I was at a concert last week, Jeff Tweedy, in an intimate setting, and the woman a couple of rows up went to her phone I don't know how many times. What was she doing? Why was she there at the concert? It distracted me. My eye would be triggered by the light of it, and it would move to her ... dumb phone. I supposed that it is our world today. We feel pressed to do so many different things at the same time. Or we have so much offered to us that we can't choose, so have figured out how to do all of the things that we might wanted to have done at any particular moment and accomplish it with the computer that we hold in our hand.

For Theodore, the computer in his hand also becomes the lady of his life. It wasn't hard to imagine it happening while watching the film. The three guys in the article pictured above discuss the idea of artificial intelligence and whether the time has come for this scenario to really play out. But why would we want it to? In the end, Theodore encounters the same relationship problems that he had with living women, and in the end, like some relationships, he's dumped. And he's broken hearted. Through flash backs, we see how Theodore's failed marriage slips and fades away from his grasp. And so I have to wonder, isn't his part in the relationship what in the end breaks his heart?

I went to the mobile phone store last week to buy a new phone. I hadn't realized how old mine was ... and it's time for a new one. Naturally, the phone that I have is no longer made. I will, I imagine, have to succumb to the advancement of technology.  But I won't love it. Or become too attached. I have people for that purpose.

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