I was wondering recently when the last time was that I bought a physical CD for myself. I think it was well over a year ago. I don’t generally download music either but I do use free music streaming which I think is a fabulous idea.
I then went on to think that I cannot recall buying a paperback book for a number of years now. I do rent them from the library occasionally. The Kindle is a great device at what it does.
I do occasionally buy films on Blu-Ray or DVD and do rent them from a video store (yes, they still have those in NZ). I have yet to use something like Netflix.
In some ways I think it is great that less non-renewable raw materials are used in manufacturing of such things because they now exist as files on a computer but in other ways it perhaps cheapens the experience of “owning” something or in the way we interact with various forms of art as you become detached from it in many ways due to the ease of which you can delete a file as if it never really existed…would you ever throw out a physical book? I suspect not…unless you are giving it to charity of course which would be recycling.
Anyone got any interesting perspectives here?
I was thinking recently about the new perspective you get on life when you live elsewhere in the world.
It occurred to me that I could think of only around half a dozen friends who instigate contact with me (either by post, text or email) on a relatively regular basis – and two of these friends do not live in the UK either. I am not sure this was any different before I moved to NZ but in the UK I had regular meetings with people and was more immersed in shared experiences and life in general. The relationships were more organic. It might not seem much but when someone says “Hi, how are you?” once in a while, it can mean a lot. Everyone is busy just living their lives I guess and a one-size-fits-all approach with social media seems to be how people conduct ‘friendships’ these days which is pretty strange when you think about it.
It will be interesting to see how well I settle back in to these relationships when I return to the UK for a holiday this year. My life has changed quite a bit since I last saw these friends and perhaps theirs has not. I wonder whether a lack of interaction over time starts to render us strangers or if that just melts away naturally as some friendships are stronger than time and distance. I obviously hope that the latter is true. A lack of familiarity should make these new interactions more fulfilling and interesting though.
In some ways I think this stranger-element could also be true of family relationships but to a much lesser extent. It is interesting since being in NZ how little family seem to instigate FaceTime or similar regular interactions. I am not sure if the 11-13 hour time difference is just too tough to work out or if they think we are likely to be too busy off doing something – which is no different to living in a different place in the UK really – but you would think this would be a natural two-way street. Such is life I guess.
Does anyone have any similar experiences from extended time overseas and how have you found returning “home”?
While on holiday recently I did not have telephone or internet access for a week. Not because it wasn’t offered by the hotel but because I chose not to want it for this time.
It actually felt quite liberating not to be a slave to answering emails, text messages, responding to Facebook posts or even to writing blog posts (but it is nice to do so now). I instead used any downtime to get back to reading and engaging with the world around me! It has made me think about the way I live my life.
It led me to think about whether the Internet (and I will include modern smart phones in the heading even though they are different), one of the most impressive inventions in recent history is a blessing or a curse…what do you think?
- You have knowledge at your fingertips. You are never lost for answers to almost any question you can think of.
- You can always find where you are and what is around you. It is truly remarkable how your location can be pinned down.
- It is incredibly easy (and cheap) to keep in touch with friends and family, do online banking, keep across your interests etc. Time saving.
- It has enabled all of us to record our own lives and thoughts in some way for sharing and future posterity (where is it all stored?)
- It can be hard to escape…think of those who think it is OK to send you emails in the dead of night or phone you in the evening (depending on your job of course).
- We are supposedly now breeding a generation of lower-IQ individuals who are reliant on computers and all it brings. The knowledge contained therein cannot always be trusted.
- You actually waste your time looking at it – it tells you so much that you really don’t need to know but people still become addicted to it. Surely we could all be doing something else?
- Is anything really private any more?
I have posted a long time ago about the time when I encountered a Praying Mantis munching its way through a wasp in the hedgerow of the garden here in Auckland. At that time I didn’t have quite as good a camera lens (or understanding thereof) as I do now.
More recently I had the fun of spending time watching quite a large one on the fence and here are a couple of my favourite photographs. Hope you like them!
No other insect seems to be happy to look down the barrel of a lens at you like the Praying Mantis, with no hint of running away. Almost like they know they are top of their little food chain, come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough! After birds, they are probably my favourite creature to watch.
I even had a tiny (1cm approx) baby one sat on my finger a few weeks ago quite happily cleaning its legs like it owned the place, too small for me to photograph but incredible to witness.
Beautiful, amazing, awesome!