This past weekend I decided it was time to upgrade my phone. While I have always been loyal to BlackBerry, in the recent months it has become clear that they are starting to lag behind. Don’t get me wrong, BBM is great, but when it became clear that this was the only reason I was staying tied to an otherwise limited device, I realized it was time for a change.
Being a gadget person by nature I could not resist the chance to get the new Motorola Atrix. Sure a dual core processor and 1 gb of ram in a cell phone is totally unnecessary but, after all, knowing that I can beat the pants off of 80% of netbooks out there is an ego boost to say the least.
But in setting up the phone, something creepy happened. In configuring the moto blur interface (which takes about 3 minutes), I ran into another example of big brother lurking within the machine. The question went something like this:
Q: Where would you like you contacts pictures to come from?
A: Facebook? Twitter?
That was it. No was not an option. I could not decide for myself that in fact I did not want pictures for my contacts. Nor could I decide that I wanted my phone book to remain separate and unlinked to my digital life. After all, I don’t have phone numbers for a striking majority of these people. Why couldn’t I opt for a less integrated experience. A life where mother moto knew less, rather than more, about who and what I did in my free time.
I may be old school in certain aspects but the idea that I must integrate my life with the digital world and have some higher power, i.e. the book, follow my every move scares me. And while I appreciate what social media has done for the world, its nice to be able to turn off the stream every now and then. To open your contact list and see no smiling faces, but just numbers, staring back at you.