In defense of the smartphone

I have to admit, I’m pretty tired of the endless articles and internet memes that strive to convince us that we’re ruining our relationships with smartphones. Yes, it can sometimes be rude to spend your time glued to your phone while surrounded by meatspace folks actively trying to engage you, but to characterize this as a universal crime assumes that our relationships with the people in our immediate vicinity are inherently more important than our relationships with those who are not. This is simply not true.

Here are a few (but not all) of the reasons why you might find me (or anyone) engaging with my smartphone rather than my immediate surroundings:

[Read more…]

How Apple Computers changed my life

I started college in the fall of 1987, when, as far as my midwestern culture was concerned, computers were for programmers and maybe a few cutting-edge artistic types, but definitely not for regular people. My friends, mostly in the performing arts, went off to colleges where computers were generally unavailable to anyone outside the computer sciences. I headed out to my new school with the electronic typewriter I was given for graduation, and which it turns out I would never use. Why? Because I was a student at Carnegie Mellon University, where even freshman vocal performance majors were required to use computers—an oddity for the time that would ultimately influence the course of my life more than I could possibly have imagined.

[Read more…]