A five minute attempt to stream my consciousness

26 Mar
www.edwardmonkton.com

In this post:

I continue my obsession with Edward Monkton, whose simple cartoons and captions continue to summarize my life in the most convenient way!

And for our magazine on digital trends, mag.net, a stream of consciouness that is meant to reflect the split in attention we have to grapple with these days.

The persistent ring of an incoming Skype call nags me awake from a quick nap at my desk. I’ve missed a call from my parents in South Africa who will no doubt phone my mobile in a few minutes to check I am alive (I barely feel it.) I stare blearily at my reflection in a compact mirror. The reddish imprint of my iPod shuffle distorts my cheek. What time zone am I in? Is it 3am, or 3pm? Why do I have Faithless stuck in my head – I swear I was listening to a podcast. Was the podcast about Faithless?

I stare at my computer and try to recall what I was working on. Three Skype windows are open: messages from family members in South Africa, Germany and Switzerland flash with impatience – Where am I? they shout. Two Google Chat windows and a Facebook pop-up chat all show irate friends wondering why I am not responding to their messages. Six images wait for resizing in a Photoshop window.

Real Player is playing a 2-5 am (U.K. time) BBC show, which I play online when I wake up in New York. An episode of Gossip Girl is paused in a pop-out player and three articles sit in Word waiting to be imported into a website. An untitled document sits in silence, waiting to be finished for deadline. My R key barely works, so now I have to CtrlC and CtrlV every time I want to use the letter. I am scared to open my Firefox window. Saved by a text message! I reply and then turn my attention back to the web. 17 tabs open – eek!

I cringe as I view each tab: the back end of three websites, my four e-mail accounts (with 25 unread messages); Facebook and MySpace; the New York Times (all that news to read!), NPR and PerezHilton.com. One tab confirms my registration for an event, another displays my online banking, one houses my Vimeo video account, and another my Flickr stream. The last is blank, “Untitled”, and I can’t remember what I was searching for.

I thought technology was supposed to make life easier.

I have no idea where to begin and so I rest my head on my desk, put in my iPod earphones and sing along to the song that is streaming itself into my head.

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