It was like any another Monday morning, and I had just gotten out of the shower. Like the geek I am, the first thing I did was launch my email client to see if I had any new email. ;) The application sprang to life, and a bright blue number surrounded by a pair of open and closed parenthesis stared right at me as it quickly counted up from 1 to 7. I was quite delighted to see such a high number of new e-mails in my personal email account that is known to be rather spam-free. What could the occassion be? Did my friends back home suddenly decide to miss me all at the same time? Or... wait... *GASP* Had they all become mooonies and were all going to get married at some big arena on the same day???? I took a deep breath and tried to leave my random thoughts aside as I went ahead and clicked on my inbox to find out what the subject headers all read... Then it got worse.

At a glance I could have sworn all the subject headers looked identical. Once again, the horror of my friends getting married in some mass kool-aid drinking fashion flashed by, and the haunting image of millions of black tux and white dresses chanting some obscure phrases seemed almost too real. Then as I started to look at the subject headers a little more closely, I realized that the subject headers simply happened to have many words in common (None of which were "getting married" or "mass blessing"). "Thank god", I thought as I read out the actual words that were repeated among the subject headers.

Birthday... Alarm...

Hmmm... Now I was confused. My birthday was still more than 2 weeks away and I was pretty sure that none of my friends, or at least not 7 of them, had birthdays in early August. What was the "alarm" thing all about? Then it all became too obvious as I took the time to read the contents of the emails.

This time around I wasn't hallucinating. Every single one of them had the exact same content. -.-; The gist of the e-mails was to lure me into signing up with some online service that they can use to keep track of my birthday. I must admit, spending that extra minute it would have taken me to sign up, so that my beloved buddies could more easily keep track of my birthday (despite their busy lives) wouldn't have been too painful. What really bothered me was that, first of all, if they're too busy to remember my birthday, then I'd much rather they don't do it at all, as I really don't put much weight on that special day (assuming they were doing it for my sake). Secondly, if they're trying to tell me that they care about me so much that they're trying to do whatever it takes to remember my birthday, then at least write me a real email telling me how things are going, then, towards the end, just throw in a simple line like "Hey, isn't your birthday coming up? Man, I'm such a bad friend... when was it exactly?" Even if my birthday date had passed by several months, I would've easily been able to just have a good chuckle and told them the exact date.

It's as if the general consensus in the world of young techno savvy culture at large is "Hey, if it makes things easier to do, then it's the right thing to do!" As a matter of fact, most technological advancements geared towards improving upon an existing concept seem to tout convenience (not to be confused with usability) at its forefront. Just spend 5 minutes flipping through all the infomercials that are on TV these days, and you will soon realize that we live in a world where we expect to develop 6 pack abs by putting on a tacky looking belt while watching TV and munching on popcorn (That doesn't work, by the way). Oh, and yeah, female shoppaholics no longer have to make the effort to get their asses out the door to excercise their rights to splurge, as they can shop in their underwear while having orgasms at the touch of a button! Wow! As much as all that seems like an "advancement" in the quality of our lives, I have a weird feeling that there's something at stake here. But alas, I, honestly and unfortunately, have no clue if there exists such a clean cut boundary between good convenience and evil convenience (Although Mr. Bush may disagree... axis of evil convenience anyone?).

Covenience brought forth by various socially-minded technologies certainly has its undeniable usefulness in the intra/inter-business realm where (contrary to popular belief) human emotion is really secondary and getting results tend to pop forward, as money and time constantly breathe down everyone's neck. I also believe they do a good job of solving various problems people face in this ever-so expanding world. Communication technologies that enable people to keep in touch, despite the prominent geographical gap among them is a good example. People who've been able to share a common interest through online forums and communities are another great example. However, to me it seems as if it isn't the technology that has social implications, but the ways in which the technology is used, or more likely, abused.

A good example in my mind is instant messaging. I hear friends complain that I don't get online enough. So I tell them that they're always free to call me or e-mail me if there's anything I can help them with or if you want to just talk about stuff. Then the majority of the responses is somewhere along the line of "but, that takes effort". Well, as much as I would like to make myself available to everyone at any moment in time, and to make it as effortless as possible for anyone to be able to get access to me, I find instant messaging personally distracting and prone to misinterpretations and various unemotional properties, which I'd rather not deal with on a personal level. Yeah, I may seem like I'm against the future, but I must argue that I'm not simply opposing change for the nostalgic attributes of the "oldskool" or becase I fear the departure from my comfort zone. I've used instant messaging on a personal level for a long time, and it's just that I like to use it only for certain situations, and not make it the defacto standard of all personal communications I may engage in. But, that's beside the point.

I mean, did anyone notice I actually made email an option over instant messaging? It's as if email has become one of the more personal means of communication these days! What?? Did I just say that out loud? Am I going insane? Email??? Email is one of the more personal means of communication??? What has the world come to? As much as I understand that it's natural for the modern men to pursue ultimate convenience, and be attracted to the offerer of the lowest cost of entry, I can't help but wonder what the social consequeces of such phenemonen will be when the little ones grow up embracing this culture. When someone as geeky as myself feels this way (and I'm not alone) there's something definitely going on... What's next? Are people going to eventually become too lazy to voice their opinions, and let others make decisions for them? Oh... wait...

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My god! I have 5 friggin' entries I have not been able to complete. They're just sitting inside blogger screaming and kicking, all in anticipation to be finished and published... Sorry, I just haven't had the time to get around to them. They're all topics I'd love to put out and get other people's thoughts on, too... *SIGH*

Anyway, I just thought I'd post this one entry up so that y'all know that I'm alive and well. Yes, I did turn 27 a few days ago. I'm not sure how people found out about it... If it was some stupid online profile that alerted you about my birthday then I'd be thoroughly dissapointed. :P I'm very anti-technology when it comes to relationships... *SIGH* (that's what one of the entries is about, stay tuned!)

Well, so I didn't do anything for my birthday, which is not atypical of me. I tend not to make a big deal about my own birthday. I usually make a big deal out of my friends birthdays... I just don't see the point in self-celebrating your own birthday. To me, it's more of a thank-your-parents-for-giving-you-a-shot-at-life-day than anything else really... and I'm of the opinion that the celebration should come from those who are happy to have you alive, like your friends and family members. But, that's just me... At any rate, This time I was on my way back from a short trip I took to the sunny state anyway, so I guess that was enough of a birthday event. Oooooh! I did buy myself a birthday present! Since I haven't bought a pair of shades since sophomore year in college, and I haven't seen a pair that I liked so much in so long, I thought I'd splurge on one. $$$

Alright, back to work! I promise I'll get the other entires published soon and you guys better add comments to them!! :) Have another wonderful day!

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