Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Battle of attentions ipad vs tori

Australia is a damn big country, anyone with a map can confirm this observation; however until you stand here planning a trip to get around the whole thing in a month on a modest budget you really don't realize just the massive size of it. The planning of the next trip is always thrilling but incredibly frustrating especially when working with a country of this magnitude. I should be used to it really coming from America but honestly I didn't travel around the states before leaving so I really never had to map it out as realistically as I'm doing with the 6 states of Oz.

Over the past week I have weighed options and find two very different paths before me. First option the exploration of a whole new continent and lifestyle in Southeast Asia but at the expense of seeing all Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand have to offer. Second option is to prolong this part of the world and get to see a bit of everything with the downside of work being the focus for the foreseeable future. However to work in New Zealand doesn't seem too bad the more and more research I do, its just the finding of job and accommodation I despise. Good thing I have 3 months?

In the meantime things in the now are looking better, too much free time can get you down especially when you think of all the better ways it can be served. However if given enough time you will eventually tire of being bored and start finding little ways your get back up and brush off the dust.  I'm working on that part step by step. So off to observations and such. 

I've been taking pictures but just around Brooklyn, nothing I'm too keen on but ill add a couple to entertain the less word inclined readers.

Its a sad thing when you notice you're constantly sitting by yourself surrounded by a family of iPads.

Little iPad watching the same episode of Peppa Pig over and over to the gradual irritation of all those with ears, older iPad watching British people play mine craft on YouTube, once more to the gradual irritation of all those with ears and father iPad working away at something business oriented I assume. I sit nanny iPod reading through articles that on paper I wouldn't wipe my ass with, all to waste away the lingering days. Its really quite a sad sight to look at us all in retrospect as I often find myself doing in the silence of human communication How intent and vacant those little faces look illuminated by the colorful glow of the screen. I often wonder are they really gaining anything knowledge wise with the use of this technology?

I wake up at roughly 7:30 each morning. My Sublime Bad Fish alarm goes off and I neatly get up and turn off the alarm, or, I smack my hand blindly for the snooze button then leap out 10 minutes later thinking I overslept but usually more than I care to admit I practically roll to the floor and stumble off in some direction till I wake up enough to notice I'm out of bed already. If the parents leave for work early the kids are up at the same time as me and ready by 8:00. I put the kibosh on all that watching tv/ipad nonsense, school before videos ain't nobody got time for that when we got backpacks to pack. This particular morning the parent did not leave early for work so I was at the mercy of their sending the kids out of their room and down stairs at some point. Every morning for the past week the oldest child has been watching these terrible videos of British men playing mine craft. The guys think they're witty and probably on some level think they're cool because of all their YouTube views. Heads up dudes its 7 year olds watching you, move out of the basement and get a job. Anyways, when asked to stop watching mine craft videos and get dressed this particular morning a near nuclear meltdown began. From the whining it sounded like his world was ending, any mention of shutting the thing off started waterworks and desperate argues as if the the iPad screen becoming black for a mere second would implode it into a parallel universe never to be seen again. Just to remind you these were videos of people playing mine craft not even him playing the game himself. The tears luckily were stopped by an outside parental force which when around is the voice of god whereas I become the mere lunch maker. These are not good mornings especially considering it was nearing 8:30.

Only yesterday as well when watching the younger of the two siblings home from daycare, her attention could not be held for more than 5 minutes because of the iPad, the elephant in the room on the couch. We jumped on the trampoline for about 3 minutes then inside she went to the iPad. We hula hooped, really more like I hula hooped she stopped by for a quick visit though and then went back inside to play with the iPad, finally we made puzzles, well you get the point it took me about 5 mins for a 4ft fire truck. I seem to remember from years babysitting that kids her age could be entertained for longer by a leaf, well maybe just not a leaf throw a stick in as well for good measure. Outside? Outside was a gold mine of excitement. How could this 3 year old not find any enjoyment from being outside and how the fuck can a girl her age find Keshas Timber music video on YouTube? Educational apps available or not access to Kesha type stimuli for a child has zero benefit.

The one good thing about my day occurred when the battery died before I could decide whether or not to take it away.  I did a half ass scan for the charger and admitted defeat suggesting perhaps we go to the park where she could play and I could do a bit of writing. Fresh air awoke that glorious child-like imagination as she made me a vegemite ice cream cone with toast bites inside. The park was empty besides us, granted its a small town but it was a beautiful day sunny and warm without being oppressive as the Aus sun tends to get mid afternoon. I wrote and she ran around entertaining herself topping by to tell me random facts about nature and the state of the world hastily invented. Sadly it sometimes seems that parks are empty too often, of all the times we've been there we are either alone or it is co-occupied surprisingly briefly as if a rest stop on a long journey home. 

Some eye candy for yous guys

One particularly annoying result of the iPads i've noticed to my distaste is the lack of coloring at resturants or tick-tack-toe. Why bother when you can play drag-racing-drag-dressing-zombie-hunting-birds lite. I find dining with the kids when they are given the iPads to be especially awkward, its never nice to be ignored over a game and even less so when its not one you can rightly participate or even want to participate in. I can only stare into the distance for so long and dont bring electronics into a resturant setting with company. They could outsource me with the iPad at this rate because if you pass the kid the thing its pretty much guaranteed his ass is planted firmly into that seat.  

We take to the screens too often, but no more if I can help it. As I noticed the inactivity of body and mind around me I thought perhaps this is a part of my problem. I sit in front of a screen thinking about topics for blog posts and turn to hbogo and netflix defeated and let down, that feeling lasts through into the next time I attempt to write or even do something productive. It is a poison of the mind which leaves you unfulfilled and wanting more but at the same time telling you its too much effort to try. When I wrote in the park words flowed, not even a whole post even just little points which I have used to mold what you're now reading. Nothing comes out of staring at a screen but comes from the activity of engaging your mind. A short walk just to think or sitting by the water always one of my favorite activities was sorely needed after being neglected.

Too often is technology used to alleviate boredom and to take away the awkwardness of certain situations we should be social in. For example, when I'm not too poor or when I decide to splurge a bit of money I go into Sydney to attend a pub crawl. I don't meet people in Brooklyn, many think me the kids mom weirdly enough and there to my knowledge aren't any people my own age that aren't bogans. So I go solo to the pub crawl get a drink at the first bar and immediately take out my iPod and fiddle with it pretending its a phone. I do this because of anxiety of talking to random strangers, so many of them I notice already out with friends or in a group chatting away and having what to me looks like the time of their lives. Now not quite sure where in my mind thinks the ipod angle will work in anyway... This is how I know it wont but somehow believe it will go.

"Oh hi there, excuse me saw you playing with your iPod. Oh wow are you playing Flappy Swim? yeah I missed out on Flappy Bird too. You seem really interesting sitting here by yourself awkwardly looking around can we be best friends and have awesome times crawling around these pubs? Great, come hang out with all these significantly more fun looking people over here and put that thing away till selfies seem like a good idea."

That's never happened, in fact being the akward one makes me meet weird people.

Time to put down the phones and iPads and stare at something worth looking at for a while.