The other day after driving from across the city, we sat in our car for fifteen minutes. Our new car, that we had just picked up from the dealership that week. We sat there with our car running trying to figure out how the heck to connect Josh’s phone to the Bluetooth in it. I felt old and out of date. Our lease had been up on our previous car and apparently a lot had changed in four years in the world of cars. Our simple generic Matrix no longer existed. Enter: the Corolla iM. (Dumb name, cute car.) The supposed “basic” model includes a rear-camera for backing up and a fancy Bluetooth system to connect your phone to and do all kinds of things. The sales guy emphasized that there was NO CD player in the car. So long, Sublime’s 40 oz to Freedom and the soundtrack to Juno. While we were there at Toyota getting the tour of our new wheels, the sales guy had connected my phone to the system. Fast-forward a few days later and we had apparently forgotten how it was done so we struggled in the car for those fifteen minutes trying to get Josh’s phone to work. Eventually, we got it. Eventually.
Now I have always been a bit more technically inclined. Since the birth of the internet, I have been typing away and creating websites. And when I cannot figure something out, I have the understanding to search out the solution so that I can solve it myself. I like this sort of thing. I’m good at it, when I really sit down and do it. I love technology and I love when our lives become better because of it.
However, when it came to photography I was a bit hesitant when this whole “digital photography” came about. I have been around photographing long enough that I came from the days of film. You know, when film was the only option if you wanted to take a photo. (I have this theory that I may be slammed for but I truly feel that the only people who believe that film photography is cool these days are those who were not around when it was our only option. I would love to see them in the darkroom, processing their own film, ruining the occasional roll and having to start over again from the beginning – taking the photos! Still think that’s cool? That’s when you are a real photographer!) When I went through University studying photography, it was all film. As graduation neared, DSLR’s were starting to become good enough to be used professionally. But then I still didn’t trust it. My first couple of years of photographing weddings, I only shot on film. Then at the end of the 2014 wedding season when the Canon 20D came out, I finally took the bite and bought one. The following season, I photographed with it and my film camera side-by-side. I wanted to make sure that the quality of those digital files matched my film ones. Eventually, I was convinced and laid my film cameras to rest, and really, I never looked back. Digital photography has changed the world. It’s opened us up to imagery that we would otherwise never have seen. And it also allows basically everyone to be a photographer – I mean, cameras are cheap and you don’t really need to know the technical aspects, right?! 🙂
So with photography, I more or less transitioned with the change in technology. I knew that I had to if I wanted to stay relevant. I had other photographers close to me who did not move with that flow and I saw them fall behind. I vowed to never be like that. With my photography or with anything. But man, isn’t it hard to keep up?
I’m tech savvy, I think I’m relatively cool but turn on the radio station and I can hardly name the new artists that are playing. In high school, I was a musician – I took every music class possible and my teacher ended up even creating a course just for me to further my music education. I organised Battles of the Bands and other shows. I would go see live music whenever I got a chance. My first real big concert was The Cure at Varsity Stadium. I was music. But over the years, I have let that aspect of me slide. So in an attempt to further keep up with the times, last week not only did we get a new car but we also got an Apple Music account. Hello 2017! Technology! Music! We are back in the game to being relevant music-lovers and now we have access to all of the tunes we could dream up. Well, once we figure out how to fully use it, and connect it to our stereo. Then we will really be living the dream.
My grandmother, whom I call Nanny, turned ninety last May. Leading up to her birthday, we visited her and I did a video where I interviewed her about her life and about how the world has changed in through her eyes in those nine decades. It was eye opening for all of the reasons that you can imagine. It also made me pause some and reflect afterwards because when I had asked her about technology and the changes that she has seen, the question didn’t really go far as my Nanny hasn’t been a participant in the changing world. She has never touched a computer nor been on the internet. She doesn’t own a cell phone. She listens to her radio. She watches her precious Blue Jays on TV. That is her technology. It’s incredible to put that into perspective. That maybe everything doesn’t need to be so complicated and overwhelming. That maybe we need to only embrace those changes that are actually beneficial to our lives and for the rest, we’ll let someone else use them.
I love my iPhone. I love that I can do most things that I need to do with it. I love that I can pull up my iPad to reference a recipe to make for dinner. I love that I can sit at my desktop computer and type away on a big screen like I currently am. I also love that when I travel to Cuba that I can expect dodgy internet making it difficult to do really much of anything on my phone. I love that I can go to see a band play at The Dakota Tavern, a dark basement bar here in Toronto, and know that there will be no cell reception. I love that in a couple of weeks I will be in the desert in Northern Australia, living for five days without internet, cell reception or even power. And I much prefer real face-to-face time with friends than time spent texting them. I love the idea of being disconnected. Of using my time instead for other, likely more meaningful things. These moments put things into perspective. I love technology. I vow to do my best to always keep up with it and with the changing times. But I also vow to take breaks from it, if even just for a few hours. It’s necessary in this wacky world that we are living in.