Leaders and their phones

by
Anonymous Coward
in mobile on (#3JR)
story imageGone are the days of presidents with a rotary dial " Big Red Phone " on their desk over which they can quickly negotiate to avoid nuclear Armageddon ( that phone was a myth , by the way). These days, phones are mobile, and though some world leaders carry a cellphone, not every world leader has the same appreciation for tech .

Barack Obama's love for his Blackberry is well documented, and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even found herself the subject of a meme, " Texts from Hillary ." But Benjamin Netanyahu has no love for the culture of cellphones and picture sharing , exclaiming, "I’m the only one here without all these electronic devices, I’m a free man, and you all are slaves!"

Lastly, although the hermetically-sealed North Korea has until recently been mostly devoid of Internet and cellphone tech, Kim Jong Un is preparing a state-sponsored cellphone for the North Korean people , that runs a severely locked down version of Android.

Do world leaders - or any kind of leaders - need a cellphone in their pocket? Is it a liability or a way to stay connected? Is it time for the politically powerful to get with the modern age? Or should they have assistants at their side who do that for them? And of course, the most important question: Android, Blackberry, iOS, or something else ? :)

Record With Your Eyes (Score: 1)

by songofthepogo@pipedot.org on 2014-05-02 15:28 (#1AV)

First off, kudos to the editor for turning this into a meatier post.

It'd be easy to write off Netanyahu's outburst as the curmudgeonly grousing of an older man who doesn't get modern technology, but perhaps there's some truth in what he said. The reaction, in particular, to the statement
“if you did not take a picture, it’s as if you didn’t live,” or take part, in the occurrence
reminded me of an experience I had a while back. We'd gone to South Africa for a visit and were being taken on a "safari" around Kruger National Park by a really wonderful guide; she'd previously been a grade school teacher and carried over her desire to teach and inform into her new career as a safari guide. At one point she stopped the truck, turned to us and said (paraphrasing), "Now ... I want to encourage you to put down the cameras every so often and record with your eyes - to see things first-hand and not from behind a small screen. The memories you make this way will be far more valuable than any videos or photos."

As a habitual photo-taker, I did not do a particularly good job of heeding her advice. I have lots of photos to document the fact that I went and saw some animals, and I enjoy looking at them and showing them to others, but my memories of the trip are largely of those snapshots and of frowning at the buttons and dials on my camera. What few genuine sense-memories I have are from the times when I left the camera behind or elected not to use it. In my case, taking photos seems to have made me less likely to take part in the occurrence, not more.

Humans love to play show-and-tell and I'm no different. Whenever I see something that interests me, my first inclination will always be to want to show it to someone else, and so I will always be reaching for my pocket to grab my phone. It's good, though, for me to disconnect on occasion, and just record with my eyes. Leave the phone in the pocket. Don't send that "hey, check this out" email/message right that instant. Watch the interesting stuff happen in real life and not from behind a small screen. The other day I saw a crow do a barrel roll ...
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