I am a late adopter. Only in 2014 did I get my first true smartphone. I am just now getting into the groove of staying fully engaged with society via social media platforms.
The recent launch of the Apple watch makes me cringe at the notion that I will need to make another paradigm shift in how I communicate and stay in touch with others.
Jose Saramago's Uphill Battle
In "The Cave" By Jose Saramago, the three person (with a baby on the way) Algor Clan finds not only their existence but their identity as potters on the brink of extinction.
Their only mode of commerce is through selling the pots, plates and jugs made in their pottery at the "Center," a metropolis 30-45 minutes away from their village. This unnamed gotham is based on the idea of modern convienience. Families all dwell in apartments and one's value rests simply in the demand of your services. The Center is where your identity splits with your family and its narrative. Who you are are and from where you come becomes meaningless for the purposes of a mega-civilization.
The book got off to a slow read as Saramago invests a great deal of his literary brilliance in the mentality and emotions of Cipriano Algor and his family. With the center rejecting their long term contract for Cipriano's potter in favor of plastic kitchen and homeware, both the reader and the characters understand that their fight for survival as "potters" is an up hill one.
Adjust to Modernity. But Don't be Swept Away by It.
Without giving away the ending to much, I will delight myself in characters' recognition that to loose one's historical narrative and identity is to simply become a passenger of time, loosing any sort of agency in your own future.
Modernity and all its updates are inevitable. And we must adjust. However, Jose Saramago teaches us the valuable lesson that to adjust to modernity is not to be swept away by it. One has to fight and make the tough decisions to preserve one's "self."
But to live and have no sense of oneself is to hardly be living at all.
Medvis Jackson is a web designer at Hindsite, curator at Kulchah and avid cricket fan. You can follow him @medvisjackson for his random thoughts.