Confessions of a Sort of Luddite

September 21, 2008 in Notes from the Field

I never thought I’d end up working at a company like MAYA— at least not for the nearly 16 years I’ve been here! It’s not that I have anything against MAYA. It’s a really cool place with really cool and smart people I like a lot. It’s just that in one way, I’m an anomaly. You see, while everyone here is rushing out to buy the latest iPhone or gazing with rapture at stuff on Engadget or Gizmodo, I’m perfectly content to hold my spiral-bound day planner close to my heart and look at videos of cute kitties and puppies on YouTube.

Don’t get me wrong. I mean, I do own a digital camera (although it took me a few years to work up the courage to buy it) and I am writing this on a Mac PowerBook rather than with a Bic pen. And let’s not overlook the fact that I also own—and actually use—a cell phone with so many features I still haven’t quite figured out how to get my voice mail. So I’m not EXACTLY a Luddite—just sort of.

You see, sometimes it just feels good to do things the “old fashioned” way. Let’s go back to that spiral bound day planner, for example. I’ve gotten some disparaging remarks about that little black book I carry around with me from meeting to meeting while others proudly show off their touchscreens. But the paper stuff works for me. I like the feel of turning the pages and making notations in different colored ink and drawing arrows from one thing to another. Or circling stuff that’s extra important. Or putting check marks next to things I’ve completed and big X’s on other things that I can happily delete from my brain for one reason or another. Why, some of my pages look downright Kandinsky-esque.

I even keep all my day planners from year to year. I’ve got a whole history of my employment at MAYA in those little black (or sometimes brown) books. And I can go through them anytime I want and relive my past lives.

So why have I stayed here for so many years if I’m a bit out of sync with most of the MAYA population—at least when it comes to a fondness for all things technological? Because being here is good for me. It forces a predominately right-brained, artsy person (me) to bring some balance into her thinking and views—forces me out of my comfort zone, so to speak. And, to be honest (yes, it’s a sin to tell a lie), I’ve kind of been thinking about iPhones lately and how it might be fun to own one. They are kind of cute—in a non-Luddite sort of way. But please keep this between you and me. I have a reputation to uphold.

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