If I ever leave the house and realise that I’ve forgotten my music player, I would return to retrieve it. On the other hand, if I forget to bring my smartphone, under ordinary circumstances, that wouldn’t cause me a panic. In fact, I seldom use it as I don’t get many calls and mostly cold calls that I ignore. I don’t have a data plan and uses wifi for mobile network, which means that when I’m out, I won’t receive any instantaneous message that requires a data network. If my mum had not gotten me a smartphone (as she couldn’t persuade me into buying one for myself), I think I would still be using my good old Nokia. That said, I am not anti-technology. On the contrary, I spend a lot of time surfing the net from home. The invention of the internet and email offers people on the spectrum a communication platform where they may be able to express themselves better. Precisely because I spend most of my time looking at the computer screen, when I’m out or travelling, I prefer to take a break from the world wide web and not hooked to the phone.
Contrary to the belief that people on the spectrum excel in technology, if not geeks, I am rather an old-fashioned and rigid person when it comes to technology. Although smartphones are multi-functional, for the most part, I still think of them as divided into separate categories. A phone is mainly for calling (and messaging). I still think that a mobile phone is mostly an invention that is useful for making urgent calls when I’m out (otherwise, I usually wait till I’m indoors to make or return a call). It should not be readily assumed that the phone is the fastest way to reach me. To avoid being inundated with unsolicited calls and notifications, I keep my phone in silence mode most of the time, at best, I turn on the vibrate mode if I’m expecting a call. For pictures, I bring a camera. To tell the time, I wear a watch. To listen to music, I have my ipod or mp3. To surf the internet, I use a laptop. I still plan my schedule on a hand-written diary and flip the pages of a book to read. I am hesitant, if not wary to depend entirely on my phone or technology. I don’t deny the benefits of smartphones and confess that the conveniences they bring are hard to resist but sometimes I wonder if men have become too heavily reliant on it and become oblivious to our environment and surroundings such that rather than using technology, we are being used by it instead.