Eye in My Pocket 

Well I tried to use a little technology today. I downloaded a free Pomodoro app to help me see my resolution through. It was basically a count down timer that alternated between the time you set for the work and the time you set for the break and it has a cute row of tomatoes the number being determined by you, which basically indicate how many blocks of work you have set yourself to do.

I set the timer for three tomatoes, each of which represented 25 minutes and pressed start.

Now I do not know if it was because I was listening to music or if it was because the timer did not have a sound alert, but some time later, after I had started work and then had to repeatedly take my earphones off to answer questions, I looked at my phone to see one little tomato coloured in and the timer poised for me to press start again to time the five minute break.

I did, however get some work done – and it was boring necessary work, so that was good. We are all doing boring necessary work, mainly reports, but the end of the year is so close we can almost touch it and the other job today was to work out my Xmas leave and book it.

Technology is a weird thing. We take it for granted, we curse at the Internet when it takes too long to load a page without a though for how long it might take us to find the information in a book – or worse still, have to find a library that has not been shut down and then have to find a book. Data mining, though – the Internet working on us rather than vice versa, is quite scary.

I used to drink at a pub in Brighton the owners of which had two retriever dogs. The dogs had to stay upstairs when the pub was open, but were allowed down once ‘time’ had been called. Every evening without fail, they would appear at the top of the stairs five minutes before the bell for last orders was rung. Every evening they would be there at quarter to eleven, except on Sunday, because on Sunday last orders would be called at twenty past ten and they would be there at quarter past. I do not know how they knew, they just knew.

My phone knows stuff too. Every day I go to work from my home. I know the way so I have never queried the maps app for the route. Every evening I go home. On Fridays I visit my parents. Two weeks ago I got into my car at work on a Friday and my phone was displaying an alert. It was telling me what the traffic was like between where I was and where my parents live. Somehow, my pattern of movement has been recognised and tracked – and now predicted. By. My. Phone.

Either that, or my phone is in fact part Retriever dog.


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