Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - Contents - Kim­ber­ley Lau EDI­TOR kim­lau@bluinc.com.my

You hear a song on the ra­dio and it’s so very fa­mil­iar. You know the words for the cho­rus, you even know when the epic gui­tar solo is about to start, but you just can’t re­mem­ber who the singer is or the name of the song – the cho­rus hasn’t given you a clue, yet. What do you do?

In ear­lier days, you’d prob­a­bly call some­one you know who might have the an­swer. I was that some­one for my mother. Like a life­line on Who Wants To Be A Mil­lion­aire, she banked on me to (1) an­swer my phone be­fore the song ends, and (2) know my stuff. Un­for­tu­nately for her, she had too much faith in my knowl­edge of pop mu­sic. These days, she finds a more de­pend­able life­line in Shazam, the mu­sic iden­ti­fy­ing app.

Al­most ev­ery as­pect of my life, I man­age with my smart­phone. I wake up to the alarm on itand, of late, and I’ve been learn­ing to med­i­tate us­ing an app called Headspace (try it, it’s num­ber one the list when you Google search ‘ best med­i­ta­tion apps’). My sched­ule is man­aged with Google Cal­en­dar which takes up the main real es­tate on my home­screen, and I use both Uber and Grab to get to events and meet­ings. Fash­ion pre­views and shows are streamed di­rect from New York, Paris, Lon­don and Mi­lan onto my 5.8” screen, no mat­ter where I am. Thanks to the In­ter­net, I’ve learnt how to cook, paint, speak for­eign lan­guages and play the ukulele, gui­tar and pi­ano.

So when ar­ti­cles, com­mer­cials and films blame tech­nol­ogy for all the so­cial is­sues it has caused, how it di­vides rather than unites – I get a lit­tle ir­ri­tated. Your phone isn’t the one ig­nor­ing your friends at a birth­day dinner, you are.

Tech­nol­ogy has given many peo­ple a new life­line. Wired ran a re­mark­able story about pho­tog­ra­pher Jac­qui Kenny Spent who, de­spite suf­fer­ing from ago­ra­pho­bia and get­ting panic at­tacks when­ever she’s too far from home, has found a new way to take pho­tographs – through Google Street View. There’s also Ibu Ndari, a 76-year-old In­sta­gram­mer (@ her­man­dar­i_kar­tow­isas­tro) who shares breath­tak­ing im­ages of her solo trav­els all around the world (read her story on pg162).

And so, with this issue, we cel­e­brate all things dig­i­tal – from the in­flu­encers that we look up to, to the nifty apps and gad­gets that are en­hanc­ing ev­ery as­pect of our life (MC Fu­tur­is­tic Top 20, pg168). The In­ter­net has given us so much (I learnt Ham­let through an on­line typ­ing game when I was in my teens) and it’s sim­ply im­pos­si­ble for me to imag­ine life with­out it. I def­i­nitely could no longer sur­vive with­out Google search – who else is go­ing to an­swer my burn­ing ques­tions about the sex drive of a cas­trated man (thanks to episode two of this sea­son’s Game of Thrones)?



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