The best computer is the one you have with you

My parents gave me a new computer when I graduated from college. I remember the day it arrived from Gateway: those giant, cow-printed boxes, the hours I set aside to lovingly unpack it, set it up, and pore over every pre-installed program. It had a CD burner, and I couldn’t wait to start making mix CDs for friends. Every day, I would get home from work, eat dinner, and then, with great ceremony, fire up that ol’ PC for whatever creative pursuit I was into at the time (photo editing, mixtaping, dating profile writing, etc).

Even as recently as two summers ago, I was spending hours at my desk, willing my poor Macbook to render video as I painstakingly edited films using Final Cut. It was with grave importance that I upgraded to a new iMac, so I could finally have the horsepower to handle all of my grand projects.

Today, I often spend days away from my desktop, engrossed by my iPhone’s tiny screen. And why not? With a quick line to the world via 4G or wireless Internet, it is my fast track to the world; no middle man in the form of a proper computer required. It is my notebook, digital camera, and pocket camcorder—items that I once carried together in my purse, in addition to my cell phone.

Plenty of more thoughtful people than I have written about What it All Means for us to become a mobile-first society. For me, the light bulb came on when I was watching, of all things, the live webcast of Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom as he announced the addition of video to their platform.

The Secrets of Instagram's Success, Kevin Systrom #FOWD

I’ve already laid plain what I think of Instagram, and Systom’s awkward delivery and overuse of the word “beautiful” did nothing to dispel my impression of the San Francisco startup community as a bunch of insular dorks.

Still, I’m captivated by the notion of using my Instagram account—with 4 times (i.e. tens) more followers than my Vine page—to capture 15-second videos. I’m sure the majority of the clips in my feed will be ill-advised shots of drunken get-togethers, babies, and cats. Hopefully some of us will still slave away at Final Cut projects, but Instagram, you can have my crappy cell phone videos. Really.


Actual Instagram videos by yours truly. Click through to watch.

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