Techland Interview: Alex Trebek

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TL: Do you have a favorite cell phone you use all the time? Are you a cell phone guy or do you not like being tethered like that?

AT: I use cell phones to make calls and receive calls. I’ve never texted, I’ve never received a text. I was out to lunch recently with one of my bosses at Sony, who had forgotten his cell phone. He asked to use mine, I said sure and I gave it to him, and he started to laugh. I said, “What’s wrong?” and he said, “This cell phone has an antenna.”

I’m not one of those individuals who are attached umbilically to their cell phones. I have friends who cannot live without their BlackBerrys. I attended the Emmys and sat next to someone who was on his cell phone throughout, just texting and reading messages.

If you can’t be without that piece of equipment, I think that’s sad. We’re becoming too attached to our technology. We need more time to ourselves. more time to sit and think and be quiet, instead of constantly being accessed.

And as far as Twitter goes, are we so insecure that if we’re not connected to somebody else every moment of the day, we’re in a panic? What happened to the days of contemplation? The days of being self sufficient? Enjoying ourselves instead of being in contact with everybody else?

I don’t see it. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just my generation. I don’t know. But my generation doesn’t feel as comfortable with new technology as your generation would, and as my children’s generation feels.

But I think we’ve lost something. People don’t write letters. People don’t know how to write letters. And because of texting and the shorthand you use while texting, a lot of people don’t know how to spell any more. That’s unfortunate.

We’re slowly losing an important part of our lives. Ah, I’m getting too profound.

TL: No, I agree with you. I work in technology and I’m in my early thirties, but I still remember what it’s like to write. I had to write in school. I didn’t have a laptop or a cell phone or anything.

AT: Talk about writing, I have fountain pens. Nobody writes with fountain pens. I probably have an old quill somewhere around here, too.

TL: So can we assume there’s no official Alex Trebek Twitter account to follow?

AT: Nope. I don’t even have my own website.


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