Friday, February 12, 2010

Technology Is Ruining our Lives

There was a time in my life when computers were not all over, there were no cell phones in everyone's hand and if you wanted to listen to a certain song, you had to hit fast forward or rewind on  your cassette tape.  I remember these days and even though I was only a kid, it seemed a simpler way of life.  I miss it.

Nowadays, if you walk by 10 people on the street, you're guaranteed to find at least 9 of them on an electronic device (either talking, playing a game, or listening to music).  Does this affect us though? It definitely does.  

When I was a teenager, I used to get phone calls from my friends.  We would talk about the stupidest things for hours on end. We didn't have email, Facebook, texting; we were social in a way that teens these days don't understand because they've never done it.  I fear it's affecting the way people are growing up, doing business, and living their lives.  

So many people hide behind their phones, computers, and Facebook pages.  They have so few real people or conversations in their lives.  They'd rather message someone than actually pick up the phone.  They have no social skills because of this.

Technology is moving at a speeding rate.  People so focused on doing more, creating more, and engulfing their lives in it.  Whatever happened to playing a board game with good ol' dice and paper money?  What was so wrong with doing things the long way rather than the quick and easy way? 

The iPhone was not enough so Apple had to make an iPad.  The computer was not enough so they had to make a lap top.  But then the lap top got smaller and smaller.  And then they just decided to make your phone a mini lap top.  

Vinyl rocks but it's too ancient so let's make 8-tracks.  No wait, cassette tapes.  Wait, CDs, those are way better.  Who uses CDs anymore, ever hear of an MP3?  What is next?  Are they going to make a chip to insert into your body that play music in your ears and can double as a phone?  Better yet, just make us robots and be done with it.  We are so addicted to technology it's all over us anyways. Being a robot is like the same thing, no?

When is enough enough?  Don't get me wrong I'm on the computer every day.  I use it for work and for writing.  I have an iPhone and there are some good qualities to it.  I love the internet.  Who doesn't?  I love having our whole music collection on the computer for ease of listening.  But again, when is enough enough.

When Jared and I first lived together, he'd be on the computer every night until late doing work or a project.  If he wasn't doing that, we'd watch TV or a movie in bed.  Then it was the laptop in bed and now unfortunately it's the iPhone in bed.  I don't feel like I'm ever alone with my husband anymore.  There is always some type of technology standing in the way.  When is the last time you and a loved one spent an entire day, just the two of you without any technology?  I can't even say we ever had.  There has always been a cell phone, a CD, a TV, or something.  

It saddens me really.  One hundred years ago, people sat around together making the music and entertaining themselves.  They weren't ever bored because they had each other and were social.  Maybe it was hard for them to find the best restaurant in town without the Internet and reviews.  I bet they even wished they had a cell phone for when they were in the woods lost.  But they lived a simpler way of life and I dare to say even a happier one.

I found out recently that Connecticut is basically the most unhappy state in the country (CT was 49 and NY was 50).  How can a whole state of people be so unhappy they tip the charts.  If we throw out our technology and got to know loved ones, co workers, and strangers again in person, maybe we'd be a happier society as a whole.  But I dare one person to admit they agree with me.  You're all to obsessed with your technology to care or make a difference.  And if you don't believe me, did you hear about that guy in Japan who "married" a girl in a video game?  I rest my case...


Craig said...

I'm from the UK and I feel exactly the same way (I'm in my mid thirties by the way!).

I work in the IT industry and as much as I can see the benefits it brings overall, I also think technology is a double edge sword.

Some people I work with use sites such as twitter and facebook all day long. This is their primary communication mechanism. Personally I don't have a twitter account (and never will), I am also thinking of closing down my facebook account completely. I simply refuse to spend time maintaining that as well as keep up with the mamouth amounts of information I'm overwhelmed with everyday. Some people are using facebook to document everything they see, say and do that day. I see this as a complete waste of time. Couldn't you do something better with your time? Help a friend (or stranger), do a good deed for the day, play with your pet, read a book or learn something new or useful. Maybe I'm in the minority here with my thoughts...

Sometimes I think my brain is going to fry because of information overload. Then there is television and the overwhelming amount of adverts now shown on almost every channel. I don't recall advertising being so agressive in the late 70s and 80s during my enjoyment of the dukes of hazard or "chips" (remember that?) :)

Sometimes I wish I had been born in some other time. Perhaps the mid 1800s would be a better place to be.

Perhaps technology will bring us a time machine and our problems would then be solved. I swear, if somebody showed me a door that I could walk through and I'd be someone else in time, I wouldn't need to think about it. I'd walk straight through it and slam the door shut behind me.

I'm glad to see there is someone else out there with similar views on this. I really enjoyed reading this post by the way, so thanks for posting it!

I'm amazed no others have added comments here though. There must be others that feel this way??? Perhaps most of the visitors to this page have already become robots and slaves to technology, consumerism and social networking.

I am fearful of what this will all mean for future generations. It certainly doesn't look good in my eyes.

Canonian said...

Love your blog on this topic, and I just read this:

Anonymous said...

if technology wasnt here, you wouldnt be posting this...

G said...

If you are real techo-cynic, you will ditch the cell phone like I have. I will never own one again. I quit it like I quit cigarettes, actually it was easier to quit than cigarettes. My PC is in my office at home where it belongs, my phone is on the wall. (Cordless, of course, but not a Cell.) If anyone wants to get a hold of me, they know where they can find me.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. I often find myself thinking/dreaming of a simpler time before the high tech boom really started.

Technology is on curve of diminishing returns, so I think its important to draw a line in the sand as to which technologies truly improves our lives and which are not worth it. For example the plow is a technology that I think everyone (including the amish) embrace as good. Twitter and mobile devices are useful but they come with a cost.

What frustrates me the most is that a lot of people don't even realize the trade off. I suppose its because its not very obvious, it steals away your time slowly, in dribs and drabs. Its so easy to waste away a half day clicking around on the net, and still feel like your being productive. I find myself easily distracted by trivial internet things, as do most people I encounter.

Technology is only productive and useful if you have the self awareness to recognize when its stealing your time, and self control to turn it off.

Daveweiser said...

Im 18 and from the uk, I hate how the world is obsessed with tech i cant arrange a party or go to town without going onto facebook to plan somthing fun. Everyone has a phone and uses it way to oftern, People are willing to shoot someone if they dont hand over an iphone since when is technology worth more than a human life?? I was in an ict cisco course until i snapped and quit. Now im going to live on the coast of south africa for 6 months and the only tech i will have is my laptop cant freekin wait!!
Thanks for the blog post its nice to see im not the only person who thinks this way

arvind said...

I stumbled across this blog post at a time I'm going through the same questions about what life means these days. I'm in my mid 20's and I remember the time when technology was a treat. The occasional video game was a break from the soccer fields, not a replacement. Nothing surprises me or amazes me anymore because it's all a finger touch away. In the end, I'm more worried about the numbing and hollowness technology has bestowed upon us. Hats off to the person above to actually break away, you inspired me to at least try.

Unknown said...

Bingo was his namo! Know you know why nobody is fighting for our country!

I believe the rapid pace of modern technology is to make us distracted on purpose from our spiritual mission and I know what I am talking about because I used to be all for these people but I am slowly awakening like a curtain being slowly raised allowing the light to shine thru.

People these days are too distracted by their cell phones and Xboxes to literally give an F about anything spiritual and moral and I am NOT going to be politically correct about it either.

Our country is ran by politicians who use ad hominem attacks to pass laws giving the President unlimited power while most people are asleep at the wheel which I suspect are playing their XBox with their invisible friends cussing at each other.

Unknown said...

Even video games these days are hollow and numb designed to make you a robot instead of actually think for yourself. (gasp)

Maybe it's my depression I face but instant demand technology has put us into a ME ME ME! world where friendship comes second or even third.

Anonymous said...

I'm 16 and agree

Anonymous said...

Technology will destroy the world.

Mary Jones said...

Let's get rid of blogs, too. Enough is enough!

Anonymous said...

You're Just not used to modern technology. Times change. And are about to again

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