Monday, September 16, 2013

Technology: good or bad?

I went into our back office at work where one of our volunteers was. I saw him in the corner holding something up; it looked like he was texting. Mind you, he is well into his 80’s so I was completely shocked but as I walked closer I noticed that he was reading a book, and I think that surprised me even more!! Most people, regardless of age, are so deep into technology if there isn’t an app to dig them out, they’re stuck! I remember posting a picture on Facebook a few years ago of my nephew Joshua. He was two at the time, barely potty trained, but he was using an iPad!! Better than I know how to use one I might add. So not only are adults totally absorbed for gizmos and gadgets, we’re teaching our kids to use them and depend on them, and we’re teaching them young! Interpersonal communication has gone out the window, obviously because you are READING this and I’m not talking to you specifically. This is why so many people lack proper etiquette and manners because we don’t really have to use them anymore! So we can’t even blame a person because they talk like it’s a twitter post saying things like “hashtag” or “@mandarinsilk so I know it’s real” in a regular face to face conversation because they rarely have that (mandarin silk is the name of a tea that is sitting on my desk so don’t go looking for it on Twitter). We don’t even argue in person anymore, everything is viral and twitter wars. I bet if the people “beefing” were face to face, they’d still pull out their iPhone or Android and have to text the person to tell them off. I must say I’m even a part of this diabolical plot to kill the English language and destroy in person relationships. Shocking, I know. I love to text instead of talking on the phone. But it’s convenient and quick especially when I’m in the middle of something but need to ask a quick question or vice versa. I don’t always have the time of day to talk on the phone, and if you just have to say something it’s much easier to just text it then having to start a phone conversation, but it’s not like I never talk on the phone. This is the same with Facebook, it definitely is beneficial for staying in contact with a lot of people all at once that you don’t see often or live in other areas of the world. I actually have virtually met relatives because of Facebook. But I have to draw the line for my technological attachments. I do not have an iPad, or Kindle, or any other Tablet. I have a smart phone, but not an iPhone or anything ridiculous. And—I still read actual paper books!! I don’t want to be so disconnected from mankind. Don’t get me wrong there are numerous benefits from technology but I like having intimate, interpersonal relationships with people where we look each other in the eye and talk, not an avatar on a social website. Because of these changes in the last 30 years, it’s hard to be in a position to be a writer for anything meaningful that isn’t gossip news or about irrelevant social issues. Like Lamar Odom getting a DUI, or Nicole Kidman falling at the Calvin Klein runway show. Who really cares?? Apparently a lot of people do, because these are things that I’ve heard in conversation lately. It’s a difficult position to be in to be passionate about a dying industry, print writing. I encourage everyone to be progressive and be a part of the technological movement, especially since I live in the Silicon Valley, but know your limits. Going to a virtual park does not satisfy your body the same way being in the actual outdoors and wind blowing across your face. Sun light is good for you, and so is reading. It stimulates your brain, and can help prevent things like Dementia and Alzheimer’s. I think the best think Kindle did was setting the time limits for children regulated by parents to limit their time using technology and making the child focus on being a kid and going out and playing! I am looking forward to the unpromised day where we don’t depend completely on technology. We are so isolated now from others face to face interaction and this is not healthy. This world will soon be full of people who can’t express their feelings without emoticons and will have no verbal communication skills. It’s a scary thought to think about where we are heading technology wise. It’s not going to be pretty.

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