Technology

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Technology

  1. stewartparker

    Everyone in my office has an i-phone. Everyone but me, that is.

    “But it’s so convenient,” they say. “I don’t know what I’d do without it.” “I feel so connected.”

    Here’s my question: why do you want to be that connected?

    In my lifetime, we have gone from super-computers the size of football fields to laptops you can practically fit in your pocket. A telephone used to be something that had to be plugged into the wall, and if you wanted to talk anywhere other than the five-foot radius immediately surrounding the phone’s base, you had to invest in an extension cord (we had one that, I swear, must have been 50 feet long; I would stretch it from my parents’ room, down the hall, and under my closed door with regularity. Of course that meant that my mom could hang up the phone, from her room 50 feet away, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. But that just added to the excitement).

    Everyone has a personal computer now, but even that is not enough. You have to be able to log in, plug in, be connected, all the time. From wherever you are. No matter what you are doing.

    Now I have a cell phone (hey, we all do), but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I miss the days of busy signals and endless ringing. I miss the days of being able to walk out the door and, if you caught me, fine, but if not, you were just going to have to call back. Or not. I’d never know.

    E-mails are fine, but I miss letters.

    And most of all, I miss human interaction.

    They argue convenience, and I can see that. If you’re lost, there are maps, if you need a phone number, you can look it up. But let’s face it, 95% of the time these things are being used for gaming, mindless surfing, senseless messaging, wasting time, tuning out, and ignoring reality. Ignoring life.

    Whatever happened to human interaction?

    It used to be that if you got lost, you asked directions. If you needed a number, you borrowed a phone book, or called someone who had it. Now you can go through your whole day, without saying a word, without sharing a smile, the means to virtually fulfill your every need literally in the palm of your hand. But what about actual fulfillment? What about tangible reality?

    They are talking about increasing our telephone stipend at work so we can all have an i-phone (since they all have them already, I think what they really mean is they want to increase the stipend so they can actually afford what they already have). Then we can all be connected. I especially don’t want work to be able to get a hold of me, through mulitple media, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When I leave at 5, especially on Friday, I want to disconnect. I want to be unreachable. I might as well be in Siberia as far as they are concerned.

    And when I talk to someone, I want to talk to them. Look into their eyes. Smell their perfume. Maybe even casually touch their hand or brush against their arm.

    I know that all this “resistance to change” makes me seem very old and outmoded. For wanting to be able to actually get away from work. And actually enjoy quality human interaction with people I care about.

    Call me crazy, but I think technology sucks!

  2. Surly Temple

    My modem crapped out last week. After a scintillating conversation with a representative, they are sending me a new one. Some time around Wednesday is when they will ship it. In the interim, I have no internet, and suddenly I realize that without technology I am a complete cripple and my love/hate relationship is being redefined. There is nothing I can do. I can’t find recipes to try, I don’t know what’s coming up on PBS, I can’t order a book on Amazon, I can’t check the status on stuff I’ve already ordered, I can’t even check people’s stupid updates on Facebook. Held hostage by my inability to facelessly connect with complete strangers and/or people with whom I went to grade school and with whom I have not spoken in person in those intervening 25 years, I am being forced to wade through the pile of books by my bed. Which is not a bad thing, truth be told. What I REALLY need to do is sort through the ones IN my bed, and get through those first. Then maybe I’d have more room and emerge in the morning rosy, wrinkled, but with fewer bruises from sharp corners on hardbacks.

  3. bed of lamb 666

    Technology,
    Talkin’ ‘bout you and me,
    It’s our effigy
    This technology

    Technology
    Reverse psychology
    Foolin’ you and me
    This technology

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