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Technology… Blessing or Curse?

June 23, 2012

Laptops, pads, GPS, satellite TV, e-readers, and smartphones have revolutionized the world. I can’t afford the hardware or the services that make them work. I’m satisfied with my desktop computer, my shelves full of hardcover books, my TV converter box hooked between my rooftop antenna and my CRT TV, my land-line phone and my Tracfone wireless. Hell, I even have an old Western Electric dial telephone in my back bedroom. If I want to take a picture, I have a digital camera. If I want to find my way to a place I’ve never been, I either consult MapQuest first, or use a $4.00 paper map. I don’t need to be connected to the rest of the world everywhere I go, and I have no use whatsoever for Facebook or any other “social” media. I’ve never sent a text message and don’t have any desire to do so.

When Steve Jobs died, everyone praised him for all the wonderful technology he brought into existence. I wondered at the time if he was the angel you all considered him to be, or possibly a demon sent from Hell to lead humanity in a dangerous new direction. Granted, the smartphone is an amazing piece of technological wizardry. It is a computer in the palm of your hand. Captain Kirk’s 23rd century communicator was a clunky piece of crap compared to the i-phone. But, do we really need all that?

In one way the new tech has brought the world closer together, but it has also served to drive a wedge between people with competing philosophies. Politics, religion and social structure have never been more divided and vitriolic than they are today. There’s such a thing as too much information, both true and false, and we can now get both at the speed of light and the flick of a finger. Gone forever are the good ol’ days when letters were written by hand, telephones were dialed, journalists were trusted, privacy was coveted and expected, opinions were kept to one’s self, and life was lived to the fullest without the high technology we have today.

There’s no going back unless all our satellites get blasted out of orbit. If that were to happen, I pity anyone born after 1995. They wouldn’t know what to do or how to live without all the modern wireless conveniences. Trust me, it wouldn’t be so bad without them. It might even be better.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2012 5:32 PM

    I agree with a lot you say. I approach technology as a tool, most people approach technology as slaves.

    • June 23, 2012 9:27 PM

      Ah! And therein lies the problem. People have allowed the technology to enslave them rather than being the masters of it. That is the dangerous new direction that I spoke of.

  2. June 28, 2012 9:32 PM

    I see your point but what if people had said the same thing about electricity, cars, tv’s, modern housing etc. Medicines for petes sake!!! Glasses! I love all of this new stuff. I don’t have a lot of it but if I could afford it I would get it just too keep up. You have to keep up or be left behind!

    • June 29, 2012 12:40 PM

      You’re right, but I make the distinction with the wireless devices that allow people to be connected anytime and everywhere. I couldn’t do without electricity, my computer or my TV. I see the value in keeping up with the latest technology but, unfortunately, it is a bottomless, addictive, money-sucking pit. The only way to avoid becoming a slave to it is to draw a line – which I have done… for now.

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