Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Technology is our Demise

I can see it now: a cheesy, low-budget sci fi movie, made for tv. Huge awkward styrofoam cellphone monsters decimate humanity with laser beams, while mammoth copy machines xerox our brains against the glass until we die..

It may sound ridiculous but technology is our demise. Now hear me out, I'm not taking for granted how they've simplified my life. I understand they've made wonderful advances for humanity, especially in the medical field. In fact, I don't know how more crazy I'd be without the ability to blog at my fingertips. They allow us to gain time, they keep us connected. (I.e. toothbrush, E-Z pass, toilet paper, cellphones)  But I believe technology has become more than a helpful tool, more than accesories to facilitate our life.

They are also simplifying our brains.

Think I'm exxagerating? How many phone numbers can you recite by memory? Less than 10? Less than 5? Do you have trouble remembering even yours? When was the last time you played a game with another flesh and bone person, instead of a computer? How often do you learn how to get to places by memory and map? When was the last time you bought a physical book? When was the last time you wrote a letter? Can you spell check your own paper?

Perhaps you're starting to think i'm old fashioned. But it's not that I'm rejecting technology because it replaces a past form of lifestyle. The former activities, like playing a game of chess with someone, finding a good book and reading it cover to cover, sitting down and finishing a puzzle, and scanning a map to find a route actually stimulated the brain and promoted interaction between people. People had less memory problems, less socially-awkward issues, and aged with a more capable mind. Younger generations didn't suffer carpal tunnel syndrome. But all we do now is use our fingertips. Tap, touch, press :video games, qwerty keyboards, touchscreens, keyboards, etc.  The more technological accesories we implement in our life, the more brain power we subtract and the more physical problems we add.

Picture this typical setting. Another way over use of technology stunts our brains. You have a gathering at your house. You invite a variety of friends of all age groups. What are the younger ones doing? What are the older ones doing? Perhaps you'll notice a trend. To avoid breaking the ice and seemingly awkward small-talk, the younger generations enclose themselves in a cocoon of technology. Ipod in and volume up, phone in hand, fingers flying away in rapid text mode and mind deprived of healthy conversation that contributes to growing as an individual, creating not only a rift in generations, but a division of worlds, and a deplorable halt in mental growth.

Back to the another accesory. Your GPS. It now has become the background noise in most vehicles, guiding you from your house to your job, to your house. But one day, according to the magical law of Murphy, you'll be in a strange part of town, because the route you usually take is closed. Your GPS has overheated and broken down, your cellphone has no signal and draining battery, and the floodgates in heaven have opened forth a torrential downpour. Lucky you, lost in the middle of nowhere. Now what? If only you had trusted your friend, Rand McNally, and kept a couple of maps handy. But will you even know how to read them?

For more cons on technology, visit this website.

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