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Again, how is technology helpful?

I take it for granted my generation has grown up with several different ways to listen to music; record players, cassette tapes, CD’s, MP3 and now MP4 players. I also take it for granted that music, like art was a way to communicate through visual or audible language to convey one’s emotions or feelings. With the onset of new technology, I’ve realized I’ve taken for granted the experiences that we grew up with.

In taking these things for granted I started thinking more about what would happen if all the electricity in the world just went out at the same time. How would we listen to music? Everything would suddenly have to be seen live again just to hear or see it. Suddenly singers would actually have to have real talent and no auto tuning. Then I started thinking how no electricity would mean no more e-books, a surge in library check outs, people learning how to use the card catalogue system and everyone getting familiar with dewey decimal in an old school fashion. No electricity would mean no more annoying cell phones going off during a class, a therapy session or even in a public restroom.  No electricity means the annoying manager of a car dealership won’t be interrupting your interaction with one of his salesmen to show him their co-worker’s latest facebook update on his cell phone.  No electricity would mean the battery in his cell phone would be long dead before having to feign insensitive interest about their co-worker calling your salesperson “chubby” to the rest of the world.

As someone who grew up not needing or having a cell phone, I suddenly quit worrying about the world losing electricity, and smiled. I smiled at the thought of no longer having to be annoyed when going out with a large group of people, (or on a date) where the people (or date) are more engaged with their smart phones than those they are with.

How wonderful.

I recently saw an ad where a woman was talking up the qualities of a new cell phone when she was comparing the interaction with the person on the other side of the phone as to them actually standing right next to her. Unless you’re a germ-a-phobe, this doesn’t really seem like the most appropriate way to go on a date with someone. (There are some circumstances that allow, like living an ocean apart, or the person is away on leave.) However, it confuses me how people who live in the same town still see that as an intimate connection, even talking on the phone is better than living a relationship out through text. It leads me to have concerns for my friends who want to forge connections with others but don’t realize what they’re missing out on when its not played out in real time.

There was recently a news piece done on how there is a social disconnect in today’s youth because most connections and relationships are carried out online. The point they were trying to make is no one really knows how to interact with each other face to face anymore. Everyone has become used to interaction being distant and intangible.

Strangely though at the same time, with relationships being distant and intangible, there is this ever growing need to have everything right now, whether it’s information, clothes, food; everything is now instant, faster or new and improved.

Sounding like an old fogey I find myself thinking or saying, “Back in the day…” quite often. Back in the day, relationships took time. Back in the day, food also took time. Back in the day, those two things went hand in hand; food and mingling. If you look back in time, more people were healthier, not just skinnier. Food took time, you used it as a social tool to connect with your family and close friends. (Not in everyone’s circumstance, but certainly mine.) Even if we were just sitting at T.V. trays watching Friends we still took the time to laugh together over dinner.

Here is my main beef; if we all took time to break bread with each other I think there would be a lot less miscommunication. Technology has moved so fast we haven’t even had time to catch up with it, let alone each other.

I’ve seen some current technological trends where artists and musicians are looking to technology ghosts of the past to explore the hidden treasures of what the vinyl world had to offer. Strangely by looking back they’ve found recording on vinyl actually gives the music more depth, richer tones, more quality and more character. Maybe we have something to learn from the music world? Maybe, if we’re lucky, this trend of looking back will start happening in other areas of society. Maybe by looking back, people will learn to ditch their cell phones at appropriate times and start connecting again like they used to, and maybe, even connect over dinner.

What is the thing you miss most now technology has advanced? If you’re younger, what trend do you wish would come back so you could experience it? What are some annoying or inconveniencing things that have happened to you because of technology?

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3 responses to “Again, how is technology helpful?

  1. The Mom ⋅

    Well. Funny you should mention this. I just washed your dad’s jeans. I cleaned out the pockets as usual, turned the jeans inside out and threw them in the washing machine. After they were washed I put them in the dryer, came back to my chair and we resumed watching tv. All of a sudden I heard a HUGE clunk, clunk, clunk sound and saw Reesie sittng erect with her ears pointed towards the laundry room. I bolted up from my chair and rushed to the dryer, opened it and found your dad’s cell phone. That’s when I remembered the one pocket I forgot to check and empty.

    I remember emptying all kinds of stuff from his pockets and yours. You usually had rocks and pebbles, stuff you picked up off the playground. Your dad had needful items like his pocketknife and keys. I knew what to look for then, shoot, I thought I knew what to look for now. How long have we had these phones anyway? For us, our cell phones are not exactly needful. They are more a convenience like the washer and dryer that soaked, then fried the cell phone. If I had to give up either of those three items it would be the cell phone. Oh wait a minute…I JUST DID! HAHAHAHA!

  2. Funny, I don’t remember it being a problem when I used to send texts during dinner on my old phone. Plus, I was not aware the Wu Tang Clan are immune to silent mode.

    Of course, I could have woken you up at 5am to tell you this!

    Sent from our bathroom

  3. Kelly Hay ⋅

    I know I’m most definitely not in the “norm” when it comes to new technology because I try to fight it! If I had a nickel (boy, that’s an old expression!) for everytime someone asked me if I was on FaceBook, I’d be a zillionaire. Same goes for Twitter. People seemed shocked when they discover that I don’t partake in either and they quickly want to know how I manage to keep up with others. Um … I call them and ask them how they’re doing! And get this ~~ if they live close by, I actually go to their house in person and sometimes even take them baked goods! Talk about old fashion! :-)

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