A couple of hundred fortnights ago, I heard someone try to wax philosophical by saying something to the effect, “… I think it’s sad that we rely on technology so much…” If I remember correctly, the context of that towering force of intellectualism was the constant use of e-mails as oppose to phone calls and/or “analog” letters. I do waver back and forth about technology and its role in our lives but, unless it’s a lonely Saturday night and I have some extra cash around, I don’t try to contort myself in uncomfortable positions in order to spend valuable brain power to make personal road blocks to the advancement of technology of that improves our lives. I stand on the side of technology because look at where it has taken us from. Back in the day, we were drinking out of a water supply that was also our sewer. Back in the day, dying of Small Pox seemed like an unfortunate but albeit inevitable part of life. Thank God for medicine! Are we to wish our lives away and yearn for the days of old where we didn’t rely on insulin injections and latex gloves? I tend to be annoyed when people try to build “elaborate” Parthenons of nuances about modern life. These “witty” comments on modernity can do what war, erosion and vandalism did to the actual ruins in about 2 milliseconds with a little logic and common sense.
The human condition is naturally inclined towards new frontiers and the betterment of the quality (and sometimes quantity) of life. We looked at where we are now and are not satisfied with the results we see. “Man, my foot hurts! What do I do?” Guess what, Dr. Scholls makes a little gel device that you can put in your shoe to aid your arch. “I do not want my students wasting so much paper and ruin the environment by turning in their term papers.” Despite the hysteria of the global cooling/warming/climate change corporation (Wait, corporations are bad?!), we have this crazy thing called flash drives and e-mail. “I am afraid to use maps while driving because the last time I did, I got into a fender bender.” Solution: There are awesome little fairly priced screens that tell you where to go thus not endangering you or passengers. “I wish we could do something about the malaria outbreaks in Africa.” Well, we have this amazing solution that Africans want called DDT that kills mosquitos but the eviromentalists are afraid of what DDT might do to the birds (Wait, this is the regression of human survival). “This is an unplanned pregnancy, what do I do?” Unfortunately, there is a procedure called Federal/State Infanticide where… wait, this is another example of technology gone wrong.
The ironic part of this paper dilemma is that the very same people are worried about this pending onslaught of machines and technology are the people that are pretty steeped in it. Just imagined some self-involved hipster at the closest Starbucks (or some local coffee house because of distaste of “corporations”) dueling mental mind squirmishes about the evils of modern technology and pecking the observations of the “war” on the keyboards of their IBook (Or if they really love/hate technology, the latest environmentally safe Mac Book Pro) while occasionally doing the sitting icky shuffle to avoid spilling their corporate fair trade coffee because they are constantly being interrupted by a text on their Black Berry or IPhone (Why people who do not make a living via e-mail need Black Berries still escapes me). I will not not deny that drug addicts react positively to their moment of clarity between the higher conscious hacky- sack games, but they usually do not start preaching about the evils of addiction until they are a couple of years out of the forest. This questioning of slavery towards technology was sincerely brought up in conversation and I offered my assistance as a tether to reality by sarcastically agreeing with the sentiment by telling a story about a fictional account where our forefathers once pondered the glory days where they did not rely on roofs so much. A couple years back, a horrible heat wave struck the city of Chicago and many elderly people died because while it gets hot in Chicago, there is usually a insulated glass ceiling where the heat-buck stops and their air conditioners were not made to withstand such hell. I do not have the moral authority to vocal what their exact last thoughts were but I am sure it was not, “I remember the days when we did not have to rely so heavily on air conditioners.”
Shall I be fair? There is something to be said when technology, which is suppose to be submitted to OUR will, becomes the ruler of our lives and we all become slaves to it from time to time. Here are some tea leaves you can read that will warn you if technology is beginning to take over your identity:
The World of War Craft elicits more emotion out of you than the World of Reality.
You can’t walk from your last class to your next class without almost being plowed by a car because you were listening to your IPOD.
You use the GPS in your car to go home.
You need three T.V shows to watch during the commercials of your intended T.V show.
You think microwaves are too slow.
You think 3G Networks are so yesterday.
If you have ever been moderately to severely sexually attracted to the latest in human robotics.
If your $300.00 + phone has never had a human voice digitally enter through its ear piece.
There are technological abuses out in the world today because it is easier to let technology rule our lives rather than improve them. I am guilty of the preference of sending digital words to someone rather than a voice and it is pretty sad.
When you boil it all down, I take the position that technology needs to be under our dominance and we need to utilitize it with moderation unless one is receiving dialysis; you need that advanced technology. But what I am also against is the drudged up artificial indignation towards the behavior of human curiosity and advancement. It is akin to a group of people setting up an Global Warming Concert that outputs tons of cabron emmisions while leaving a pile of trash in its aftermath. Even the least technology savy amongst us are not as self-righteous as a Mac Book using/Iphone Talking/Twitter using, born-again anti-modernist. Use technology with care but do not pretend you abhor modernity and all its little digital devices.