Have any of you wondered how technology has changed us? Well I was curious enough to try and google it, just like I google everything else. And here’s what came up.
8 out of the first 10 suggestions are not signs of evolution at its best. In fact, those are qualities you would think we would want to steer clear of. Who wants to be lazy, stupid or less social?
A couple of days ago, my laptop died on me and I couldn’t get it on again. Turns out that it was only the charger that blew. Good thing, coz replacing that was much cheaper than having to send my laptop in for repair. I would have died if I lost all my files and photos. Then I realised how dependent I am on my laptop. At 2 minutes I was bored out of my mind and by the time 2 hours had gone by, I almost literally felt like pulling my hair out.
Thankfully I wasn’t sitting alone in a room. I had friends who at some point decided to close their laptops so we could be more social. They tried paying attention without putting their laptops off at first, but eyes kept darting back to screens. It took a while, but after going through what I would call withdrawal, we went on to have a couple of really interesting conversations.
Here’s what I came away with. I can barely remember life without such technology, but it actually wasn’t that long ago, was it? I didn’t have my own handphone til I was 16. Blackberrys and iPhones hadn’t been created yet. Heck, I grew up to Streamyx, where my internet usage time was kept track of because they charged by the hour. No mobile internet, no broadband, no laptop. I only got that when I was 19.
At some point in life, I did not need such technologies. At some point, things were simpler. I had time to read tons of books and work on my art projects. I would spend hours playing with my pets and taking them for walks. I had time to learn to do the laundry, cook good meals, and help out with chores.
Every change that takes place had it’s pros and cons. I would not want to live in a world where I could not keep in touch with people I love that aren’t living here anymore. But I have friends living half an hour away that I hardly ever see because we feel like we get updates on each other’s lives often enough through facebook. Friendship meant so much more 10 years ago when we had to work hard on maintaining it.
I have over 2000 “friends” on facebook. I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many of them I have seen over the past few weeks. I don’t really bother seeing half of them because some people are their facebook profiles and there aren’t any stories left to be shared in person. But life is so much more than updating your facebook status. Life is about experiences and feelings. Experimenting and choosing to go through something instead of reading about it over a social networking site.
Our generation has almost everything we could possibly need to survive. We live in a world where we are not looking for necessities anymore. We are on a never-ending search of ultimate luxury. When will we draw a line and say we have enough? Where is the sky? Where’s the limit? Robots taking over the world is a viable idea for movie-makers because we make it possible. Technology to create such things and the risk of losing control over it already exists. What happens from now is in our own hands. And don’t we always say prevention’s better than cure?