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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Things About Technology

Do you own an electronic device of some sort?  iPhone or iPad, perhaps?  How about any kind of cell phone or electronic device that you keep with you at all times?  I think that these days most of us do have some kind of electronic gadget on us or around us on a daily basis. 
As I'm writing this blog, I'm doing so on a laptop computer.  It's nice and sleek; light and strong.  I have my iPhone sitting right here beside me on the desk playing music through my SOL Republic headphones which are perched atop my noggin.  In my briefcase, Saddleback Leather briefcase that is, I have my iPad 2 and a digital camera, both of which I constantly use for work as well as play.  In a nutshell, my life is a digital life.
It seems like every thing I do these days involves using some sort of digital device.  Even this past winter I took my cell phone out deer hunting with me.  What kind of a world do we live in when you go deer hunting with a cell phone???!!!  I mean really!  Anyway, I guess this IS the world we now live in...a world of high speed technology.  Does it benefit us?  We all have Facebook or Twitter and we stay in contact with each other but do we really benefit from this electronic social connection?  Why do we feel compelled to post the mundane events of our lives on Facebook?  "Going to the store!"  "Little Jimmy stumped his toe!"...so forth and so on.  Is it because we feel a need to share our lives with others?  Is it due to some self seeking satisfaction we get from having other people comment on these daily happenings as if they were breaking news?  It's an interesting and new environment that we are now living in.  An environment where people...practically strangers...share detailed information with each other through a totally electronic medium. 
These new electronic environments such as Facebook seems to draw out the good and bad in people.  On the good side, people are generally quite nice to each other online.  Especially to the people they know or are "friends" with.  I chit chat with people online all the time that I haven't seen or heard from personally in years.  All very pleasant conversations.  On the bad side of things, I have, from time to time, been in a public place with some of my "friends" from Facebook and all we would say to each other was a polite "Hi".  The ease of this communication can also lead to "connections" that probably shouldn't be made.  It seems strange to learn so much about someone and about their daily lives and for them to know so much about my life, that I've posted on Facebook,  and when we run in to each other in passing somewhere all that is exchanged is a quick "Hi" or a nod and smile. 
Facebook and other forms of electronics have allowed us to have a glimpse into each other's lives but are we better off?  Do we feel closer together as friends; as a community?  It's an interesting thought. 
The other day I was at home sitting on the couch watching TV.  I had my phone beside me and I was surfing the Web and Facebook on my iPad.  I looked up and the TV was on, Crystal was sitting on the couch beside me on her phone...on Facebook..., Baily was playing in the floor with a cell phone laying beside her, Walter was sitting on the other couch and was texting, and Garrett was in the sofa chair watching TV and peeking at his phone from time to time.  No one was talking to each other.  Very strange.  I wonder in how many households this kind of scene takes place.  We do get out as a family and do things that don't involve electronic.  We go bowling, throw the football or baseball around, we work out in the yard, but in one of the most intimate of settings..the family living room...we were all on our gadgets. 
My point here is:  Are we better off now as a society, as people, as families with the aid of these new technologies?  Are we changing who we are as humans to include these devices.  Are we adapting to them?  We seem to have formed a some sort of symbiotic relationship with these devices.  We can't seem to live without them and nor them without us. 
In conclusion, I have recognized that I have an almost addiction-like to use these electronics.  Therefore, I will now and in the future make a conscience effort to relate to people on a personal basis and not rely on electronics solely.  Certainly, I will encourage my family to do the same.  We will set rules about cellphone use in the home.  These things are our tools for us to use at our convenience and not at the expense of personal time with family or real friends.