The Digital Age – Is It Hurting Us As Much As It Is Helping?

I am really beginning to question my relationship with modern electronics…seriously…

I recently moved, and unfortunately, our janky phone service provider has yet to transfer our service after almost two weeks. So, I still have NO INTERNET SERVICE AT HOME…

Ugh…

That is, with the excepton of Windows Mobile 6, which I am using for the first time in a few days because my Blackjack II went psycho on me this past week. Just got my new one via FedEx today. So, I was VERY frusrated all weekend.

I mean, REALLY frustrated.

And when I saw the FedEx truck outside, I literally jumped up and down and began clapping and singing. I was actually surprised at how excited I got. I don’t think a PDA phone should be so serious in one’s life.

However, as I look back over the past week, the interruption in my multimedia communications made me very irritable. I was a bit of a mess. Since I am a stay-at-home mom with very small children and a hubby who works second shift, it can be difficult to just pick up and roll out to the nearest WiFi hotspot. I finally had that opp today – and it felt good.

I know that it was a good thing, but it actually FELT good.

Is that bad? Has our digital society created a new addiction? We know that internet and cellular technologies are awesome for connecting people with information and other people, but what about the connection that is created with these mediums themselves? Is it unhealthy? Is it only to be expected?

Is it a conspiracy? *raises one eyebrow*

What do YOU think based on your own experiences?

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8 Comments »

  1. Nicole said

    It’s a catch 22! The digital age is great in the sense that it’s connecting us with the rest of the world. It’s allowing us access to information that makes us more knowledgeable and globally aware.

    However, as much as it’s connecting it is also making us less connected. Look at all the kids who no longer have to engage in conversation with their parents on those long/short car rides b/c their IPods and PSP’s have their attention. Look at how many kids don’t play outside as much as we used to b/c they’re online, playing video games, etc. I also notice that kids don’t know how to communicate face to face or verbally b/c they’re so used to text messaging & instant messaging. (I know this is a lot in relation to the youth, but hey I’m a teacher!)

    From the adult perspective, I think technology often times makes us too available to people b/c our cell phones are always on, and for some crazy reason people always expect u to answer it.

    And everytime I get on the computer to write, why do I find myself on FB or checking my email.

    Even though all of this technology is great, sometimes I wish things were much simpler when I didn’t have to wear glasses b/c staring at the computer screen all day has ruined my eyes, when there was no caller ID, when everyone wrote things down instead of using a digital voice recorder and PDA, when buttons such as “fast forward” and “rewind” were as hi-tech as it got… (Notice, I said “sometimes”)

  2. The General said

    Well said…

    That’s why don’t believe kids should have persnal technology the way that many of them do. Access, yes, but ownership and complete control? No way.

    It’s like when we were in school and they forced us to learn all of the long mathematical calculations by hand before they let us use a calculator to do it. It ticked us off, but we were smarter as a result. I have a business partner who went to school BEFORE CALCULATORS WERE INVENTED, so he learned Calculus with like, a slide rule. Aaaagh! But, needless to say, he is much better at math than you or me.

    Long story short, too much tech dumbs kids down and numbs them out.

    But on the adult side…

    I can’t say that I wish things were simpler EVER, lol, but I’m sure in many respects I would be better off…

    But, I just love to have information at my fingertips SO much that I can’t imagine how I would live without it…

    For real, I mean, how would I LIVE?

  3. Massai Warrior said

    I really agree but there needs to be some balance of technology with real life experience as far as our youth are concerned. Im a teacher as well and nothing is more disturbing than students who dont have enough writing experience to know the difference between what you say and what you write( or even to know the difference in write an right). If I see one more paper that actually has “you know what i mean” or “like talking about it” which (in Va) are very common spoken phrases but should never be included in writing a paper. I have also received papers with text-language incorporated. I like that they have developed an efficient means of tele-communication that saves typing time but that has no place in academia.

    Also, both youth and adults need to realize that just because something is posted on a website that doesnt make it credible. Everyone points to Wikipedia as the worst source for info but they actually have a better verification process and system of checks and balances than most independent sites from lesser known companies. Some web sites are very biased in their research and if you only look at any one site as law you may find yourself very misguided. We have to be able to discern when someone has an agenda other than presenting the facts via the web. Alot of websites are internet-editorials in the sense that they only provide fact according to the designers opion on the subject.

    As for my blackberry, and my laptop they control my world, business, documents, finances, and everything else from music to pictures( who still makes physical photoalbums?) I often wonder what would happen if the internet was to crash, globally? If every computer in the world gave that blank unable to connect to server page? Would we be able to function in a post internet-world? I doubt it……..

    Midnight

  4. The General said

    VERY good points about the credibility of web sources…

    I hope that some authors and bloggers get a chance to read that one!

    And I HATE when people write like they speak outside of blogging and social media. It’s very sad that these students don’t know what is proper and what is not. I sympathize with public school teachers, but I SO hate public schools…but that’s a hot topic for another day…I might go there soon…

    Wow…a post-internet world…it would be like “I Am Legend”, except for electronics…

    That was a VERY disturbing movie, by the way…I’m just saying…

  5. Gene said

    Man, I don’t know what I would do without modern technology. I’d probably be a monk in a monestary somewhere.

    I want it all or nothing at all. Maybe that makes me a bonehead…maybe not.

    I don’t know…but I am posting this from my smartphone, so it doesn’t really matter now, does it? LOL

    Go tech!

  6. Remember when the phone rang and we just answered it? How weird is that? No idea who was on the other end and we just picked it up with a laissez-faire attitude!

    That said, if I’m stuck getting somewhere based on someone’s verbal directions… you know I’ll get lost.

  7. This site is giving useful information. I think technology often times makes us too available to people. Our cell phones are always on, and for some crazy reason people always expect u to answer it.

  8. The General said

    Thanks for joining in, Madeleiine and Dany 🙂

    I hope to see you here more often…

    Madeleine, I am not so cool yet that I only know how to follow GPS directions…but I do much prefer Yahoo! Maps over your mom’s crappy verbal directions that will get you all turned around! LOL

    And Dany, I agree with you and Nicole about how people expect you to answer it! I screen unashemedly…will look at your number on the screen while it’s ringing, and NOT answer.

    Hey, I’m trying hard not to be a slave to the technology…

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