Technology Vs. Social values

With thanks to my vast array of technological wonderment in all it’s varying levels of extortionate costs – simply because of a picture of a window or a half eaten apple on it – it means that I do not need to physically engage with people too often! What an age we live in!

How many times have you ever had this kind of conversation:

“Hey – have you heard that Brenda has got a new job? I’m so happy for her!”

“Yes! It sounds like a good move for her”

“When did you speak to her?”

“Oh – I didn’t. I saw it on Facebook”

Yup. We now have the ability to know everything about our friends and family, without any form of physical interaction between us! How amazing is that! Or…. is that amazing? (NOTE: Any relation to a real Brenda is merely coincidental). Is it a good thing that I know all about the lives of people who I genuinely care about, but have not had any kind of personal contact with for years?

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I went for a walk with my beautiful dog the other day and I forgot my phone. I FORGOT MY PHONE. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I went to reach for my right pocket in my jacket and realised that I had no contact with the outside world. For 45 minutes, I couldn’t crush candy, or snoop on my friends walls, or see what people were twit’ing about. And… it was lovely. Did you know that you can actually see the sun and the countryside without the use of a filter? I KNOW! It blew my mind too! But… what is a beautiful view without LIKES. It almost felt wasted. It was during that walk that I remembered that real life is really rather wonderful. Life doesn’t come with a logo. We allow ourselves to become enslaved to a half eaten apple, or a singing Sam (past tense). Happiness is behind the screen. I guess life is what happens when you are looking at what Derek had for lunch. It’s not just our phones though. I’ve lost days and days to the TV in the last month alone. I remember an English teacher at a school I used to attend. He said that he didn’t own a TV. Obviously, as youths, we laughed about him and thought he was odd. But now – as I’m approaching my 40s, that sounds like a wonderful way to be. When you drill down into it, unless we are watching programmes which can better ourselves, then we will stay hooked on this drug and never become anything more than we already are.

Techno boffins believe that robots will destroy humanity. Mr Hawkin believes that we have 1000 more years left on this earth before our creations become our demise. Happiness is knowing that I have a few more changes of underwear to go before that happens. Some may scoff at this fact, but it’s easy to see how technology has taken our lives and transformed them. They mean that we don’t need to leave the house to do… anything anymore! We don’t need to meet with people. We don’t need to go to the shops. We don’t need to go to the banks. We are becoming less healthy, and susceptible to illness due to sedentary lifestyles. Yet – we seem to be telling ourselves that our lives are getting better due to technological advances. I know I am guilty – on numerous occasions on a weekly daily basis of going online to check my banking, and then get side tracked, and start looking for pictures of abandoned houses, followed by dogs wearing socks, and then realise that 3 and a half days has passed and you have failed at life.

So – what about the positives to our gizmos? I have done a fair bit of moving about in my 36 years on this planet. As such, I know people all over the place, and social media allows me to keep up to date with their goings on. It reminds me to get in touch with them – and subsequently… forget to get in touch with them. I think if used wisely, technology can be a worthwhile resource to enhance our lives and make us happy – but in the present day, I think we have over tipped the scales, and it is actually making us unhappy. I made a conscious decision this week to allow myself a certain amount of time to use social media and random Googleness, in order to meet up with friends and get to know people again. To go out and purposefully leave my phone at home. To not switch my laptop on in the evening and to enjoy time with my boyfriend.

So – I guess I wanted to ask you – dear reader – the question: Does your phone, tablet, laptop, generic MP3 player make you happy? When you were growing up, did you see you life how it is today? Can your laptop help you to become your childhood dream? If you spent less time on Facebook, could you learn to become a better person?

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