I went to Best Buy with my boyfriend today. As soon as we walked in I felt like I was entering into a wonderland. I didn’t used to be a big technology person, but my boyfriend LOVES to have the latest gadget, and his addiction to technology has certainly rubbed off on me. We spent about an hour (maybe more, I’m not really sure) looking at 3D TV’s, Bose headphones that block out the sound of a jet engine, dozens of laptops, the flashy new iPad 2, and so much more. It’s times like those that I wish I had a million dollars so I could buy everything in the store.
The point of telling you all this is to emphasize how technology is increasingly dominating the lives of our generation. It’s constantly changing, and as a result, our daily lives are constantly changing as well. Technology is literally dictating the way we live. It’s certainly fun. I’m not gonna lie, my iPhone is practically a daughter to me. I once lost it and as stupid as it sounds, I couldn’t stop crying about it. It was returned to me though, THANK THE LORD.
But at the same time, arguments can be made for why technology shaping our lives more and more is a bad thing. For one, the more we get connected to our gadgets, the more detatched we get from the world around us. We’re so hooked on our iPhone or iPad or Macbook Air or 3D TV that we don’t socialize with others the old-fashioned way (ya know, face-to-face conversation). And we don’t notice that beautiful sunset as we walk down the street. Or if we do, we’re too busy taking a picture of it with our iPhone that we don’t get a chance to just be in the moment.
So is the advance of technology and the effect it has on our lives a good thing or a bad thing? Honestly, I’m ambivalent about it. So, here’s a couple of articles – one that discusses the benefit of technology for our generation, and one that discusses the negative.
The NPR article “With Technology, Out-Budgeting the Baby Boomers” discusses how today’s technology is helping our generation to budget our money better than the baby boomer generation.
“Daniel Roth, editor of Fortune.com, says it has become much easier than ever before to track what you’re spending and how much money you have. For example, you don’t have to wait until the end of the month before you get your statement — you can see it right away by logging on to the credit card’s website. People have alerts on their mobile phones to let them know when they’re about to overdraw”
I feel that our generation loves to spend money, and isn’t wary about overspending. So certainly having a tool (in the form of technology) to help us budget better is a good thing.
However, this Los Angeles Times article, “The Inhumanness of Technology“, explores our dependence on technology above human interactions. The author interviewed social scientist Sherry Turkle, who has researched this topic. The author asks, What’s your take on twitter and getting to know others through status updates and tweets? Her response:
“There’s something I thought was a danger for the future, but I see it has arrived. I’ve been asked: “What’s wrong with getting you in little 140-character status updates? Doesn’t it sort of add up to the whole person? Why do I need to get the whole person? What’s the value of being with each other physically?”
I think that we need to be more fully present to each other.
We’re human animals. I feel that, sitting next to you, looking at how your face moves, looking at your eyes, the inflection of your voice, how you look, how you dress. I feel that you have taken me in, and I have taken you in, in ways that really matter. That we’ve revealed each other to each other.
People have a fantasy that we don’t need to be with each other. So, what am I afraid of? That we will lose something very precious about our humanity”
What Turkle points out is definitely true. I’ve witnessed it, and I’m sure you’ve witnessed it as well. It’s both sad and scary. But as I mentioned above, there are benefits to advanced technology. So after reading about both sides, what do you think?