Sunday, February 8, 2009

Technological Turmoil

Once, I was at a store quite a distance from my house, when my phone died. I panicked at the thought of driving all that distance home with no phone. I mean, what if something happens? So I went next door and bought myself a car charger for my cell phone.
When I got home, I couldn't help but laugh at myself. I mean, it was a mere few years ago that people didn't have cell phones at all. Now, the thought of a twenty minute drive without a cell phone is enough to send me into a state of panic.
And I laugh even more as I look to the future. How many more years will it be before people will panic at the thought of driving anywhere without a GPS device?
All that got me thinking. Is technology really so good? We have come to rely on it to an extent that we can't even bear the thought of attempting to function the way we did a few short years ago.
So as our brains are slowly replaced by artificial stupidity, I can't help pondering. How did I survive the days before cell phones? Texting? Remember the days when you had to develop a whole roll of film just to see your pictures? Remember the days when looking up a phone number meant opening a phone book, not clicking onto the white pages online directory? Remember the days when communicating with someone meant talking to someone on the phone, not IMing, texting or emailing?
And yet I like it better this way. So while I feel my brain slowly fizzling away and making it's way to the Great Circuit Breaker in the sky, I am cool with that. I like technology. I like it that when insomnia hits at 4 am I don't have to get out of bed to type up my random thoughts. I like it that I don't print out (develop LOL) every last picture I take, putting myself at further risk for blackmail.
For now, I'll leave Grandma and Grandpa behind to tsk tsk at what the world had come to. I like progress. I like change. I like brain-numbing technology.

17 comments:

BigChamor21 said...

Hmmmmm....
It gets me nervous when people ask me how I survived without my cell phone and talk about how everything was so much simpler back then. I'm sorry, but they were NOT.

Something Different said...

BC21- simpler don't always mean better. Does this mean we agree on this? And...ahem...grade?

corner point said...

There are pros and cons to both sides. Personally, I also cannot imagine living without all these modern-day wonders. One of my professors was talking about when she was in grad school and when they did research for a paper, they actually had to look in *real, non-online journals*, and researched everything from *books* in the library!! I can't imagine how much harder they must have had to work. Hmm....and always had to plan ahead. Thank G-d I'm in school now! :-P

It's not like we can do anything about technology, anyway. If Y2K couldn't do it, nothing can :-)

Child Ish Behavior said...

It's only bad for the times when it isn't available. So keep it available and its win win all around. Dependency is not so bad, after all who can truly be independent of everything in the world? Life is nothing without our creature comforts.

Mikeinmidwood said...

The worst thing I know is the portable telegraphs that we have. Not only do the rabbis dislike it but I find it very disrespectful to text away when you can talk to someone instead.

Bas~Melech said...

Many will contend that our brains do less work, and hence are weaker, than in previous ages. I don't fully agree with this. I think we use our brains DIFFERENTLY now. Sure, people in the "olden days" probably remembered more phone numbers and addresses and all that. But the greatest professors of yesteryear rarely handled the amount of information that passes through a high school student in a week. The major difference is that previously there was much more focus on remembering things, whereas now it's become more important to actually manipulate the information, often with a great deal of creativity. There is so much going on that it would be a futile waste of time and effort to try to store it all in our brains when instead we can deal with it, store it on a chip for future reference, and move on.

Whether this is an improvement, I'm not sure. But it rankles me to hear older people say that this generation is less intelligent because their brains face very DIFFERENT (not LESSER) demands. Kids these days may not know all the state capitals, Hamlet's soliloquy, and the first 50 prime numbers, but they are asked to do more reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving in one day of school than their grandparents did in a week.

(and CP, I think the only advantage of paper research is that it gives these people a rationale for waxing poetical and claiming that younger people are lazy.)

[/soapbox]

Something Different said...

CP- Wow, I never thought of that. No...omg my assignment is due tomorrow thank God for wifi.
I wouldn't want to do anything to technology other than further it. :)

CIB- No, my theory is keep it available. It's easier that way. That's why I bought myself a bigger pocketbook. Like this, I can carry four different chargers around with me on a consistant basis.

MIM- You are probably right, but it comes in handy somethimes. Think: Visit to grandparents, boring grandfather telling long drawn out stories, and you and your sisters dying of boredom. So while yes, you are sitting next to eachother on the couch, texting is a real life saver.

B~M- couln't have said it better myself. :-p THe very same people who say we don't think enough are the ones who call in their 10 year old grandkids to help them log into their email. But then again, these are the same people who walked to school uphill both ways....so who are we to talk?

Katie said...

I know someone who chats w/their grandma on AIM!!

tembow said...

I like the advancements in technology. it's really amazing!
i have a teacher who says that at this point in history a new generation begins about every 5 years because there are such changes in the world and technology every year that we grew up in a totally diff generation than the kids who are 5 years younger, or 5 years older. it's so true. if you're 20, think of kids who are 15... they prob got cell phones much earlier than we did, learned to type earlier, could use a computer when they were really little, maybe they even know more about some tech stuff than we do!

Something Different said...

KT- omg. THat is seriously funny. I'd need a communication method with the next world to chat with mine...but aside from that I still can't relate. HaHaHa

Temb- It's true. When I conived my parents into getting me a cell phone when I was in 11th grade I became the height of coolness. And now my elementary school siblings just take their cell phones for granted. It scares me to think of me being the clueless 'ol grandma in a bunch of years. :-O

Inspired said...

Technophile here:)

I like your SHIDDUCH-O-METER, the 7.1 doesn't blend in though;)

Something Different said...

Inspired- Not more than I. ;) Yeah I am working on knocking it off, but it will take nine months... :( Maybe I should just take it down?

Inspired said...

Probably not;) Maybe you should keep it there as a motivation, or is it?

Something Different said...

Insp- Well, I dunno. It is kinda sad that I went up so much, and at the same time it is upsetting that I know my next one will be worse. :(
But then again, maybe having it there will embarrass me into behaving myself...

Inspired said...

Why the bad attitude? You can do it! If this is the situation I would say keep it there...:p

Something Different said...

Insp- :( Ya know what? Since this morning I only...
[looks around. no shadchanim. continues]

I only checked once. I am not improving my a1c this time. :( I wish I were. Right now YOU are inspiring ME.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

It's funny I'm reading this now, because just before in my phil class we were discussing this. My professor was saying how a cell has become a necessity, and that if she leaves home without her cell she will turn around to get it. That what if her kids need to contact her, or while she's driving something happens.

and I like technology too!

Katie: I have my grandmother on my g-mail chat list! lol

(thats the only comment I read, cause it was short, running out of time)