Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cost of Technology

Posted By on Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Next time you’re out and about, look around and count how many people have their heads down, buried in their smart phone, texting away as they try to walk down the street (or drive). Now look around your neighborhood coffee shop and see how many people are more engaged with a laptop than a living person.

Technology has unquestionably made giant leaps in the last few decades, ingraining itself in our daily lives in ways science fiction writers only dared to dream of in the past. Case in point: you’re reading this on ye’ old Internet. But recently, some are starting to speak out about both the loss of control we have over our own lives and the loss of interpersonal skills in society.

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers—yup, the folks who brought us the iPhone, iPod and iPad—recently said we have “lost a lot of control” because of our dependence on technology.

“We can’t turn off our Internet; we can’t turn off our smartphones; we can’t turn off our computers,” Wozniak said in an interview with CNN. “You used to ask a smart person a question. Now, who do you ask? It starts with a g-o, and it’s not God.”

CNN even created a series of articles called “The Loss of Privacy,” laying out how casually people post the most private information about themselves and how horrifyingly easy it is to glean just about everything about someone’s life just by doing a little online research. All too often, that information can be used to do harm.

Even the folks at National Geographic Traveler Magazine are weighing in. In the January/February issue, writer Christopher Elliott discusses how we’re missing out on the experiences of life by always having our eyes focused on one screen or another—whether it’s the kids watching a movie on a road trip rather than the scenery or a adults so concerned about updating their Facebook status that they miss what’s going on around them.

None of these folks is taking issue with technology, in fact, they all admit that it has made our lives easier by far. Their point is that with technology, like with everything else, a little moderation goes a long way. Maybe we should all just look up once in awhile. Remember, a conversation is like texting, just without all that typing.

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