Thursday, March 17, 2011

Worshipping at the Altar of Technology

I have been fascinated with new technology recently, ipads, Kindle, Smartphones and other shiny new expensive items that gently lure in unsuspecting victims. This is a new phenomenon for me however. I was the last in my family to get a cellphone, pleading ignorance and standing tall and proud among the 27 people (and my dog) left without one. What is it about constantly connecting with the outside world, with cyber space, with information? Why do I need to have access to my email, Facebook and library 24 hours a day, wherever I am? Is technology slowly replacing a Spiritual connection that Man has extricated himself from? For all its bells and whistles, or actually, beeps and flashing lights, technology can sometimes create larger problems in the communications arena. We now have to practice restraint of tongue and pen, as well as email and texting. How many stories have you heard lately of drunken texts on a Saturday night? Now the evidence is there, for replay or display. No longer can you tell your good buddy that she was imagining your slurred diatribe, because buddy has it right there, on her cellphone. I made the mistake of spouting off via text a few weeks ago and my relationship paid the price. Words are powerful, and when written and sent, the receiver has no access to inflection of voice or any explanation. They are left with five angry sentences, or are they tearful sentences? Or was it a joke? It is up to the receiver to interpret. Interpersonal communication is normally a two way street. Technology has made it one way, and without the sign to warn you not to enter. Crashes do occur. So I did indulge and bought the cell phone and I am happily downloading Boethius and Boccaccio for free (I guess they aren't that popular these days.) My relationship survived the evil text, but only after an hour of face to face conversation. Maybe there can be a compromise. All I know is that I just got a text, gotta run.