I love and hate technology.
I'm guilty, so are you.
Technology giveth and technology taketh away.....
I don't know about you but I'm tired of technology. I felt urged to share some thoughts on the immediate social impact that I think technology is having on the human race.
Technology is keeping us in the 'hurry up and wait' game.
Let me explain: You log onto Facebook and then are saddened when you see no new notifications. Where is the reply? Why is no one liking my photos on Instagram? Why didn't anyone respond to my humorous quote?
We are so busy informing everyone about what we are doing that we no longer stop to smell the roses. It looks like insanity if you take a step back and see that everyone else is doing the same thing. You are competing for your family and friends limited attention, while at the same time the media is doing the same thing.
Who is to blame?
What about focusing attention on yourself? Shine the spotlight back on yourself for a moment.
If we spent as much time focusing on the bigger picture and real interactions, we would be much more productive as a society. Instead of asking "Why didn't this get done?" we should be asking "What is the best use of my limited time on this blue planet.
I'm afraid for the future. I am tired of seeing people alone in their isolated bubbles of tech. Everyone is literally looking at a screen all day. From the moment we wake up we immediately jump onto our electronic rectangle be it phone , tablet, or computer. Put more simply ‘device’. We check our emails before we take a shower and then catch up on some last minute work before we go to work.
We are drowning in information.
Information is freely available. It is all around us. If you look at Tv, you see ads for Twitter, Facebook and Google. If you are on the aforementioned sites you see ads for Tv.
I don't know what lies in store for us.
I'm looking around and I see too much technology. Let me tell you what I mean.
When I was younger, I used to sit down and watch a movie from start to finish without interruption. I watched the movie the way the director intended from start to finish.
Technology is causing increased distractions with normal social interactions. This is a test you can do with anybody your are having a conversation with. Start talking with someone and then see how long it takes before they pull out their phone or tablet.
When you are waiting in line at the grocery store, do you find yourself feeling your pocket for 'phantom' vibration.
We often kick ourselves if we forget our phone at home for the day. I’m saying try it. See how often you will be thinking on what you might have miss.
Worse still is when you are expected to reply to every instant message, voicemail or email that has been beamed to your body. How many times have you had to say "I didn't get that message, or made the white lie of saying "What voicemail?".... when you know you got it.
Tech has made me ADHD. I can no longer sit for more than two hours without checking something. This is entirely self induced. It's either Gmail notifying me once again, Facebook encouraging me to wish someone a "Happy Birthday" twice a day, and Twitter sending me the latest 'Vine' gimmick.
Seriously... 6 seconds. How much did Twitter pay for Vine? What is their return on investment going to be? Stop chasing gimmicks, start creating value. Let's see how fast Vine is forgotten.
What are my options?
One option is to do what Paul Miller from 'TheVerge' did and get off the grid, but that's nonsense. We need to be having conversations about the tech/life balance. Sometimes it's great to be aware. But when does it get to the point where you are so aware of a million little things, you don't look at the big picture. I see critical thinking going out the windows in exchange for quick fixes. If we as a society are going to improve, we've got to start from the ground up.
Option 2 is to become what I call ‘bubble wrap’ and take a step back.
Think of your body as the bubble and focus on your immediate surroundings. People watch. Think critically. Focus on something.
Ask yourself these questions?
Do I really need to check my phone every hour?
What am I really missing out on? For more on that check out the excellent Fear of Missing Out column here.
The information stream will be there when you get back. It's not going anywhere. Walk away. Explore your neighborhood, get out of the house, turn off the television, read a book.
Please share your thoughts. Are you inspired? Tired? or In the middle?