Thursday, July 2, 2015

Technology Strangling Us

Technology is strangling us. We are chocking ourselves with our own hands in our own homes.

What happened to actual face to face conversations, kids playing outside, calling up a friend to catch up, ringing someone's doorbell and seeing if they are busy?

Don't get me wrong - I know that technology has advanced medicine, science, space exploration, etc. I do love the benefits technological advances can have on our society, but I feel this is one topic that definitely has a double edge sword. We are loosing the ability to socialize, communicate, interact, and be humane. The more we spend time in front of a screen (phone, tv, computer, gaming system) the less we spend time in front of human beings. The more we separate ourselves, isolate ourselves, the more out of touch with reality we really become.

Think back to the days when you would run around outside and play. When you would stay out until the street lights came on or your mom called out the front door or on the phone to tell you that dinner was ready. Think back to the days when you would run down the street to your neighbor friends house and ring the doorbell, not to ding dong ditch them, but to ask if they were home and wanted to come out to play. Think back to the days when you wanted to spend every waking moment outside of your house instead of confined inside of it.

Now think about how today most kids are inside than out. Most kids live in a dual income earning family which means their parents aren't home to make dinner or check in on homework. Now, most people don't have friends in their neighborhoods because they have never met their neighbors. Its more likely you will text/message someone than you will call them or even have a face to face conversation with them. It is more likely that kids will stay in because they are afraid to go out.

Technology has done this to us. It has isolated us and has caused a decline in socialization. Teachers will complain about students using text lingo in their term papers, having an inability to spell properly, and not having the communication skills necessary to debate or argue a common topic. Mangers/Boss in the workplace environment will tell you that resumes that come through are horrendous, the amount of misspellings and errors are numerous and the lack of skills is overwhelming. Not just the lack of communication skills, but the inability to function appropriately in a professional environment. What is appropriate and inappropriate? The lines are skewed.

What happened to independence? People are growing more and more dependent on technology and less dependent on their own self. What happened to being able to do simple mathematical equations in your head without a calculator? What happened to knowing how to spell without spell check? What happened to learning?

I know many people will say that we should take advantage of technology - why should we do anything if a computer can do it for us? But then I think about that cute Wall-E move released in 2008. Everyone is living in space, fat as can be, vegging out, while being carted around in floating chair devices because they cannot walk or do anything for themselves anymore. I know that some may say that is extreme, but that movie is definitely a precursor to where we are headed.

Can you go without technology?

Live a day without your cell phone? Or at least a day with the data turned off?
Devote a few night a week to be technology free? Have a board game night, go to the park, have a family outdoor outing?
Try to cut your tv time in half - do the same for your device time.
Have a conversation with your dad, mom, kids, brother, sister, someone you love.

What would you do with all that extra time on your hands?

Devote it to your friends, family, community?!

Instead of texting each other throughout the house, get in their face and have that conversation.
Instead of gaming on your phone on the couch, pull out a board game and have fun together.
Instead of sitting inside watching tv, go outside and take a walk.

There is so much you can do and you have such limited time - why would you waste it and not invest it in yourself, your family, your friends, the people you love?!

Let me tell you - If you do not know those days, the think back when days ... then you have truly missed out. You need to start thinking now how you can make some of those memories so that in the future you can have some think back when days.

What will you do when you are 60 or 80? Your memories will be of everyone sitting around sucked into something else, instead of your memories being full of life, joy, happiness, and adventure. Stop letting technology strangle your life, your joy, your memories. Take charge and free yourself from that! Be the change you want to see in the world. It only takes one. Put down your device and pick up a new adventure, a new memory, a new future.

What will you do?

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