Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Thinking About Technology

It has been pointed out to me that I am disappointing my readers by not writing more posts to entertain and distract them from their uninspiring work. So, with that in mind, I bring to you a New Post. Thank all that is good!

Today I have been thinking about the benefits and hazards of our technologically advanced world that allows us to constantly be bombarded by distractions and multitasking on a level never even conceived possibly as recently as 10 years ago. Cell phones, text messages, banner ads (Remember those...are they almost gone? We've learned to tune them out so well.....), instant messages on our computers, Blue Tooth (Is the plural Blue Teeth?), constant email, laptop computers that can go anywhere, and possibly most annoying of all to me - advertisements along the bottom of my television screen while I am watching another show. Who the heck thought that was a good idea? "Hey - let's add an annoying animation at the bottom of the screen so people know what is coming up next and will stick around and watch it. Really?"

Don't mistake what I am saying - I love technology. My cell phone is with me wherever I am. I could not live without my email. My newest gadget - a Nuvi navigational device is a really cool toy. Still, I sometimes worry about the next generation. Teens seem to think it is OK to text while driving. Having a conversation - voice or text - during a meal out is commonplace. Surfing the net, doing homework, listening to an iPod and watching TV, all at the same time, is not a foreign concept to the students of today.

Yes, I am a student myself, and have been known to multitask more than might be beneficial to me at times, and actually almost understand it when younger people say they have to be doing lots of things at once. I think their brains have been programmed that way....or maybe it reflects a lack of ability to concentrate on one thing for more than a few minutes. Are we raising a generation of people with the attention span of a 10-week-old puppy, moving from one shiny object to the next? Do they have the capacity to have a face-to-face conversation unaided by any technology?

I am probably sounding old. Maybe I am. I think the school-age kids of today are amazing with their technological savvy and ability to multi-task. Those are skills that will undoubtedly be required in the world we have created, but what are the long-term affects of the constant stimulation? Will we see more depression? Faster burn-out? Less satisfaction with life overall? Or - will this generation adapt so well to the constant level of "noise" that they ride it like a wave and will thrive on the fast-pace of change that will likely characterize their lives? Ultimately, will the technology prove to be a detriment to their overall well-being or will they harness it to create the lives they desire?

1 comment:

Monogram Queen said...

I predict a back-lash soon and we will return to a bit more peace and quiet. At least that is what I'M hoping for!

There is a guy in my math lab who sits next to me. He keeps his cell phone on when it is expressly forbidden and he is on it every class. I'm sitting there trying to grasp angles and degrees and such and Grrrr....... I'm not a tattle tale per se' but I just might put a little bug in someone's ear.