Is technology the great enabler? Or is it the new overlord and are we its slaves? It's an interesting question. Has technology freed us? Or are we trapped and enraptured by its increasingly captivating and enthralling digital attraction? How often do you find yourself, on any given day, checking your email, iPoding, gaming, IM, texting, phone-calling, net surfing, TV channel surfing, shopping online, etc?? Ask yourself this question... Then, perhaps consider drawing up a timeframe of your daily use of all of these technology-enabled enhancers and see how much time you get to spend walking in the country, reading a novel, painting or drawing, chatting to your partner or family, cooking a meal, enjoying a fine wine and conversation or just enjoying another's company.
The discussion covered in the article below shows that now, at the dawn of the 21st century, we are facing a paradigm shift in our culture. Technology has become so widespread and all- powerful, it bestrides our lives like a colossus. Personally, I can say that technology enhances my life - it empowers me and I get enjoyment from it. I can't imagine a world without DVD or digital TV, the internet or computer games, and yet, I remember a time when none of these things existed. What did I do to fill my time? Well, just different things. If you are an inquisitive, intelligent human being, you will always find something interesting to keep your mind occupied, even in the most barren of cultural circumstances. But, I suspect if you go to locations in parts of rural Africa, where food, water and the basics necessary for living are plentiful, rather than much of the blighted areas of that continent, I wonder how the sense of happiness and fulfilment in life of those people would compare to our own? Are they more stressed than us? What is the incidence of violence, tension, frustration, bullying, greed and mental illness? Think about it...
But there are also times when I must check myself and say 'right, that's enough'! I am sure there have been occasions, (perhaps at my lowest), when the internet has become almost a crux or addiction. When my online existence has become more important than my everyday existence. It's funny, but there have been moments when, by conecting with other like-minded individuals online, people who I do not get to meet in my everyday life, I have felt less alone in the world, and perhaps less isolated too, knowing there are others out there who think and feel the way I do. This can only be a good thing. It is at other times though, when a hobby or interest begins to dominate your life, that you should take a long, hard look at things and question what's important and what's make believe, and what should take priority.
The paradox about modern technology is that it brings us all much closer together and yet at the same time, leaves us increasingly isolated. Given that we are a social species, instinctively inclined to group activity and gathering together, this new order should prove to be more hard to handle for some. Others, like myself, on the other hand, prefer it. I can say that, (on the whole), I enjoy an isolated, solitary existence. I am sometimes never happier than with the peace and quiet of my own company and thoughts. Indeed, one of my most loathed environments is the monstrous modern shopping mall, that haven for greed, excess and pointless, vacuous wandering. There's a well-known zombie flick from the 80's set in a shopping mall populated by the braindead undead. That is how I view these places in the real world. I avoid them like the plague. So, for people like me, Amazon and Play are a boon. If I want to, I can shop til my hearts content, and there is so much more choice available online, than in the shops in pre-internet times. And all from the comfort of my own armchair. It doesn't get better than that.
We live in interesting times.