Today's Technology

default article imageIt’s been 2018 for about two months now and I am in awe of how “futuristic” our everyday lives are becoming. What once was thought as space-age technology is now a reality, and it doesn’t look like it is going to stop any time soon. The other day I was babysitting and the little girl was showing me her new iPhone X (because all 5th graders need one, right?) and how she no longer needs to physically type in a passcode, but rather her phone unlocks based on facial-recognition technology.

My jaw was on the floor, yet this 11 year-old thought nothing of it, now I know how our parents and grandparents must feel each time we show them some new flashy feature that our phones and computers are capable of. At what point does this influx of innovations become too much? Have we surpassed the point of no return?

Throughout this semester, in each one of my classes we have been discussing the effects that technology and the ever-present stream of media has on our environment and society. Each discussion sheds a light on just how addicted our culture has become and how it is changing the very social fabric of humankind. When you think of it, we’ve adopted a whole new language and set of rules on how we communicate with one another.

Ten years ago if you asked someone to “follow” you or “link up” they would look at you like you had ten heads! And let’s not forget how crucial and convenient the introduction of emoji’s have become. As fun as these little text graphics can be, deciphering what they mean can be just as nerve racking as deciding whether someone is angry with you based on their choice of a period over an exclamation in a text.

I know I sound ridiculous, but I know that so many of you have been in the same boat trying to decide how to respond to a cold shouldered “k.”

Even though this new form of communication is rapid and supposed to make our lives easier, would it kill us to pick up the phone for once and have vocal contact? Or an even crazier idea, face-to-face conversation! (And no, Facetime does not count)

I am certainly not hating on technology and our culture’s bizarre new social habits, but I am wary. It seems as if people have become a whole lot more narcissistic, but at the same time, their self-esteems have stooped to a new low.

People post #selfies and we think “Wow, they must be so confident,” or “I wish I looked like that” but let us not forget the world of filters and retouching apps and this whole new marketplace of tools that allow us to alter ourselves far from our true self. Sure, that person might think they look great in their picture and feel confident enough to post it, but what if they don’t receive a certain amount of “likes” within the first five minutes?! (The HORROR!)

All of the sudden that “confidence” they once had is deleted, just like the picture they posted, then took down several minutes later.

Perhaps I sound like a broken record to you, and if that’s the case, don’t worry, you are in no obligation to “follow” or “like” me. But for those of you who this might have struck a cord in you, do me a favor, put down the phone and go say hello someone, talk about your day in real time, post a picture because of how awesome you think it is, not based on how many “likes” you will get.

People survived for thousands of years without technology and I think, if we try really hard, we too may be able to revert back to that mindset, even if just for a minute.