We have 21st Century, an age which was supposed to be full of new inventions. All science-fiction movies made in the last century hinted at least at promise of easier and healthier life. Beam me up, Scotty…
I see no positive changes, I think that technology, especially communication technology, has become uncontrollable and is more abused than properly used. I am not only talking here about the information overload, I am more about using that information for all wrong purposes. Consider this:
- Terrorists and their acts would be not “advertised” so quickly all over the world as they are now.
- Current London riots would not spread so quickly and would end quicker.
- Young teenage girls or boys would not be ridiculed or abused over the net.
- Children would not fall victim to molesters using social network or instant-messaging sites.
- Your not-so-official pictures would remain not-so-official.
- Instant communication is like an instant coffee – seemingly the same thing as real coffee, but somehow it does not taste the same. We can answer in minutes, but do not really bring the issue forward, as the question and answers tend not to be thought through.
- We have lost personal communication and surrendered it to the web. We have social networks, but no social life.
- We pay way too much for things we never use or for things we don’t even know that we have used.
Of course you may add that thanks to the same technology, we can see what is going on in Syria or Egypt or Iran in real-time. Yeah, we can see, but what can we do or what have we done? Nothing. Those tragic messages instead of becoming a basis for swift reaction of numerous organisations have become doubtful entertainment for the masses.
I am convinced that the speed with which we are being fed (seemingly new) products is too high. Manufacturers of all the new toys are using social pressure in order for us to have always the latest, coolest, “best” product. Just see Apple and their iPhone 1, 2, 3, 4 and now 5. Next year everyone will be chasing number 6.
Through this we have forgotten that those toys are nothing more than tools, not proof of your intelligence or social acceptance. If you give up to them, you lower yourself to the level trend freak, always dependent on the latest hype, feeling worthless if you did not manage to catch up. You are a fish on a hook.
The circle is unfortunately feeding itself – new communication tools spread news about newer communication tools. Never-ending story of unlimited choice and ever-growing complication. I have made a conscious decision not to participate – I buy things which serve my purpose, not things which are just new and are considered “good to have”. Cool for me means useful.
Obvious question remains – what shall we do in order to stop this? I have no medicine for product dependency, but we could limit some of the damages brough by the happy messaging or social networking – remove anonimity, force responsibility for words and actions in the net. The same as on the street or workplace. Not a cure, but at least a start.