Sunday, October 7, 2012

Technology...Friend or foe?

I am an advocate and follower of technology, but when does technology go too far? I love the idea of being able to do research in a moment, and have all the information I need at my fingertips. I think the idea that I can be almost anywhere and have the availability to be able to do a radio show, call a friend, get information or be in touch or available by my phone. I also like the idea that I can have a phone for my elderly Mom where she can be reached, or reach me if something good or bad happens. I guess where I start to have a problem is when we have passed by normal social skills and the devices have become more important than interpersonal relationships.

I posted on my Face Book today of a recent visit to a restaurant where a family of five sat across from me, and after ordering their phones and I Pads came out. From that time, through dinner and up until they left not a word was spoken, nothing, not one word. I also, in my post said I was brought up at a time when I would never thought of bringing a device to the table. The table was conversation time, talking about the day, the night before, upcoming events, school and just getting caught up. Although we did not have the technology, if we had at that time, I think manners and etiquette would have won out. Today, social skills are lax, respect is at an all time low, and customer service is almost non existent. I remember I tried one time to bring my "computer of those days", my etch a sketch to the table, I never did it again. You would have thought I started a world war, but I never tested those waters again.

Is it that we just do not care about how rude we are, or do we just get so entranced with the devices that we just lose all track of manners and social obligations. I fear that today's  friendships are just based on totally different levels? I am sometimes just perplexed how we will do anything to have our devices close at hand, or in hand,  and we have totally convinced ourselves that without them , or checking in with them continuously, we will be out of touch. I guess I get it a little, I have friends that have gone out of the country on a cruise, where a signal was not easy to find and for a few days they actually went through withdrawal. They said for two days the were in a total funk and did not enjoy anything they had planned. The third day they started to realize how ridiculous this was, and by the end of the trip they could have cared less about their phones. They also said, almost in the same breath, that once back in the satellite area it took almost no time at all to be back in the world of smart phones.

Will it get better or worst with our reliance on these devices, worst for dependence, better for the technology is what I think. Will our manners and priorities go back to where they were? I think the jury is still out on that...

1 comment:

  1. How do you know that each family member wasn't updating their Facebook page so all of them could "catch up" with one other in that way? I mean, what, do you live in the stone age? Geesh.