Friday, January 7, 2011

too much technology

Currently, I'm living and working abroad in Morocco.  A recent trip home to America for the holidays has got me thinking about life in these very different developed and developing worlds.  As I sat in the airport attempting to catch up with a friend over the phone, I had two TV's blaring at me, a woman calling out over the loud speaker every 5 or 10 minutes, and not to mention hundreds of people moving this way and that trying to get to where they wanted to go.  I couldn't stay on the phone for long.  It was too much between the TV's, the loudspeaker, and the phone.  I couldn't focus at all.  There isn't the same level of technological stimulation in my face every day in Morocco.

A friend recently told me about how he saw an American family that was touring Morocco.  He saw them sitting outside a cafe.  The father sat completely enthralled by the pictures he was scanning through on his digital camera.  The oldest daughter sat with her ipod on completely into her music and not paying much attention to the world around her.  The youngest child sat completely mesmerized by the game he was playing on his ipad.  My friend watched as the mother walked out of a near by store, walked over, picked up her purse, and went off to carry on with her shopping.  Here are four people all together in the same place, but having zero interaction.

How does technology affect us socially and mentally?  It has this ability to pull us into our own world.  While I was home, I was completely entranced by my cousin's video games.  I have never been one for video games before, but something just sucked me in.  I've also heard it said before that one of the reasons why copious amounts of TV watching for small children isn't good, because it gives them a false sense of control over the universe.  They can decide what they want to watch, when they want to watch something, when to change the channel, and so on.  While technology entertains us, it can isolate us as well.  A lot of the times, it's hard to even be aware of it or even if we are aware, it's hard to disconnect from it.  I just hope we don't end up like those fatties in the movie Wall-E with nothing in front of us except a computer screen (see image above).

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