Friday, October 29, 2010

A gadget-lover's lament

I know the article is rather long, but the whole thing is worth sharing. I totally agree with him. It was hard getting rid of U-Verse and the internet, but we have been able to get so much more done at home and spend more quality time together. We have ALL become addicted to technology, and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea for people to start cutting back some. Here is a link to the whole article.

My wife and I are half-watching the ballgame on TV, because the Texas Rangers are up by six when the commercial comes on – a shiny new car, so advanced that it parallel parks so you don’t have to. It’s the second time I’ve seen it in two days. “That’s crazy,” I say. “What happens when it goes out?” “What are you talking about?” “This!” I jab my hand at the screen and shake my head. “We’re becoming useless!” Something about the commercial fills me with an old fear. When I was growing up, my family had a car with manual transmission. When my mother and I took trips, I was often afraid that something terrible would happen to her and I’d be forced to drive us to get help. The thing was, I didn’t know how to drive a stick. More and more, people drove cars with automatic transmissions, so I’d never learned how. When I look over, I realize that my wife has missed the commercial. Her face is lit by her cell phone’s blue glow. Facebook or work e-mails or cute animals.I think that all of these “advances” – the gadgets that clutter our lives with beeps are not only dumbing us down, they’re slowly making people helpless. I am by no means a Luddite. I love all my gadgets – the cell phone, Kindle, iPod, and laptops. On my computer, I can watch any Major League Baseball game I want, anytime. With video chat, I get to see my godson Miles even though he lives in Minnesota. Daily, I receive vivid photos of everything that’s picked from my folks’ garden via e-mail. Because of bleeding in my brain, I had brain surgery in 1999; the fallout from the procedure made some of this technology almost essential. As someone with a visual disability, I’m incredibly grateful for what technology has done for me.

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