Did you know that in this day in age we as humans process more information in one week than someone in the early 1900s did in their entire lifetime? It’s a shocking reality but probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise because of the instantaneous rate that we receive information nowadays. Not only is our news delivered to us in a pocket-sized device, so is the way it is delivered. Short, concise, attention-grabbing information is the only kind we like to read or view; we no longer have time to scroll through pages of email or read long instruction manuals. Technology has made life easier on us in that way but has it also turned us into self-indulging narcissists with ADD? Well, I wouldn’t go that far but let’s think about that statement for a second. We are all seeking attention online by our constant tweeting, Facebook updating, and blog commenting we love it (and need it). It is in our nature to be selfish and self absorbed and mobile technology pushes that because everyone likes to feel important. Having something so advanced for our time has led to some of the most innovative work and yet, it hinders our ability to function outside technology. Don’t think so? Go a week without your phone, Facebook, or iPad and tell me you don’t feel a sense of panic set in.
There is no denying the immense impact the tools of our generation has on the world, but when it comes to the way we live our lives we may want to sit back and analyze what we are really doing to ourselves and our children. I can’t stand it when I see an elementary school kid with an iPhone or iPad. At that age there are essential social skills that need to develop and instead of interacting face to face with others, I see a lot of kids consumed by their devices. Getting a kid involved in social and mobile media too early can have devastating longterm effects. Kids don’t even need to know how to spell anymore since everything electronic has spell-check, penmanship has been treated with less importance now as well.
This topic reminds me of a Louis CK joke where he said: “Remember when you had a question about a something and if you didn’t know the answer….you just didn’t know it.” Are we so used to having answers available instantly that it has altered our behavior? Do we treat people and the world around us differently now that technology is so advanced? I think for anyone who grew up without the internet or smart phones, our behavior is not quite as affected. Most adults are able to separate the two worlds a lot easier than kids because we remember a different time and are able to indentify aspects of life without relying on technology. It is a scary thing when a kid doesn’t want to play and explore the world that is part of being a kid! Turning too quickly to the ease of the internet can make you miss out on the world around you.