Technology has its upsides. There’s no doubt about that. In fact, the existence of technology is based on the premise of making things easier (well, depends on who you ask). Still early into the relentlessly innovative 21st century, people from all around the world continue to have a front row seat to the show of crazy ideas coming to surprising fruition. Seeing and, in some instances, using these inventions is incredible. Whether it’s a fully electric car, a future commercial flight to space or a smartphone that operates as a handheld computer, nothing seems off limits. The latter is the most fascinating at this point because of how it defines the days, hours, minutes and seconds of our lives. Checking email, text messages, the Internet, pictures, videos, social media, countless apps (informative and silly) and a bevy of other distractions take us away from what’s occurring right in front of us. On too many occasions, we (myself included) have our heads angled downward.
Unfortunately, this is not the only thing on the downward trend.
When convenience consumes too much of our reality, the responsibility for personal interaction declines at an equal (and frustrating) rate. One shouldn’t rely on the easy disappearance and avoidance of providing answers to a variety of questions behind our battery-charged electronic devices. Silence is the easy non-response, but it also is what’s found in the gutter of social interaction today. Even if the answer to a question is not good news, at least there is some degree of closure. This type of finality can at least allow someone to know the truth and move on with their day (and lives in some cases). But with our “smartphones” and its instant access and responsiveness, as well as its prolonged avoidance capabilities, communication is too often a fractured practice nowadays.
So many aspects of modern life have been made easier than decades earlier with the breakthrough of various technologies. However, maybe there’s a problem here. Is it possible that these new social norms/”shortcuts” have stripped away the necessary completeness when it comes to personal interaction and communication?
All I can say is I was supposed to go to a Goo Goo Dolls concert with a girl I’ve been dating for 3 months last night and I was blown off without a single text, phone call or hint of a notice.
That silence produced more heartache than one of the band’s classic hits.
Maybe we don’t need smartphones…maybe we need better phones with a built-in app called common courtesy.
How to make an entrance?
Walking into a room the right way can, in some instances, change your life forever. Most communication between people is non-verbal, therefore it’s essential to put out the right tone at all times. People are everywhere, which heightens the need to distinguish oneself from the pack. In some cases, this relates to romance and, in other situations, it’s all about the business at hand. Subsequently, introducing oneself into a new environment requires a suave quality from the school of George Clooney.
Today is Thursday, so the following clip is a throwback to a man who always knew how to make an entrance.
Plays with Squirrels Eric, take it away…
Happy Throwback Thursday!
What do “The Goldbergs,” a CD player with headphones and telephone poles have in common?
They’re all connected: 20th century style.
Oddly enough, being connected used to be construed as a bad, complicated mess. Wires would hang from everywhere…and then pop up somewhere else. Recall the triumphant house lighting scene from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” when Ellen has to navigate her fingers through a clutter of over-plugged outlets? This maze of confusion led innovators and inventors to draw a blueprint, but without a pencil or pen.
In a single word: wireless.
This reality was new, cleaner and more efficient. Consequently, we discovered space in our lives we never knew existed or thought was even possible. Along this evolutionary track came cell phones that increasingly functioned as handheld computers with surreal power. Included in the capability to make phone calls internationally while situated in virtually any location (as long as Sprint is not your provider) is the capacity to share random events, thoughts, pictures and videos through a myriad of social media platforms.
The range of practicality ranges from necessary to fun, as most aspects in life should. But will this ultimately be a good conversion for society? While wireless technology certainly has its benefits, there are drawbacks as well. For instance, what if a satellite is down (“Gravity”) or what if there is too much signal traffic that prevents the completion of a simple phone call or necessary internet search? What if there is an emergency, but every phone or communication device is formatted to the digital grid and the grid is temporarily malfunctioning or is broken?
Think Time Warner Cable…or Sprint. But with a wider reach and dependability.
Marco Santana of the Des Moines Register wrote an article about wireless and landline phones that was printed in USA Today on March 31st of this year. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which twice a year tracks the percentage of households that still use landlines, reported in December that 35.8% of U.S. households have gone wireless-only, a 77.2% bump over late 2008.”
Landline phones and landline technologies seem and feel ancient, uncool and not applicable to 21st century endeavors. Except that, in emergencies or situations when a person wants to actually feel connected to something, he or she would probably find assurance in holding an off-white receiver with a stretchy cord dangling around like a cosine wave.
It feels as if we are all entering the digital era of no return. However, like most things, balance is a good thing. Will the future be purely digital or will it develop into a hybrid of the past and present/future? Will analog become a legitimate backup system?
Point of consideration: Retro is considered cool for a variety of reasons and can even be viewed as a pausing mechanism to modern practices. This goes for clothes, lingo, general behavior, music, movies, toys, communication devices, etc.
It’s strange: the more connected we get by transitioning to digital technologies actually makes us less connected in the literal sense. More of our lives continues to float upwards into the ever-expansive and mysterious cloud.
What’s next? Fishing without a pole and worm?