I was recently out with a couple of friends and I asked the question, “What will life be like for our generation 25 years from now?” There were some quick mental calculations going on as we all figured out how old we would be, and how old our kids might be if we had any. They shared their thoughts and then inquired about mine. That’s when I summarized my concerns about Technology and I’ll go into more depth here.
Technology – it’s something that younger generations can’t imagine living without. Those of us who were born in the 80’s are probably dependent on it by choice, but the generations after us are fed, entertained, and taught by it. Think about it – with a few clicks of the mouse just about anyone can access everything about you: your name, age, SS #, your interests, hobbies, profession, approximate salary, the cost of your home, even a picture of your driveway! You can go a year without handling any cash since bills can be paid online and your purchases made the same way. Before too long, you might not even have to enter a grocery store, as you may be able to make your purchases online and have them delivered to your doorstep.
Great? Maybe. Think of all the pollution that is elimanted by people socializing, shopping, and working from home. The convenience is out-of -this- world, as everything we need is just a button-click away. The choices are endless because technology allows our purchases to be personalized just for us. The world has become smaller as from our couches we chat with people all around the world. Distance has been scaled down to fit a computer screen.
The cost? High. We may be limiting environmental pollution by using less transporation and less paper for mail, but moral pollution is also a mere mouse-click away. Pornography can be accessed by a slip of a key in Google Search and marriages can end in a chatroom. Autonomy can disappear as we allow convenience to erase caution and privacy is a few years away from history. I haven’t even begun to touch on the consequences technology will have on the interpersonal skills of our children (that is for another blog).
So what about Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Ipods, Ipads, electronic transactions, Amazon, chatrooms, webcams, Droids, Ebay, and the myriads of other things I don’t even know about? Are they truly moving us forward or are they actually taking us back to the future?