Living in a Tech World

Posted: October 7, 2012 in Living Out Loud
Tags: , , ,

Technology has changed our lives in many ways.  It’s changed how we conduct day to day business. How we shop. How we keep in touch with family and friends.  Land line telephones are almost primitive. We have GPS systems to find the local farmer’s market and our favorite DSW store.  We’re paying AT&T, Verizon and Team Mobile for minutes we never use because our conversations are being conducted through a series of text messages.  If we forget to TiVo or DVR that’s okay because we can tune in online and catch the missed episodes of our favorite television programs.  We no longer have to return to the doctor’s office for our CBC test results, we can obtain them online.  Google maps will not only give you a satellite view of your neighborhood, it will give you the exact street view of your home with your car parked in the driveway. (That’s real scary)

We’ve reconnected with former coworkers and classmates on Facebook and I will never understand why Twitter became so popular. What I’m doing every second of the day is none of your business.

When breaking news happens we don’t tune in to our local affiliate news station, we go to TMZ or YouTube. WebMD has become our second opinion when our HMO doctor prescribes some unknown medication.  (You have to check those side effects) For many people (mostly the uninsured), it’s become their personal MD when symptoms have lingered for days and the home remedies aren’t working.  Do you ever notice that every symptom you read about is the one you have?  “Oh my God, is it cancer?” 

Technology & Unemployment

When’s the last time you wrote a personal check?  When’s the last time you ordered personal checks?  I was at the market the other day and this elderly woman held up the line because she was writing a check for groceries.  I thought to myself as I stood impatiently, “People are still writing checks!”   Chase and Bank of America now allow you to deposit your checks without a deposit slip. You just slip it in the slot and it gives you a print out on the receipt of the check.  Check ordering companies are feeling this crunch in their bottom line.  We use to receive bank statements in the mail monthly.  Now, we get an email or text message, “Your statement in account ending 0000 is available for online viewing.”  With the introduction of debit we were screwed. We could no longer write that personal check at the grocery store three days before payday. Man, those were the good ole days. A personal check in many stores today is run just like a debit card. You will get embarrassed if the funds aren’t there.  (Don’t act like I’m the only one!)

If it wasn’t for junk mail Postal Workers wouldn’t have a job.  My local Post Office has removed all of the stamp machines in the lobby and replaced them with a machine that takes ATM debit to mail letters and parcels.  The situation has become so tenuous that the Post office is in discussion about cutting our mail delivery down by two days per week. Let’s face it folks – we’ve gone paperless with the companies we do business with.  With all this new technology at our fingertips why do we still have so much paper clutter in our homes and offices?  I don’t get it!  My home office needs a visit from Neecee Nash and the Clean House Crew!  Foolishness and mayhem with the paper clutter.  It’s gotten so bad for me that I only check my mail box twice per week.  Ninety-percent of what I pull out is junk mail.

Businesses like Hollywood & Mr. Video have shut down because of companies like Net-Flix.  Net-Flix is being replaced by those dollar movie vending machines found in most major grocery stores.  Major recording artist must have savvy business managers because I don’t understand how they’re making money. Why buy a CD when you can go on ITunes, preview the CD and choose only those songs you like?  That’s what technology has done for record sales.  Music Artists have to tour to make any money.

Big Brother is watching!  “Do you have your rewards card,” the cashier asks. They offer you small discounts in exchange for the ability to record your every shopping habit.  Yes people, big brother is tracking us.

Technology was created initially to make life easier, more convenient – but in actuality what it’s done and IS doing is turning us into recluse humans.  We’ve become slaves to the technology.  We may forget to grab the sack lunch we’ve prepared the night before to take to work, but heaven forbid leaving home without our cell phones.  How many times have you been late for work because you turned around to get your cell phone or IPad?

WHAT ONCE STARTED OUT AS CONVENIENCE HAS CREATED MORE STRESS IN OUR LIVES!  We use to wait on Fed-Ex to overnight our business documents. We get them the same day with PDF and an email address.  At work we’re performing the duties of three people, all because of technology.  We use to schedule business meetings and have at least a few weeks to prepare.  Now we have video conferences and Skype.  Video conference meeting for all department heads today at 1 p.m.  This is the agenda. Please come prepared and be prompt. 

There’s a war on obesity in this country. Blame it on technology.  When’s the last time you went outside and got some fresh air?  We sit at a computer terminal for 8+ hours per day and then come home and check emails, Facebook, Twitter and the latest hot gossip.  (How U Doin?)  Add in another hour for TMZ and YouTube videos and it’s time to go to bed.   We may have good intentions to simply log on and check emails and log out, but then our home pages have a breaking story that ends up keeping us at the computer screen reading well past bedtime.  It dawns on you, “OMG! I haven’t eaten yet,” but now it’s 8:30 p.m. which is rally too late to be eating. That’s the reason for your extra pounds.  Blame it on Technology.  Even if you have the luxury of Blackberry, IPhone or IPad, you’re still laying in your bed staring at a computer screen.  It’s more stress than you realize.

I made a conscious decision last year to get off the rollercoaster in doses.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.  I consciously vowed to:

  • Call my friends and talk as opposed to texting or emailing.  Periodically, I show up and surprise a few of my friends.
  • Unplug the Wii and the X-Box
  • Turn off the television and pick up a book.
  • Enjoy a morning cup of coffee sitting on my patio with the birds chirping instead of sitting at the computer.
  • Take a lesiurely walk in the park
  • Be more present in my own life.

Some technology is great but with everything that is good there is always a flip side.  What about you? What is technology doing to you and how do you find the balance?

Something to think about today! Holla if you hear me!

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Comments
  1. Raunak says:

    This is incredible…before reading this post I had made up my mind to write a post titled “Holla if you hear me!” 🙂
    Great analysis! Technology has indeed affected our lives in ways I could have never imagined. As Hal, a fellow blogger mentioned in one of his posts, “Our things are becoming smarter and we are becoming dumber”. And like he always points out, a majority of people are not even noticing the change.
    I find myself in a sorry state because I have seen the world without hi-fi technology and then I graduated right around the time that technology hit my country with a bang!

    • I’m gonna go out on a limb here and give my age group by saying that “I started typing with an IBM Selectric Typewriter” LOL I then graduated to the gigantic bulky word processor and then ultimately to the PC. Some of the technology I enjoy, such as the flat screen TV. That was a great invention because I’m one of those ‘less is more’ kind of people. I knew early on that technology would take over. It’s to the point where people’s jobs are being affected. Machines are replacing people at an alarming rate. The biggest issue though is in our human interactions. I remember the days when you wrote your home number on something to give it to someone else. Now you simply pass them your cell phone and they key it in. Young children can be in the same room yet they text each other. If I had not seen that with my own eyes I wouldn’t believe it.

      I read an article on MSN the other day where a young girl said her boyfriend texted her to break up with her. It’s insane! I’m one of the few in my circle of friends who still has a land line. I have a problem with the cell phone attached to my ear for extended periods of time. I don’t trust it from a health standpoint. In my car I use a Motorola Roadster. Face it, we live in a microwave society where everything moves at a very fast pace. I don’t see that changing any time soon. That’s for your contribution to this discussion. 🙂

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