Technology a metaphor for mankind

By Nicole Daughhetee

I have to initiate conversations with my children that my mother never had to navigate when I was growing up and her parents never even dreamed of when she was a little girl. Trite or cliché as it might sound — life really used to be so much simpler than it is today.

For all of the conveniences it offers, technology has opened a veritable Pandora’s Box of potential dangers and portals for nefarious-minded individuals to reach into the lives of those of us trying to live the best way we know how.

Brian gifted the girls with tablets for Christmas. They have been cautioned, ad nauseaum (the only Latin phrase in my repertoire), about taking care of this hand-held, high-tech gadget because of its value, which means not leaving it outside or on the floor; keeping it in a protective case; being mindful of water or other liquids which would drown its inner wizardry and so on. You get the picture.

Never once did it occur to me that I would have to give them operational warnings ensured to protect them from content they might receive or transmit from their tablets because, in my mind, the devices were glorified game boys and mini-movie theaters.
I realize we can’t go back to the days of rotary telephones and typewriters any more than it would be feasible to crawl back into the womb, but there has to be a way to keep technology from so territorially encroaching on every aspect of life.

And I am just as guilty of this as anyone else. Too often I might opt to play some inane game on my “smart phone” in lieu of selecting a book off the shelf and reading.

Did you know that after 244 years of publication, the Encyclopedia Britannica is going out of print?

I love Google. It is easy and convenient to look something up in a jiffy, but I loathe the idea of a standard source of reliable information going away because it is obsolete. But this seems to be the trend when it comes to how we treat objects that have outlived their usefulness, isn’t it?

How many people repair things when they break? Very few. Instead we toss the old one out and shop for a newer model. In our society, everything has become disposable.

Sadly, we treat people the same way. In other cultures, elderly people are revered for their wisdom and respected for the experiences through which they have lived and the knowledge they are able to impart as a result.

What do we do with our elderly? We send them away to homes so someone else can care for them in their heightening state of obsolescence, and, on some level, so we are not reminded of the fact that with each passing day we become more and more out of date.

The gift of gadgets has certainly impacted the decline of humanity, but we can’t blame it all on technology. We still have minds of our own capable of making and exercising our own better judgments if we could unplug them long enough to connect with people and the world around us.