I'm so glad you could stop by. This is my personal blog of daily life and my journey through life. You will find a strong emphasis on family and friends as well as finding my ancestors through genealogy. Unlike my other blogs this blog is more of a catch-all so any topic is fair game.

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Technology Comes With a Price

I mentioned yesterday that I'm a techo geek.  I love messing around with any kind of technology.  Technology affects every facet of our daily lives indirectly and directly whether we like it or not.  Even the Amish who shun technology are affected.  I'm sure there are many examples of technology at work that I could use but you know one that I like is I do a lot of home canning much like the Amish.  I use a pressure canner just like the Amish to process my home canned foods safely.  The thing is the pressure canner would not even exist if it were not for technology.  When most people think of technology they really mean a lot of the newer technological advances mainly electronic that have cropped up over the last few years.  These technological advances are absolutely amazing and yet many of them are coming with a high price tag.  Consider:

  • video games - These range from hand held devices to consoles and any other version.  Children are spending so much time playing these games three things are happening.  Their imagination is decreasing, their social skills are decreasing and their weight is increasing.
  • computers - At the click of a couple of keys the computer brings a multitude of desired information into our homes.  More and more communication is done online to the point some have figured out they can survive quite nicely without ever leaving home.  Honestly there are very few things you can't order online including groceries delivered right to your door and you can do all your banking online so there is no real need to have to interact in real life.  The downside is computers can also bring in all the ills of real life society as we are quickly finding out.  
  • online social networking - There are many examples of online social networking (eg. Twitter).  We are reduced to conveying our thoughts into 140 character tweets.  It becomes a way of communicating without leaving home so again it can be quite isolating.  This is not necessarily a good thing for those prone to depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) especially when there are sites that feed into that depression by encouraging suicide.  Social networking has widened the path for child pornographers and social predators as well as increasing the chance of identity theft and/or other online scams.  A growing problem is assaults/murders/rapes and break-ins as a direct result of revealing too much personal information via social networking.  Some have paid a huge price by revealing something, usually pictures on a site like Facebook that is incriminating to the point they lose their job and some have even had legal problems as a result of information revealed. 
  • health problems - Increased use of technology has led to an increased sedentary lifestyle.  We are seeing increased levels of obesity especially in children and complications of obesity like diabetes.  Those in northern climates are showing an increased level of Vitamin D deficiency which was always a risk but with staying indoor for longer period of times it is now a real problem.  Cell phones are creating a radiation risk that can cause health problems to the point one Canadian MP wants warning stickers put directly on cell phones.  It doesn't help that children as young as 5 regularly use cell phones even though their bodies are still developing.  Gadgets like Walkman's and iPods have contributed to an increase in hearing problems at a much younger age.    Some have even said that the increase in daily use of the electronic technology is one contributing factor to the increased incidence of ADD/ADHA as children lose the ability to focus. 
  • family values - The constant bombardment of electronic technology is erroding family values.  Quite often a family consisting of two adults and two children aka the average family can go through the enitre day with little to no real interaction.  What is happening is 4 people living in the same home each goes their separate ways losing any semblance of a common goal of working together as a family unit.  That's a real shame!  Texting and emailing or instant messaging cannot take the place of real life, face to face contact.  Calling on the cell phone is great but not if used as the primary method of communication. 
  • personal satisfaction - Electronic technology has lessened the personal satisfaction one is able to achieve.  The reason is this technology feeds into instant gratification.  Unlike reading or even watching television, most online activities or other newer modes of communication gives instant results. 
  • loss of physical resources - I do a lot of genealogy research.  Instead of spending a couple of hours on the road one way, delving manually through stacks of musty, dusty stacks of resources after spending a few hours finding them then paying upwards of $1 per sheet to print I can sit in the comforts of my family room in my pj's and housecoat sipping on a lovely latte I can find a considerable amount of information without leaving home.  I can download images and print for a lot less than $1 per page.  At the same time the lower cost to me combined with personal convenience is contributing to the loss of physical genealogy resources.  This applies to other physical resources as well like libraries, information centres and services.  Heck, even the utilities refer you to their website rather than helping you on the phone! 
Garden Gnome

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