If you searched it once, you’ve searched it a million of times; can you imagine an age where Google didn’t exist? Where to call up a friend, you had to actually walk down to his/her home? Technology has brought humans a long way, but how far has it brought us backwards?
On my way down the highway the other day, I noticed amidst a bunch of warehouse-looking buildings a single two-story house. It was in the middle of a small field bordered by the warehouses.
I can’t help but wonder who lives there. The house looked newly built and well-kept. There was no driveway leading to it from what I could see. Perhaps there was one behind the house? The field around it was of a yellow somewhat-long grassy plant. Perhaps a farm field?
Seeing the lone house made me think about the mass industrialization our world is experiencing, and has been since the Industrial Revolution. Our generations are living in an age where technological advancement define progress. But can technology really be a good indicator of the advancement of our species?
I know there are a number of arguments that say yes, but I personally lean towards the side that says ‘no.’ I feel this way because from what I’ve witnessed from peers, family, and the media, things that take one away from a sense of self and family often lead to unhappiness. Technology, or more specifically the use of, is one of those things. When you spend 80% of your waking hours on your computer, or television, or game consoles, you really are losing a lot of precious time. I’ve played my fair share of games, and I’ve watched movies on my laptop; heck I’m on the internet writing a blog right now. But you know, if there is one thing my mom always tells me, it’s that the internet, video games, television – they will always be there. You can buy a DVD of your favourite “How I Met Your Mother” seasons, or play “Amnesia: The Dark Descent” a million times over. Assuming you keep your computer and discs in good condition, these things will be there for a very, very long time. Compared to human relationships, your body, and your growth as a person, mentally and physically, those things are immortal.
But as humans—no, as living things, we have a timer. You can play a million video games before you reach the age of 12, but there will always be new ones coming out year after year after year. But if in the time you could be playing video games you make a new friend, say that kid down the street you always see walking his/her dog or that neighbour who always keeps a bird feeder in that tree on their front lawn, that relationship can grow into something much more enriching than any perfect score or PS3 trophy. That friend could be the one that holds you tightly when you’ve lost something as precious as a life, or when your heart has been broken. Bonds take time; they require effort.
But so does talent, and self-discovery. Get off your couch for a couple of weeks and go for a jog during that hour you would’ve been watching your favourite soap opera. See how you feel; do you have more energy for the day? Take up those painting classes you’ve been thinking of attending instead of buying the latest sequel to Call of Duty. Try your hand at baking some creative baked goods to give your son, daughter, beau, belle, parent, or dog. The fulfillment you get in your heart will be far more pleasurable than any ultimate suit of armor in Assassin’s Creed.
I’m a gamer; I know it’s hard to stop something like playing video games. But just try it. I’m sure you’ll discover something about yourself that you never knew of before. I can’t promise you it’ll be a fast transition. Nor will I say you can accomplish “technology divorce” completely. It’s all about moderation.
Time yourself the next time you sit down at your computer. How many hours a day do you spend in your computer chair? On your couch? With some sort of electronic device (cellphones and mp3’s are included) in your hand?
If there’s one thing I can guarantee you, it is that by coming to terms with technological-addiction, you will be more satisfied with yourself. I swear my favourite koala aviator hat on it.
Because time waits for no one. Don’t let it run out before you realize what was in your hands is now months ahead of you.