I’ve soooooooo been off my game lately. Not that I’m complaining per say, but it’s starting to get a little ridiculous at this point. For the last several weeks I’ve consistently been thinking about technology and how it’s literally invaded the lives of everyone around me. I realized just how pervasive technology has been during the weekend teaching my daughter how to dial a phone number on a spare mobile phone we just activated for her to use when we’re not home or out on errands. I went back to my childhood and realized that I’d known how to use a telephone (ones attached to wires, hanging on the wall…..i’m old) around 7 or 8. Those were the days when you called someone and if they didn’t answer, no one was home. Getting in touch with someone was a crapshoot because the phones were stationary for the most part.
Back to my daughter, teaching her how to dial a phone number. She grabbed the phone out of my hand saying “I know how to make a phone call” then stared at the screen after going into the phone app. Well, she didn’t know and smartbutt had to give the phone back to me. I showed her where to dial in the number, how to select someone from the contacts list and how to add someone to the contacts list. There is a parental control app that monitors who gets added so I or my wife can approve/block/delete before she sees it if we feel it’s not appropriate. I showed her that only numbers in the contact list are allowed to ring through, all others are blocked. Really a slick app that I have installed in Parent mode on my own mobile phone. She complained until I told her she won’t have control of her own phone until she pays for her own phone, so the complaining was brief. A locked down phone is better than no phone I guess. Where is the drive to want to learn how things work?
I know how to use computers, technology in general, because I want to learn how they work and how to use them. Technology was a new thing for my generation and for those that took to it, bleeding edge stuff, its been a life filled with learning. Technology being pervasive and having invaded our lives completely, the drive to learn how things work and how to use them has diminished greatly. My daughter doesn’t want to know how the laptop works as long as the power button turns the thing on and takes her to her apps/games. She also doesn’t care how the Xbox works as long as it powers on and connects her to YouTube so she can watch stupid videos of other people recording themselves playing Minecraft. She has asked no less than 10 times for me to create a profile for her friend on our Xbox that I’ve refused to do with the statement “Figure it out on your own, you’ll thank me later.” She hasn’t even tried.
All this brings me to my off gameness. For the last two decades I’ve lived, eaten and breathed technology in all aspects. How quickly it has changed just in the last year or so makes me question whether it’s actually made my life better or not. I don’t talk with my wife while she’s on her phone, I refuse to compete with a glowing screen. I don’t ask my daughter to do anything while there is a screen, any screen, lit up in her line of sight. I also deleted Facebook, as you all know already, because there is nothing social about connecting with people through an application or website virtually. Many people my age, as I’ve read and talked to, are getting to the same point with the technology in their lives. I’ve even curtailed the amount of television I stream because, honestly, the content is getting contrived and commercialized. Watch Bill Nye Saves the World on Netflix and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I was a huge fan of Bill Nye The Science Guy back in the day by the way. I was disappointed with his new show.
Technology and me will be having a heart to heart very soon in the near future I think. I don’t think technology has good odds. Time will be the ultimate judge.