Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In the Palm of my Hand

Just in my lifetime, technology has developed in incredible leaps and bounds. Even now, I'm enjoying the fresh, Christmas-y air as I type this entry on my iPhone.

There's no denying that the technological advances that have become commonplace have added tremendous convenience to our everyday routine. However, more intriguing (to this writer, at least) is how devices such as smartphones and satellites, Netflix and Facebook have changed social politics and the industries they purport to develop.

Certainly, having the ability to stay connected all the time and access virtually any little bit of information and/or entertainment without ever having to step foot out of your home is a remarkable feat. But, as comic book aficionados know, with great power comes great responsibility.

Often, we are so busy being inundated with data and chatting with our so-called "friends" online that no one ever stops to contemplate how all this accessibility is affecting the course of history.

With social media, increasingly elaborate video games and instant streaming of your favorite show or movie, there's no longer a need for children to go out and play, no reason to put all that electronic equipment aside and, y'know, connect with an actual human being. And then we wonder why obesity - both childhood and adult - has become an ever-worsening point of discussion.

While the eventual parent in me shudders to think of a world so overrun with technology that human contact becomes obsolete, I find myself struggling with the over-availability of information and distraction on a daily basis.

Am I saying we should deactivate our Twitter accounts and toss our laptops out the window? Of course not. I merely advocate a little more mindfulness of this growing reliance and, in many cases, addiction to technology.

Convenience it may be, but from my perspective, one that needs to be tempered with more moderation and self-awareness to keep humanity connected, happy and balance. Don't get caught in the World Wide Web.