The Dark Side of Tech
This is somewhat a sentimental post, soon the music service I use Google Play Music will be gone. It will become YouTube Music.
I love YouTube, sometimes it does weird things, it isn’t perfect, but I remember in college having 1 project where I had to post a YouTube homework project and it was kind of awesome.
I felt like spiderman.
For a shy person like me, I would have never otherwise experienced that.
After I got the grade I took the video down, it was a yoga video and I’m horrible at yoga, I didn’t want people getting injured or anything, they were asking how long to hold the hip opening position and I don’t know I just had to do the home work…
I think time and time again I go back to the Jurassic Park quote that technology is changing so fast, and we are all still running to catch up.
The world has just changed so radically, and we’re all running to catch up.– Dr Alan Grant (Fictional Character)
Today I saw the first genetically engineered lizard on YouTube (my daughter loves lizards).
It makes me mildly uncomfortable to see that technology advancing, I’m in favor of it, yet I can’t even imagine a world where humans don’t someday abuse it… I wonder how much it will cost my husband to make a younger wife if the average natural human sells for $75 on the black market? More or less?
I remember being a girl, having my great aunt as a pen pal and thinking, almost everything has been invented in her time, phones, electricity, televisions, I was about 8, so it would be 1985 + 8 = 1993… I had no idea tech shit was about to get real during my life as well. The internet, functional MRIs, the human genome project. The only thing constant in my life time has been “no consistency whatsoever.”
I’m a bit jealous of those born before or after, I was born in a gap, tech wasn’t the world when I was growing up, but nor was I free to go have a romp at the beach, it was the era of hyper phobia of kidnapping so indoors but with Lincoln Logs and light bright rather than a play-station and YouTube.
So I’m young, but not that good at switching technology. The older I get, the younger I consider myself now, that’s interesting… so I’m a young technophobe, who used technology for everything (because don’t we all?).
Stephen King wrote a book about cell phones killing everyone, I’m closer to that side than the normal side… I don’t have a cell phone, an AT&T sales lady pretty much had a brain melt down when she tried to figure out how I could possibly live life.
Even in Cuba when I said I didn’t need wifi, the young lady didn’t understand what I was saying, her parents did, but she was struggling to comprehend someone passing a short vacation with no wifi.
I was just too used to driving before GPS to need it now, already used to setting meet up locations with family or driving together, and in an emergency I can use a stray pay phone or ask someone, usually I ask someone and they are nice and I have just a bit more faith in humanity because a stranger took the time to GPS me to where I was going that next to no one knows how to get to anymore.
I got my first cell phone at 16, but almost never used it, all around me people were using phones, but apart from holding jobs that require them, I just don’t feel the need.
Most every time I would have wanted a cell phone in an emergency I had a cell phone with absolutely no signal, so than why?
I was an EMT for years, who am I going to call? If 911 someone will be nice enough to let me borrow their phone or call for me.
Anyways, thank you to Stephen King for setting the precedence that phones are still optional.
My husband emails me from work very occasionally or just waits and talks to me face to face, or video chats our house video. No phone doesn’t mean no tech, it’s just something I don’t find I need in life.
If I did have a social life, I guess it would have made a difference, but after 3 years of becoming fully absorbed with my first child, when I accidentally washed my cell phone breaking it, there was no social life left to loose.
And in that moment, I felt free, I didn’t like life better with a phone. I didn’t want another one.
I don’t expect most people will understand that, but it was a defining moment in my life. I wanted to be there more with my daughter, and there was that chance to be the person I said I wanted to be staring me in the face.
I just took it and ran, and I’ve never looked back.
But I do feel like people won’t understand that life worked perfectly well before phones and can also work without them still. I don’t want to argue about it, but I know my life has been better prior to and after me having a cell phone.
My car insurance company for my husband’s commuter car that he calls my car because it is a Honda Civic, sent me $8.07 since there have been fewer cars on the road, fewer accidents, they refunded me what they saved, the letter said they hoped it could help me and my family during this time.
I was thinking they were lying thinking $8.07 could help me and my family, but I know I don’t really know, I wondered if it was possible.
I opened a Robbinhood.com account and after sending a picture of my social security card and manually adding my bank information, I’m still waiting for the bank verification deposit step to be finished, but I plan to see if that $8.07 really could help me?
Mostly I hate feeling like I don’t do anything towards my student debt, so if I got stocks with dividends those could pay some of the student debt interest. Even if it was next to nothing, I think it would feel good to be attempting to be fiscally responsible in some way. That’s trying to pay a $43,000 bill with a $8.07 check, it would be fun if it worked out. Also if I could just do better at increasing my investments than my husband does it would make me happy on the inside.
My son got a stock for his birthday this year since we couldn’t have a party, my daughter wanted some out of jealousy, my husband thought he could do better than the safe ETF we were choosing so he picked his own (went crazy), our daughter’s God father started, his son, now it feels like I’m the only one in the world with no stocks… so hopefully that verification goes through so I can be making money off an app for the first time rather than wasting time or loosing money.
I don’t know if I would have chosen to live in this time if I had a choice. So much deep pleasure comes from taking a long walk, the sun casting shadows through the trees and things that are usually brushed aside in the fast-paced world we live in now.
I have ample opportunity to make money (but I’m also shackled with debt from a very expensive educational system). It’s all opportunity and no free lunch here in the US. There is that chance to win a dream vacation and the odds that you will take less vacation than everyone else short of North Korea… (I don’t have any idea how many vacation days they get to be honest).
Without knowing how it really feels, I think I would trade with Henry David Thoreau and live in the past, but hopeful as him, because women’s rights were seldom better than they are now.
The Romans founded Rome with all men and then just invited people over and abducted the women, women used to be like something you just pick up at Ikea, toss out if you want a new style and leave on the curb if you were moving… My great aunt, left by her mother at a train station to “find a husband” at a crazy age like 8 or 12 (I don’t remember clearly and she is dead). I just remember being the age she was when she was abandoned by her mom, crazy enough she met her husband, he just got her at the train station and as far as I know, they were happy, they had only 1 son, who seemed really nice, though I didn’t know him well. The truth can be so much crazier than fiction. My grandparents on the other side, my grandfather had a Harley and wanted to drive a schoolgirl home, she declined but offered him to take her friend instead, who was my beloved grandmother.
Both my parents, my maternal grandparents and I were all married because 1 of the people specifically was attracted to the butt of the other party.
That kind of low-grade technology of do you like their butt enough to get married? has been around for time immemorial and I wonder if technology will change or not?
I wonder if the impact of technology is superficial or deep, does it change the way we conduct our lives or go deeper and change us, what we choose to conduct. Does it change the symphony, the score or simply the way we conduct?
There won’t be much data ever, I don’t think anyone will live without technology by choice, no sample size large enough to accurately compare what will happen.
Do cell phones cause brain cancer, I think sometimes but not much, they sure do cause breast cancer if worn in the bra… do cell phones annoy me more than they improve my life, yes, that I know.
I wonder if at any point I’ll be mandated to be cell phoned, if I will go a few more years without one or if it will become like the Afro hair cut of Bob Ross that he became known for and couldn’t get rid of?
I’m mostly not missing much with no phone because I can just use a computer and they have a larger screen… but somehow it feels quite different. With the computer I have complete control of what I do, with the phone I had a tendency to check, see there was nothing, then check again, wasting time… or constantly take pictures of my kids, but at the cost of seeing them with my own eyes in real time as a part of their lives rather than a lens.
It’s outside of my hands and there have been beautiful advantages, being able to see all my favorite artist in a recorded live concert via Youtube is just amazing, free sheet music for the piano that moves for me as I practice, any language to learn for free, most of human knowledge at my fingertips, you readers, who I love, it’s so much I almost want to say it’s worth what we have lost. But I can’t, because I don’t know where this will end, I don’t know that the psychological well being of kids and teens turning down hill doesn’t have to do with technology, I don’t know what the cost will be of all these advantages, but I believe there will be some.
For very young children tech use stunts their brain growth, not because it is evil, but because it takes the hours of the day that once belonged to worthy pursuits away from those pursuits, moving, dancing, socializing, playing, some of those get replaced by something good, yet less dynamic, less suited to how our brain was meant to be.
I think my main complaint about technology is not what it is, but simply that it is capable of replacing things in life that were more important, more fulfilling, but harder and easier to be replaced.
To tech or not to tech that isn’t the question, the question is what does it cost us? What does it replace? Is it worth it in a gestalt way?
My grandmother used to play Atari with me, before she died of brain cancer, while scientists worked towards someday creating albino lizards.