In Defense of Reverse-Technology

I’m telling you, we got this ALL wrong.  We need a do-over!  Remember that scene in the Superman movie, when Margo Kidder gets caught in the car and dies, and Superman goes into space and does his speedy flying thing in reverse of the earth’s normal orbit and time goes backward?  Yes, that’s what we need.

When “they” say that technology has made our lives easier, I call bullshit. No,no, no, it has not.  For one thing, before cell phones, if my daughter ran out of toilet paper, that was her problem.  I wouldn’t be getting 36 text messages about it while trying to have coffee with a friend.  Yes, remember face to face interactions?  I still have those.  I didn’t have to listen to that strangers loud one-sided phone conversation while trying to have lunch and read the paper in peace.  Never did the thought cross my mind that someone might take my photo surreptitiously as I wandered into Starbucks in sweats with my bed-head and yesterday’s make up.  And that’s just the beginning people.

And let’s talk about productivity shall we?  I am old enough to remember when we had to WRITE things…letters, cards, school papers, checks even!  Do I wish we still had to?  Of course not!  The time saved is a spectacular human achievement.  But here is where we misstepped ladies and gentlemen.  We should have stood back and said, wow, look at that. We just took a process that used to take 163.75 hours and shaved it down to 6.2443.  I’ll be taking that 157.5057 hours (you can check my math but I used my smartphone so I think it’s right) and heading to Maui for 6.5627375 days (again, thanks iPhone!).  Instead, when we got to that fork in the road, we took the road most traveled and filled in those 157.5057 hours with more work.  Why??  Who was in charge of that decision?  Think of what our lives would be like if we had taken the other route!  Oh, the fun we’d be having!  We’d be fat and tan and happy.  We’d be masters at hula dancing and fire eating.  We’d be well rested.  Stress would be a thing of the past.  We’d have LIVES.  Heavy sigh.  I love that alternate version of human history.  I really do.

Enough about productivity then.  Let’s talk humanity.  Technology allows us, with all its magical abilities, to completely avoid any and all human contact.  Yay!  You can work remotely, order groceries and dinner delivered straight to your door.  Out of toilet paper (sorry, I seem to be fixated on TP)?  Google shopping express to the rescue!   Need to pay bills?  Took care of that years ago with on line banking!  Oh, and if, at some point, you get lonely and need to reach out to someone?  Skype, FaceTime, Facebook and Snapchat are here to ease your pain.  Thank goodness we have all of this at our fingertips because, really, people suck don’t they?

I think we need a reverse-technology revolution.  This is a call to arms my friends!  We can start small.  No one will notice at first.  When the next advance comes to pass that makes it easier for you to get your job done, just work LESS.  You’re remote, who will know?  And with those extra hours you have at your luxury, venture outdoors.  Meet a similarly adventurous and brave friend for coffee, or lunch even!  A whole meal together!  And spread the word.  Eventually, we can piece together these little pockets of time we collect into bigger and bigger blocks of time. You can take the dog to the park. Or go to a museum.  And someday, a girls/guys weekend!!  I know, I know.  It’s big thinking isn’t it?  But I have faith!  We can do this!   We can correct our bad decision at that technological fork in the road all those years ago.  Who’s with me??!??

5 Comments »

  1. You know all of this technology actually makes me sad! Especially, how kids gro up these days! Nobody seems to talk to each other anymore it’s all online and on Facebook! Instead of meeting people just chat!! I mean really? We humans are people who are born to socialise and it makes us happy! If we don’t socialise and learn how to deal with social situations and only focus on lonely and jobs, we will lose our empathy and don’t actually live anymore. Stop caring because we don’t have to care anymore besides our own needs…

    What is actually sad is the TV programs for kids! Parents there days (not all of them of course) think that they can sit their kids infront of a TV and hope that the TV program will reach them! Actually research has shown that TV programs have 0 effect on learning!! What thrives us are human interactions!! If children grow up already receiving less attention from the start I think we will find more and more children presenting ASD (autism)/ antisocial behaviours…

    and even if technology helps us to save time we actually don’t use this time effectively, but we really should spend time with our friends and families because those are the ones that make our live worth living and full of memories ❤

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  2. Interesting thoughts. I agree, of course, but Derek is very interested in the whole artificial intelligence thing. As I understand it, you could essentially download your brain into a computer and not really need a body. You could “live” forever. That whole thing just boggles my mind, but it is very appealing to Derek.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I still write cards, checks, letters (not even on the computer!) – but it is hard to find the time because I have to WORK! What normal person looks forward to a gross medical procedure just to get a little ‘vacation’?! Life is out of control – especially in the Bay Area. Work isn’t everything and we know that….but why can’t we (I) act on that?! Well written Li – as always…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There may be something to the “road to hell, paved with good intentions”. It is up us to use those intentions for good, and set “gulp” by examples, exploring our own possibilities….one step at a time! I personally am very glad technology allows us to stay connected, in virtual time…let’s do this!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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