The curse that is technology

Would I sound like a person who has been living with primates in the Congo jungles if I suggested that we would be doing ourselves and the whole world a great favour if we threw our cell phones, iPhones, iPads, Facebook, Watsapp et al in a sea?  This realisation dawned on me when I recently failed to get the attention I deserved while on an evening walk with my best friend.

Would I sound like a person who has been living with primates in the Congo jungles if I suggested that we would be doing ourselves and the whole world a great favour if we threw our cell phones, iPhones, iPads, Facebook, Watsapp et al in a sea?  This realisation dawned on me when I recently failed to get the attention I deserved while on an evening walk with my best friend.

Whereas her intentions were good, the urge to reply her messages, comment on several statues and watsapp her friends sparked off a remarkable change in what was supposed to be a peaceful evening walk.

It was after a heated discussion about the effect her facebooking and texting was having on our evening walk that she switched off her phone and I got all of her charming company, which was a wonderful thing to enjoy if only for a few brief phoneless hours. Then the evening walk was over and we were back to square one. No sooner had I pecked her good night, and the phone was back on with beeps every other second. That phone is always close at hand.

Technology has taken all our loved ones, from wives, girlfriends and several family members. Talking or walking with someone entails two things, one eye and ear on the person and the other eye, ear and fingers on the flashing lights of the mobile.

I might sound the jealous type since I’m not one to jump on any new technology bandwagon but I tend to turn off the few electronic devices that I own or ignore their constant beeps if I’ve got company. And I’m usually the odd one out when it comes to that sort of behaviour.

Ever realise how a person you invite, say, for a cup of coffee shows up, takes a seat and puts their gadget(s) on the table like as if to say “Hope you don’t mind but I brought my office/social life along too.”  Well, personally I do mind because I believe it is impolite. I’m further irritated and tired of having to mind my step because some people think they can walk, text and talk all at the same time.

Maybe the same was said by some worried people about books when they first started falling into just about everyone’s hands a couple of centuries ago. These days, thanks to all the new high-tech toys, it’s the books we’re trying to save from extinction. Probably we should also try to save our conversations and even the day-to-day details of our relationships from extinction.

 

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