Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Information Age...

We're here. We have landed. Smack dab in the middle of a Brave New World. Anything we want to know we can find out in an instant, with the click of a mouse, the type of a button, or the tap of a screen. We are flooded with facts, details, photos, and videos. Not only can we find out anything we want to know, but anything we want to get is only a few clicks away as well. New living room furniture, that antique out of print book, prescription medication, and hot young asian chicks. Doesn't matter what it is. We want it? We've got it. It's absolutely fabulous in an "Idiocracy" sort of way. Has it made us lazy, selfish, less patient, and more reckless?  Sure it has. No doubt about it. But...it's the Information Age and there's no turning back now.

So... information is one thing. We could debate the benefits and downfalls until we're blue in the face and really it won't matter. There are benefits and downfalls to everything. But communication is another thing. We have also entered into the age of Instant Commincation. We have facebook, were we can keep all of our friends (and the other people we don't really know) up to date on our every action, meal and shit of the day. We have instant messaging were we can chat live with those we know and those we don't. We have Ipods, and Ipads, and laptops, oh my. We have smart phones and text messaging for instant communication and information on those rare occasions when we are away from our Ipods, and Ipads, and laptops. We've got it all, baby. We really do. And while we know what the informaton age has done for us, both positively and negatively...what has the commincation age done?  Has it improved our communication?  Has it increased our communication?  Sure, we can do things instantly now. Instanty. In. An. Instant. But we don't, do we?  Remember the old days...way back before all of this fabulous technology?  We had basically three ways of communicating. Letter writing, telephone (yeah....that's what we used to call it.) and face to face. Back then if you asked someone a question when you were standing directly in front them they couldn't take hours, days, even weeks to answer your question. That would have been...umm...what's the word I'm looking for?  Ah...yes. That would have been rude. But, now...with all of our means of communicating, we are almost refusing to comminicate. We're lazy. We think...I can respond anytime and then we don't. Or we're selfish and noncommittal...we think...I'm not going to respond until I find out if there's something better to do. I'd like to say I still know a handful of people that will make plans and stick to them. I can't though. I know exactly two. Having the ability to do everything instantly has turned us into proscrastinators. We can put if off. Why? Because we can do it instantly... whenever we get off our lazy asses and decide to do it.

Communicating. We are overloaded with ways to do it and we will continue to do it less and less.  As a society it almost seems like we've become that child who gets everything, all the time, whenever they want. We've become spoiled and we appreciate nothing. I hate to think our relationship with other human beings has taken a back seat to our relationship with technology. I hate to think it. But I do. How often have you been out in a public place, sitting at a table with several people and everyone is on their phone. No one talks. No one makes eye contact. I've been on the recieving end of this and I'm also guilty of it. Why not?  I'm part of this New and Exciting age too. Without internet access I can actually start to feel myself dying. Seriously. I can.

So what's the solution?  There is no solution. The world changes and people change with it. Some changes are inevitable, but some remain individual. We can choose how we handle ourselves in regards to other people. I know everything is too damn easy now and as a rule we humans tend to get bored when things are too easy...but really...if we all make an effort (a really small, microscopic effort) maybe, just maybe we can try not to be such technological douchebags.

OCM...who leaves you with this quote as we move forward into our  Brave New World..."And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn't just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!"  Joe Bowers, Idiocracy

1 comment:

  1. I think about the same thing. It's not only scary, but sad too.