28 March 2014

What We Have Become

    As I sit here and write these thoughts down on my computer and am amazed at the wonders that technology has brought to us over the last few decades, I have to wonder what the long-term impacts of this will be. Technology is a neutral item. It can be used for good or bad purposes depending on the person utilizing it.
     I am reminded of the scenario from Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and the discussions between Kirk, Spock and McCoy over the Genesis Device. The device is seen as a benefit to everyone, and yet the question is raised about its use as a weapon against those with whom the holders of the weapon might disagree or be in conflict with. The question is not answered, nor should it have been. It is an eternal dilemma that we all must face at various times throughout our lives. Spock summarized things rather nicely by pointing out that the Genesis Device is neither good nor evil, it simply is and that the intent of the user determines how it will be perceived by everyone else.
     The emphasis on things, and not people has become a central facet of our daily lives. In the grand scheme of things this is nothing new. The invention of the telephone freed people from the necessity of directly interacting with others face to face. What we are experiencing today is simply a continuation of that process. The art of human interaction seems to be taking multiple hits, but I don't think it can ever be totally replaced. It is sad that we have lost so much in order to move forward, but sentiment is something that seems to be sorely lacking in today's world.
     I work with technology on a daily basis. I use technology in my personal life as well. I try to draw the lines rather clearly between the two, although I am not always successful. I cherish my time with other people. I enjoy the chance to talk and interact with them on a personal level. When I am with friends, I make it a point to NOT check email, or tweet about what we are having for dinner to the world at large. The time spent with friends is far too valuable to waste on technology when ti should be focused on each other.
    I don't know what the answer to this tangled issue is. I suppose that we each have to remember that communication is a wonderful thing, and that it has categories such as interpersonal and technological that we have to deal with. So long as we remember that the entire world is not comprised solely of tech gadgets, I think that we will weather the storm and continue to look out for each other. That's my opinion and hope, at any rate.