Technology: Embrace it or hate it?

3 Nov

iphone-in-hand1Ahh… Apple.  Not only am I in love with Northern California for its rugged coastline, diverse cuisine and its gift of winemaking, but also its contribution to technology: the home of Apple!  Apple is one of the most creative, innovative companies of its time, and I must admit that I am truly an Apple Geek.  I own a MacBook Pro 15″, a docking station with a Mac 24″ LED screen (much nicer than my own TV mind you), an iPhone 3G and of course a barrage of new and out of commission iPods.

I spend day and night accessing my devices, connecting myself to a world that otherwise would be foreign and sometimes even unimaginable.  A recent trip to Montreal left me in a state of dismay with no access to my email on the run.  Of course I could have looked… just a peep… but the cost was an unbelievable $15.36 per MB of data transferred!  Wow!  I could easily see that trip racking up hundreds of dollars in fees.  Needless to say, arriving back on US soil made me smile in a way that may seem trivial to some people.

Before closing my eyes each night, tucked in and lights out, I take one last look at my connection to the world.  Did anyone tweet something of dire importance that I must glance at before shutting the world off for 7+ hours?  Did I miss a text earlier in the evening that must be answered?  Did the weather forecast change dramatically for tomorrow morning, possibly sending me in a whirlwind the following day for selecting the appropriate outfit and work out gear?  Did someone in Sweden arrive to work early, send me an important email that I could answer and surprise them with my dedicated work routines?  Maybe I should play one more game of word fu, beating my previous high score and setting a personal record…

Sounds a bit crazy to some, doesn’t it?  I realize that some of you may be thinking wow, she needs a life.  Well, I do not see it that way.  I do feel the constant pressure to keep a balance between my online world and the one staring me in the face: human contact.  With each tap on the iPhone, every search on YELP! for the closest gas station or drug store, I am reminded of a time not so long ago when I had nothing but the generic pay phone.  I recall driving back from a visit to the nearest shopping mall (as a teen that was 60 minutes away), stopping at a gas station to call home.  The pay phones were on every corner, every service station, every grocery store.  Inserting .25 cent to make a quick call was the answer to alleviating worry and clearing up frustrations.  Today, all I must do is send a quick text and everyone is informed, happy and worry free.  I DO appreciate the opportunities technology has brought to our world, as well as being cautious to the evils and the ability to be consumed.

So, on a negative side, how far is too far?  Is it absurd that my ex sister-in-law saw it appropriate to equip my soon to be 8 year old nephew with a blackberry?  Yes, you heard me correctly.  A BLACKBERRY.  In all honesty, my first mobile device with email access was my iPhone, which I just acquired in early February.  To imagine a young child with a device such as a blackberry is horrendous!  I must take a moment to tell you that this child is gifted; he is quite extraordinary.  He was reading at the start of kindergarten, a time when most kids can barely recognize words like cat and dog.  He is in 2nd grade, reading on an 8th grade+ level, and his ability to master technology like most children is astounding.  However, where do you draw the line?  My travels, as most of you know, take me far from my family and I do occasionally miss out on those special moments.  But again, when I am within the same city as my nephew, our communication still exists with text messages and the random short phone call.  What happened to the tangibility in life?

In summary, I LOVE technology.  But, as with everything else in my life, I believe it should be used in MODERATION.  Is it necessary to have every conversation through text, email and the like?  What happened to sitting with your girlfriends, face to face, laughing so hard until you nearly pee in your pants?  (Yes, I did this as a young girl… I must admit).  As an adult, I adore sitting in small cafes, having a cappuccino and watching people.  I never want to lose the ability to interact with those I love as well as those I find interesting.

However, with all of this being said, I believe we must EMBRACE technology for how it has enriched our lives.  I say enriched because it has allowed us to interact with people from far away lands, conduct business on a level that I cannot discuss here for fear of becoming long-winded, efficiently carrying our lives with us wherever we go in the form of music, photos, movies and the like… the list goes on and on.  I personally am embarking on an attempt to catapult my company into a household name for research scientists, and I will have social media as the one to thank for assisting me in this endeavor.

The end all be all… Embrace technology, but remember life is about moderation.  Keeping everything in moderation, in perspective, brings longevity and fulfillment to your life.

So now, shall we talk about the new camera technology that you wear around your neck?  It takes snapshots every 30 seconds to record your life… is anyone really that interesting?  Do we need to know every last ritual of someone?  Chronicled on the web?  camera catches your life



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