Wednesday, February 9, 2011

some thoughts

there is no question i'm bad with change. especially change when it goes hand in hand with technology.

por ejemplo: for two years or more after they first came out, i refused to buy a dvd player. almost like it was a matter of principle. i thought they were a gimmick. a fad. what could they do that my vhs player couldn't?

i was similarly slow to catch on to the whole cell phone "revolution" (as i saw it). if only my glasses fixed that sort of short-sightedness .

perhaps because i am now a blogger, a (very lax) twitterer, and a social networker to the Nth degree, i've been spending a lot of time thinking about technology. for as my usage of it increases -- along with my time spent staring at screens of various shapes and sizes -- so does the creeping suspicion that i am handing away precious chunks of time spent living.

yesterday two friends came over after work and we started in on this subject (it actually began with doomsday 2012 concerns, but as is often the case when around this one particular friend, it shot off of that topic towards one of technology and youth).

as the boys por ejemplo'ed each other and the spanish began flowing too quick for me to keep up, the two sides of the debate were this: technology is simply the new means by which we get our information, not so different than how we did in the past versus: what happens to youth who interact with the world only through screens? when information is received in single google answered sentences? when play happens on the device in your hands and not in the actual world?

in any debate, the gray areas are most often left out. sure, i see more and more parents handing their children movie watching devices when they go out to dinner, but that doesn't mean those same kids don't go home and get lost in their toys. (please tell me toys are still popular.)

but i wonder about memory. when you spend so much time with technology, basically doing the same thing, what distinguishes one moment from the next? looking back, do you recall time in chunks? por ejemplo: my angry bird era?

i'm a hypocrite.

por ejemplo, i played with toys way past the acceptable age (i only just discovered barbies at 13), but still i spent countless nights playing dolphin, then super mario brothers, then super metroid, then final fantasy. and i turned out okay. i even like my chunky video game memories. so what if i have no abilty to retain information and my attention span is zip?

chill, right?

recently, i wondered allowed at work if there would be grammar obsessed freaks (and i say that with love) in the future who are so devoted to language that they are compelled to write the NY Times with arcane corrections. a friend replied, "there's this quote i like: the youth of today are disrespectful. they don't listen when you speak. they'll be the death of high thought and society." who said it? aristotle.

i wasn't able to find that quote on (so much for single google-answered sentences) but you get the picture.

we will worry. we will be okay. we will move forward until it is someone else's turn to worry. but maybe in the meantime, to ease my mind, i'm going to shut down my computer to take a walk.

you know, after i check my facebook.

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