I was thinking about how much I interact with technology.
I wake up, sometimes using the alarm function on my Blackberry, check emails on my device, head over to my iPad or computer and learn about what is going on in the world, interact with colleagues and friends using Facebook, Linkedin or old-fashioned email (shit, I can’t believe I just said that! “old-fashioned” and “email” in the same sentence).
I make phone calls on my smartphone, sometimes look up facts or information on my device if I am out and about (sometimes trivial facts like movie names or famous actors) and I message my children during the day to just check in with them to see if they are ok. Of course, I email, text and speak with my wife as well….but all of these interactions involve technology and the Internet.
It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago when none of this existed, certainly in my life time. People went about their day doing what they do now, minus the use of technology. At that time “technology” had a different meaning then it does today. Fax machines and telephones were pretty much all there was. If you wanted information about what was happening in the world at any given moment, you had to turn on the television, radio or read about it in the newspaper which really didn’t provide you with up-to-date info.
If you were arguing with a friend about who starred in a particular movie you had to go to the library to research it or ask a friend who might know.
If you were out and needed to make a call, you made it from a bacteria-infested phone booth. I always felt like I needed delouse after using one of those.
If you were on your way to a meeting and driving a car, you typically listened to the radio or CD/tape deck…and thats it.
I could go on and on about “what was” versus “what is”…but more importantly, I really wonder how we as a society could cope today without technology?
What would happen if we stopped using the Internet and other technologies for one day, two days…a whole week?
So….no smartphone, no Internet, no computer. Your only access to information would come from the radio or television (which I know is a technology as well but has been around for a lot longer..so I get to include it and besides this is my blog so I make the rules!).
How would your day be any different? Would you be like a heroin addict or coffee-aholic, denied their drug and suffering from withdrawal? Would you be in a shitty mood all day long because you couldn’t get your fix? Would your work suffer…would your relationships suffer? Would the world come to a grinding halt?
I think adults would survive without technology better than children. “Boomers” know what a world is like without these modern inventions. We remember things like telegraph machines and fax machines. We remember 8 track tapes, audio cassettes and vinyl records.
We remember going to the library to research something. Some of us even remember having to get up to change the channel or adjust the volume on the black and white television. Maybe a television universe with 6 stations?
I remember the silence of driving in my car and the feeling of actually being focused on the road. I remember driving with the windows down, radio on and unplugged from everyone else for the length of my trip. It was almost peaceful.
I am thinking that unplugging from all this technology would make it feel like the day would go by slower. Last I checked, there are still 24 hours in a day. That hasn’t changed. Some days go faster because we use technology to cram in a lot of stuff into a single day…probably too much.
What if you actually still experienced the same 24 hours but enjoyed it at a slower pace…allowing yourself to take in life happening around you?
Would you be able to sit without fidgeting and read a book without constantly looking to your smartphone device to see if you got any new messages, texts, BBMs, emails or updates?
Would you be able to go to the gym and workout without having a nerdy looking holster attached to the waistband of your workout shorts? Would you be able to have a conversation with someone without being interrupted by a bell, ringtone or reminder making the other person in the conversation feel like they are secondary to the information coming through on your phone?
I have to admit, I kind of like the idea.
Would force everyone to slow down…to not be so wound up tight…..to live life.