Alaina vs. Technology: A Fair Fight?

Photo by techbirmingham

Technology and I are arguing. It’s a moral kind of fight, all very one-sided — I’m doing all the talking. And I just can’t seem to win. Ever.

How could I, when Technology is literally everywhere? It’s in our back pockets, our bedrooms and cars. When no one else is watching, those little gadgets (computers, cell phones, iPods, Kindles, etc.) are. They stand sentinel to our lives, banally monitoring our every move. We willingly, greedily, purchase machines which can do more than the average human and then we depend on them as a needy child does her mother. We go comatose for hours in front of computer screens or televisions and, sure, we may be expanding our minds, learning new things, but when did our laptops and TVs become substitutes for real-life, face-to-face interaction? With a person, with a book, with whatever?

I mean, doesn’t that scare you? Just a little?

I can’t help but think of Henry David Thoreau and his mantra, “Simplify, simplify.” Even in the 1800s, Thoreau isolated himself from society to live a more simplified, self-sufficient life. Today’s version of a more simplified life downright frightens me. Check out this Motorola Droid 2 commercial…

What?! … This phone turns you into an “instrument of efficiency,” thus simplifying your life. However, it seems, to be a succesful businesswoman, efficient worker, and worthy contribution to society, I must become a robot, one with my machine. And, yikes, “this Droid has evolved” — it itself evolved? Should I watch out for further evolution upon purchase? If this commercial doesn’t foreshadow some freaky dystopian future, I don’t know what does.

I know, life has gotten “easier” with the invention of the cell phone, the Internet, better laptops, iPods and the like. But, in my humble opinion, it’s getting to be superfluous. When did we as a society no longer find books an acceptable reading medium (Hello Kindle, iPad)? Do we really need to be so accessible to our Email that we can find it in our pockets (Hey there Blackberry, iPhone)?

I told my parents that I didn’t want a cell phone once I’m officially “on my own,” that I thought it merely an electronic tether. My mom outright laughed in my face; my dad informed me land lines are archaic. And, yes, I realize the irony of this post on my blog. So, perhaps today I do not win the fight. Perhaps today Technology has the upper hand. Let’s just hope for no Terminator-esque machine takeover.

What are your thoughts on technology? Love it, hate it? What’s your favorite gadget? Drop a line in the comments.