I’m not too keen on today’s technology.
I love having the library at my fingertips, the history of Rock and Roll on my iPod, and The Great Masters’ masterpieces as my background. Sometimes, though, I feel technology advances too fast, too fast for people to keep up. Technology has made us run when we should walk, look down when we should look up, ignore others when we should give them our undivided attention, tune out when we should tune in. Instead of connecting with each other over dinner, we connect over smart phones.
We don’t have time to adjust to the faster processors, the rapidly changing news, the hundreds of books published every day. We read about wars in the Middle East, wars in Africa, wars in Eastern Europe, conflict here, conflict there, and it overwhelms us. My news feed is constantly refreshing with more news, bad news, worse news, no good news.
Worst of all is that technology has brought real-time politics to us. We’re bombarded with pontificating politicians – mostly lawyers, a few doctors, far too few businessmen and women. I’m beginning to believe in global warming. I mean, think about it: all those bloviating lawyers – politicians – and the poisonous hot air they are constantly exhaling must have some effect on the atmosphere. If gassy cows can be blamed for global warming, why not gabby politicians? Why can’t we regulate bloviating politicians the way some people want to regulate bloated bovines? We could kill three birds with one stone: global warming, global politicians, and global war.
I think I digressed. Anyway, technology advances at a pace suited for superhumans, but we’re not super. Oh, we have super moms, super dads, and super-sized French fries, but, except for processors that let us play cool games, technology needs to slow way down. I’d like to see it regress.
I’d like to see technology regress to television without remote controls, then to the small screens you see in movies from the 1950s. I’d like to see television replaced by the radio. I like that image of mom knitting baby booties while listening to the radio, the kids lying on the floor with their heads resting on their hands and Fido between them. Dad’s reading the local newspaper and smoking a pipe filled with cherry-flavored tobacco. I believe it was called family time.
I wish movie theaters played the National Anthem and a cartoon before the main feature, and ushers cruised by every now and then telling people to remove their feet from the seat in front of them.
I miss reading a book in the library. I miss looking for a book title in the card catalog and being distracted by a hundred other books that I now want to read.
I want people to get off the phone and talk face to face with people. I want people to stop texting and start writing letters again, ten page letters that talk about the weather, “I’m fine, Sally is fine, how are you? Are you fine too?” Texting abbreviates intimacy and conversation. LOL will never replace the sound of a real laugh. Smiley emojis will never adequately replace the beautiful face with the angelic smile sitting across from you. Don’t send me a frownie or smiley face; write in a way that lets me understand your mood.
I wish we could limit technological growth to medicine, crime prevention, and leaf rakes that don’t give me blisters. I wish they still made pay phones: I miss the greasy earpiece, the gum in the change tray, and the cigarette butts all over the floor. What I miss most, though, and the world needs, is Superman. But he has no place to change.