Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Avoidance by Technology

Just this week I've been in two different conversations about our interesting dependence on technology and all those delightful tools that keep us "connected" to one another. Most conversations on this topic I've been in have gone the same direction. We talk about how it's almost amusing how we seem to act as if we can't live without having constant access to texts, email, internet and sometimes even phone service. We talk about how in spite of the benefits of technology it would be good to have a day without such connection. We share our appreciation of moments when we've (usually accidently) found ourselves without such tools.

Today's conversation took a different turn. Today someone in the conversation began talking about how she had heard some statistics about the percentage of people in downtowns of big cities who walk with their phones up to their ears just to avoid human contact. She also talked about college students who walk across campus with ear buds in - sometimes with no music playing - to avoid interaction.

And thus the question arises again. Does technology really "connect" us or is it just a tool for avoidance...avoiding one another, avoiding responsibility, avoiding fear, avoiding real life, maybe even avoiding sleep?

I tend to be a "both/and" kind of girl, so I tend to believe that technology can connect but can also create deep chasms of distance between us which, if not careful, can become impossible to cross.

What do we do with this? Time, I suppose, will tell. Meanwhile, with heavy eyelids I fear that this technology is helping me avoid sleep that I am in deep need of, so it's time to say good night!

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