Woh, for a tech blog, that’s about as cynical and ironic of a header as you can get, but it’s true.
As much as I feel some days like completely deleting all those many social profiles I’ve built, wiping out all my websites, blogs, and comments across the web, tossing my laptop in the trash, turning off my internet, and going outside and taking a walk, riding a bike, or climbing a mountain and never looking back, I really am integrated and my very livelihood depends on “staying connected.”
If I have any readers out there that follow my blog, you’ll have no doubt noticed I’ve been MIA and have been pretty much dismantling, retiring, or selling off a lot of my projects. While that simply makes sense as I spend more time on CyberChimps and other projects I’m involved in, it also has a lot to do with me just not feeling very passionate or inspired by technology in general lately.
Technology, at this point, is completely saturated and saturating everything else in our world. From people talking about every personal detail of their life on Facebook, to the instant gratification of people mind-dumping on Twitter, to going outside anywhere public or even sitting at a restaurant only to find everyone staring down at their iPhone texting instead of engaging in the real world, to parents instead of plopping their kids down in front of the TV are slapping an iPad in their hands. I should hope it’s enough to make most sensible people feel nauseous and take a step back and take a look at what this all means as our world evolves.
There are so many social networking sites now, and for my own sanity I can tell you that I do not use one of them, not a single one in any personal capacity whatsoever, nor do I even have an iPhone. As the professional “Bryan Hadaway,” sure, I have all the stock social profiles, and sure, for the various projects I run I’ve given theme their obligatory Facebook and Twitter pages, but I don’t get on Facebook and Twitter to chat with friends and family or share pictures of my food.
My friends and family actually find it quite curious, that me, being the “computer guy,” am actually less connected than any of them. The answer is simple, I stare at this god forsaken laptop every single day for work. When I leave the house I don’t want to bring with me an iPhone (which is just another computer) everywhere I go. I want to disconnect and be in the real world.
As a tech-savvy person, I think the novelty of it all has worn quite thin and I instead start to see a lot more of how technology is hurting society (as much as it helps it) with the NSA watching and listening to and reading everything we do, new ways for people to hurt or rob one another, and the impact it has, not only on people inside their homes, but on the outside too.
The innocent days of kickball are gone. If you walk onto any playground in America I’m willing to bet you’ll find kids sitting on swings staring at their phones instead of actually swinging. Not only that, the days of children naturally learning and discovering the world around them are pretty much non-existent. Everything good or bad they ever wanted to know about is just at their fingertips before they’re nearly mature enough to properly process all that information.
I’m in my twenties; I still have a lot to learn. My generation watched the transformation from almost no one having internet or a cell phone (not even adults) to everyone having internet on their phone, in their pocket, and watching each year as the average age for kids to have a phone got younger and younger, watching as technology (aka convenience) increased, critical thinking, independence, and exercise decreased. To put it another way, the more technology we have, the dumber, fatter, and more apathetic we’re getting.
I’m growing tired of the faceless, toneless, emotionless, uninhibited conversations that take place online. I’m tired of only having good and kind intentions and still being perceived as rude and somehow offending someone because they’re applying whatever tone they’re creating in their own mind to my words.
I’ve seen so much blatant pettiness, ignorance, rudeness, and sarcasm in online communities that no sane person would dare exhibit in real life, in front of other people. I’m tired of rewarding the lowest common denominator behavior of people downvoting things they do not agree with instead of intelligently communicating their thoughts, or making fun of things or people on YouTube for their own lack of capability to empathize or understand outside of their own selfish closed-mindedness and then receiving praise from others for it.
The internet really is quite a grotesque place at times where people can hide behind their computers and pseudo-names and take no responsibility for their behavior, and by doing so, drive up the popularity and stock prices of these corporations that often view consumers as nothing more than numbers, scarecrows stuffed with dollar bills.
It’s absolutely a love/hate relationship, because believe me, I spend a lot of time online, I make my money online, and don’t for one second think that the irony of the fact that I even have the privilege to have internet in the first place in order to then go on to essentially bash that very technology, escapes me. To that point, I suppose it really isn’t technology that’s the problem, but how people are using it and the unhealthy addictions it’s creating.
Being tired of technology is very much a first-world problem to have, but that’s where I live and those are my thoughts.
PS: I’m tired of all the commercialism and even the stupid, obnoxious ads that I have on this very blog. But, that’s one way technology benefits me, making a living.
My love/hate of tech is at about 50/50. Where do you stand on the subject?