This video makes us ask if we are addicted to technology.
I have a love/hate relationship with my own generation. We are the first generation to learn with computers in school, to have video game consoles in our home, and to have cell phones attached to our hips. I remember a time when going outside to play was the most exciting prospect in my peripheral, and I live in a time when I sit in a room with my best friends in the world, and ignore them in favor of checking my likes on Instagram. It is painstakingly obvious that my generation, and the generations that come after suffer from an addiction to technology. But I am also conflicted, because I am also in favor of progress.
Its true that I think interpersonal relationships are suffering greatly because of technology. My love life is more defunct than IBM because I live in New York City, where nobody wants to settle down because there are so many other options just a swipe away. I am in constant contact with all of my best friends no matter where they are in the world, but sometimes I neglect the ones that are right in front of my face. More than once, I have felt great about the number of likes I got on a shirtless selfie, from strangers I will never meet. It’s totally, fucked, but it is also the way of the world, so can I really hate it?
It’s true that I great up in a time when things were different, so I know how amazing it feels to go outside, to be disconnected, and to fall deeply, madly, irresponsibly in love. The coming generations won’t know any of this, but their experience won’t be any less real. Their experiences will be half real life/half technology, but since they won’t know any different, they won’t feel like they are missing anything.
This boils down, as it always has, to the way people communicate. In my childhood people communicated with expressions, gestures, spoken words, and heartfelt gestures, but times have changed. Now, people communicate with emoticons, video footage, text messages, and personal relationships curated, on display, for the world to see and judge.
Every time I question whether the world is spiraling into an unfeeling, tech-driven society like the Matrix, I have to remind myself that my parent’s and grandparents thought computers could steal your soul, and phones could give you cancer (jury is still out). As society progresses, each generation forms its own way to feel, to communicate, and to experience life. So in the end, do I think we are we addicted to technology? YES.
But any addiction, if left unchecked, becomes a lifestyle.
I don’t want to spend my every waking moment tethered to my phone, and I am lucky I grew up knowing that there are other options. So for those people in my generation who are fighting the urge to stare at their screens all day, every day, watch this video, and then go the fuck outside.