I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of technology. Namely, the Internet and our dependence upon it. This is spurred almost completely by the fact that I do not have Internet access in my apartment yet and have, since, had to resort to things like…wait for it…READING to pass the time. God forbid.
I love the Internet, don’t get me wrong. I love being able to have access to infinite amounts of information at a moment’s notice. I wouldn’t survive without being able to search for phone numbers or addresses for things on my phone and then calling or GPSing on the same device. I’m addicted to updating my statuses on an endless variety of social networking sites, just so that EVERYONE IN THE WORLD can know what I’m doing, thinking, or hoping, all at a moment’s notice.
But the fact of the matter is, I’m sitting here writing this blog while sitting next to my father, who is also on Facebook and Gmail. While I could be talking to him face-to-face, we have instead resorted to silence, save for the pounding of dual keyboards and the ever-present buzzing of electricity.
If we didn’t have our computers, would we be talking? Would I be any more inclined to pull out a road map if I didn’t have a GPS connected to Google Maps programmed in my phone? Is updating everyone all the time as to my every thought such a necessity?
In this day and age, communication has become tricky. It has become informal and inconsistent, as friends and family dig themselves further and further into their own lives rather than continuing to focus on one another. Efficiency and convenience are the names of the game and honest down-to-earth conversations are almost a thing of the past.
It’s a strange transition, to go from relying on my computer and Internet access to not having it at all. But I don’t mind it.
At the same time, who’s to say communicating via Gchat and Facebook is unnatural and blasphemous? I think that recent advances in technological communication are ingenious. The fact that I could talk to friends from across the Atlantic Ocean with nothing but my voice, a camera, and the Internet is amazing to me. I’m not one to feel ashamed at my addiction to Facebook, especially because I know that, in times like these when I have spotty Internet access, I don’t HAVE to get online to feel whole. It’s generally a means to quell boredom or to procrastinate, rather than an out-and-out necessity to my daily function.
I do admit that my Internet usage could be perceived as “out of hand.” But I don’t think that I am more or less “addicted” to the Internet as anyone else my age. In fact, we have been groomed to use the Internet to all of its ends. So, in that sense, I’m merely doing as I was told.
And I’m not complaining.
I know that this is an oft-tackled topic, so don’t take my word for it. I just know that I have always had an inner struggle between what is right and what is trendy. All I know is, I have profiles on pretty much every social networking site and I’m not ashamed of it. But at the end of the day, I love to fall asleep with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in my hands.