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Are Digital Gadgets Driving Us Mad or Not?

Are Digital Gadgets Driving Us Mad or Not?

It’s a good question: Has technology and All Its Devices Become Too Much of a Good Thing?

Let’s consider that. Over 200 passengers and crew died in an Air France flight from South America in 2009. The inquests into the deaths of two of the English people have just been held. The coroner for Yorkshire North East, Michael Oakley, raised worries that ‘pilots are overly dependent on technology and are not retaining the skills required to properly fly complex commercial aircraft’.

It is a terrifying thought, given the volume of world air travel.

And are we generally becoming just too comfy in relying on technology?

Watching most of those people who need to punch in numbers to add up even simple sums, can only confirm the view that yes, we are a generation of technical device addicts. We first raised smartphone addiction in April in Compulsive, Addictive Behaviour Is the Price of the Device.

Since then it has by any measure got worse.

An Old Man’s Lament

This next came from a heart-felt piece that was doing the rounds and is worth a re-run now.

‘When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter.
     I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, my 13 grand kids and 2 great-grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.
    My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. Now, I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.
    The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Bluetooth [it’s red] phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.
    I admit that the GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, “Re-calc-u-lating.” You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead….. Well, it was not a good relationship…
    When I get really lost now, I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.
    To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for 4 years, but I still haven’t figured out how I lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.
    The world is just getting too complex for me. They even mess me up every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something themselves but this sudden “Paper or Plastic?” every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them with me.
     Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, “Paper or plastic?” I just say, “Doesn’t matter to me. I am bi-sacksual.” Then it’s their turn to stare at me with a blank look.
    I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, No, but I do fart a lot.”

The person who sent it to me said that ‘the TV remote and the garage door remote are about all we care to handle’.

But everybody’s lives are now inseparable from lots more gadgets than those.

Read as well:

Compulsive, Addictive Behaviour Is the Price of the Device, 23 April 2013

Is the Fantasy of the Smartphone Getting Silly Now? 12 June 2013

The Smartphone is Becoming the Asset That’s Just Too Big to Lose, 14 January 2013

Image: Alex Proimos