This article from NPR has got me thinking about how technology operates these days. Rather, how we operate technology.
It’s kind of important to make that distinction, isn’t it? To say that technology “does” anything is to somehow imply that we aren’t the moving force behind it.
Fun little “Did You Know?”: When IT folks are asked to solve a problem and they say that it is PEBCAC, those initials stand for Problem Exists Between Computer And Chair.
We have this supposed removal from technology when “it” has a negative or unknown effect on our lives…
But when we use technology constantly, it becomes an extension of us. A need. An extra appendage, if you will (even if you won’t). How often have you tried to have discussions with someone who constantly monitors their phone or smart device? It’s near impossible. It’s also difficult to discuss ANYTHING with anyone who DOESN’T do “the Facebook” or “the YouTube,” because so much of what we folks who DO utilize technology quite regularly seeps into daily conversation. If technology is an extension of ourselves, then we are certainly an extension of our chosen technologies.
Pretty deep, huh?
Let’s go one step further. How much validation do we gain from said technologies? We LOVE sharing videos – bonus points if we are the first one to introduce someone to a video that’s gone viral. And how condescending we can be when someone so naively tries to introduce us to something that we’ve already seen around the horn twice before. But nothing has the weight of putting something online, and then checking back for feedback of any kind. Wasn’t what I wrote CLEVER? Don’t you think my kid is CUTE? Isn’t my video of my child eating rice cereal ADORABLE? We even talk about what we posted: Did you see what I emailed you? Did you see what I wrote on your Facebook wall? We judge others: Wow, did you know she felt that way? What does he DO all day, sit on Facebook?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen- our fragile egos now have to take into account our online postings. As if I wasn’t insecure enough.
It’s just something of which we should be aware. Just as bullying is becoming pervasive via texting and social networking, many of the things we do regularly are now being evaluated from all sides – and we are our own worst critic. That doesn’t mean we should quit our online social circle, but rather, to keep it in perspective. Truly, if all of our validation comes from stuff we say and do online, what do we do with the time we spend offline?
Report it online, of course.