Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Is your brain on phone mode?

In 1979, in college, I wrote a treatise titled "Technology Shock," taking off with some of the notions in Alvin Toffler's bestselling book, "Future Shock" (mixed with some of my signature brand of pro-Thoreau-Green-Living-Nature-Rules proselytizing). The theme has long been with me. I'm skeptical of those who seem enamored of techy gadgets. And my skepticism isn't just a hunch, it's based on social science. Studies show: dedicated nerds and geeks (and I'd say phone freaks) are often people who suffer social deficiencies, who are distrusting gripes or busybody technicians or chatterbox gossips, happier with machines and manic flitting around or with being stuck in corporate cubicles than they are with the flowing society of villages or with gatherings of people in their homes. Seemingly desperate to connect, we Americans are more isolated than we know. Now in that shocking future some saw coming decades and even centuries ago, we have spread a love of devices and tech toys and synthetic ("virtual") experiences that have superceded more important virtues: love of community, love of nature, love of patience, love of imagination, love of hobbies and clubs, and, perhaps most tellingly, love of concentration and FOCUS and doing one thing at a time. I'm not anti-inventiveness or even anti-tecnology. But the glut of technology? The dependence on technology? The distractions and dominance of technology? The LOVE of technology?