Monday, July 18, 2011

Electronic Cancer?

Personal boundaries.

When I was a kid, it was just a black and white TV and three channels. Then we had a single color TV and rabbit ears for PBS. Then the cable came, and it was four televisions with 125 channels and NetFlix too.

The computer arrived as an electronic typewriter with a monochrome screen and a dot matrix printer. Then came the modem, the graphics-based browsers, blogs, YouTube, and a never-ending juke box.

The cell phone started out as something that made expensive phone calls, then they added text messages, 500 newspapers, 100 magazines, television, radio, an endless feed from Google Reader, and GPS with turn-by-turn mapping and voice directions.

What started out as the World Wide Web is now the Wild Wild West.

We were invaded, then we were enveloped and now we are being consumed. 

How many of us are spending 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, or more hours a day staring at electronic screens, whether it's a computer, a cell phone, or a TV?  How many of read and send emails in traffic?

Some are happy that the electronic frontier remains unfenced, yet I cannot help but notice that, in a world without fences, we seem to be spending a heck of a lot of time riding the range, chasing down one thing or chasing out another.

We are addicts, with a love-hate relationship with this electronic needle. 

One thing seem clear to me: we, as a society, cannot continue in this direction at this velocity.  Something has to give.

Cowboy Facebook.


seeker said...

The worst part is lots of people have to stare at the screen for 40+ hours a week. Then they go home and use their own devices another 2hrs. As for phones, they are a nightmare. Accidents are caused by distracted driving and the worst of it is Texting and watching videos while driving. Would you give a toy to your terriers while they are hunting? NO. But then, they probably wouldn't play with it. Humans aren't so smart. People aren't the best while in control of a 3000 lb vehicle, but let's give them a squeaky toy while their driving.

I left a job requiring me to log on a computer from the moment I walked in til my relief came 8 to 12 hrs later. Now I drive a school bus. At least my headaches are not virtual and I go home happy and tired not stressed and depressed. The fresh air is wonderful and I can see the sun.

I have a theory in 100 or so years our decendants will be wearing skins and gathered around the campfire tells wild tales of carts without horses, a stone that could talk to another stone miles away and pictures flew through the air to a box.

Debi and the TX JRTs

PBurns said...

I never thought of the cell phone as a squeaky toy for humans, but of course that is EXACTLY what it is! Perfect!

And yes, I am on a computer 12 hours a day due to work. Sometimes I am talking on a phone in front of a computer, but always a glowing screen in front of me and a coffee beside me.


seeker said...

This is probably the reason you HAVE to go hunting with your dogs. The Church of Field and Stream is good for the soul.

Debi and the TX JRTs
(who don't hunt but they get the daylights walked out of them)

Seahorse said...

Am I the only one who immediately thought the barbed wire was flipping us off?


PBurns said...

Exactly the point -- one other way we mark personal boundaries. ;-)