Are we too dependent on technology?

Look at the resolution on that thing!
(image from ecodaddyo.com)

“Of course, humans aren’t dependent on technology. That’s just preposterous! I could totally survive without it,” she typed on her computer while listening to music magically stored there in bits and bytes. She sipped her coffee and looked at the time to see that there were still almost two hours left in the workday before she got in her car to go home. Sigh.

I freely admit that I am entirely dependent on technology. I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea how to do my job without a computer. I heard tell that, before the days of computers, graphic designers used to mock things up with tape and glue. Tape and glue! Can you imagine?

All of my music is stored digitally at this point. This afternoon, I’m listening to my entire music collection on full shuffle mode. I remember when compact discs were amazing because they didn’t have a side A and a side B like records and tapes. When the concept of “shuffle” came along, I fell in love. Before digital music players were invented, I had to schlep CDs around with me. I had many stolen or damaged in the process, and it seemed I never had the exact song I wanted to hear even though I had 100 of them in my car. Now, I can listen to anything I want in a matter of seconds, or if I’m not in the mood for anything in particular, I can listen to everything. For an audiophile like me, the iPod is the best invention ever.

I’m sure I could probably figure it out through a complicated process of trial and error, but I haven’t the slightest notion how to make coffee without a coffee maker. I’m pretty sure that the basic components are the same –namely coffee, water and fire– but I’m sure I’d mess up at least half a dozen pots before I got it right and that just won’t do. Messing up coffee is no good. Coffee is just as important a part of my life as the computer or music, maybe even more important.

As far as transportation, I am selfishly and unapologetically all about the car. I am from The Motor City after all. Most businesses in Detroit have parking lots. There are even drive-through liquor stores. Detroiters drive cars, everywhere, always. Homeless people live in them. Most Detroiters would give up their homes before they gave up their cars. Sometimes, we just drive cars around in circles like on Belle Isle in the summertime. Don’t question it. It’s what we do. So, yeah, the car is pretty important to my hometown and it’s certainly a technology I’d prefer not to live without.

Finally, my home is chock full of awesome technology that most of us take for granted like running water, the water heater, gas or electric stove, washer and dryer, a refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning and heat, and finally, the thing that makes most of those other things work, electricity.

Am I too dependent on technology? Damn straight, I am. If it came down to it, could I survive without it? Sure, I could. I know how to build a fire and a shelter, I know how to fish and I can cook on an open fire. These are all things my childhood taught me. I could survive without the magical modern conveniences of technology, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to.

There are 3 comments

  1. D.A. Bancroft

    I love technology. I also appreciate the idea of “roughing it” or “living off the land”. But allow me to be brutally honest with you. If I had to go around in the woods and find food to eat I would be dead in less than a week.

    How so? I would end up eating poisonous berries…. I just know I would. Without the internet to tell me what’s poisonous, I’d die. Just that quick. And how could I not eat a poor defenseless berry in the wild? It’s like a moth to the flame for me.

    Like

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