A friend told me a story the other day (and I realize that a story from a friend is hardly a credible news source, but hear me out). That story maintains that a man injected a microchip into his hand to utilize it as part of his body, which, admittely sounds like a superb idea and something that I too would enjoy. Or atleast, it sounds that way, until I finish the story. The aforementioned chip did not grant him the power to harrass lightning, or even instantly teach him Kung-Fu. It’s function was similiar to that found in the remotes of most new-fangled keyless cars: It opened a door. So, this man injected an active piece of machinery into his arm so that he could open doors. With his hand. Regardless of whether my friend’s story is true or not, it brings up an interesting point: In a country where a vast majority of the population is overweight and not in good health, should we really be looking to bypass physical tasks?
Before you start tossing around words like “hypocrite,” or… “Amish,” I am not condemning the use of technology as a whole nor am I suggesting that we allow society to revert to any stages of primitive past. I don’t want to have to stalk and kill my dinner any more then the next guy. I have weak ankles and a terrible pollen allergy. I also have no understanding of how the limb of a large, herbivorous mammal is transformed into a disk of meat and cheese. I am saying, however, that we’re going too far. We’re making things too easy, on every level. Instead of excercising and keeping in good health, we take pills. Instead of reading, we watch television. Instead of communicating with our faces and our voices, we send messages with LCDs and keyboards. Instead of finding solutions, we create scapegoats. I remember in school if I didn’t sit and do my work quietly, I was called an idiot and a failure and I was still expected to do it. Now, I would be labeled with ADD, pumped full of medication and given special scholastic treatment.
Computers allow people to access the outside world without ever having to be parted from their couch, talkshows or processed cheese byproducts. And now that same access is available on cellphones. So people can go out and still talk to people that they aren’t physically with, allowing them to ignore those that they are with. Try this: Stand in a group of people and take out your phone. You don’t have to make a call, just take it out and glance it. I promise you that almost every individual around you will do the same thing. They know that they don’t have any messages and that noone is calling right at that second but, they’re trained. Like Pavlov’s dog, we jump at the sound of a ringing phone or that little indescript ding that accompanies Instant Messages. We judge how loved we are by our phones and our buddylists. Subconsciously, we log an indepth line graph depicting how many calls and messages we’ve recieved versus time. Conversations have lost all value because they are all instant. If you want to see how someone is all you have to do is send a text message. No personal contact necessary.
So, no, I am not a making a Tyler Durden plea for a return to the hunter-gatherer order. But, things were better when they were simpler. People were better when they were simpler. Children were more innocent, adults were more respected, and landscapes were more… existent. Our computers have become the wheelchairs of our crippled mental and physical shells. Log off, leave your phone at home, and go outside.