Yes I love technology
But not as much as you
See I still love technology
Always and forever
And such were the immortal words of Kip sung to his bride Lafawnduh at their wedding in the classic movie Napoleon Dynamite. While I refuse to admit I sometimes hum these words as I walk through a Mac store my actions provide the ultimate testimony that I do indeed love technology. As I am writing this on my MacBook, I have the Georgia Tech football game on my Samsung flat screen in HD while my DVR records “Cahill, US Marshall” (fitting). Within arms reach are two remote controls, a baby monitor, my Blackberry, and two iPod’s (I wanted to listen two of my Top 11 Songs at once). If I could only find the butler’s call button. Oh, and by the way, it’s a gorgeous day outside. I went on a two day trip last week and in my bag I had a Dell laptop, iPod, Bose headphones, Blackberry, and Garmin GPS (I have Google Maps on my Blackberry but you might need a backup navigation device). My wife on several occasions has confiscated my phone due to my inability to put it down. I have not been on a vacation without a laptop in six years. After all who knows when you might need to do a little work while staying at a bed and breakfast in Yosemite. God forbid I be separated from Twitter for more than half a day. I could go on forever, you may think I already have.
This leads me to a key question I have been considering in regards to technology: Is it worth it? How often do we spend our time pursuing one of technology’s tantalizing mistresses instead of spending time with the our wives, husbands, children, fathers, mothers, friends, dogs, etc.? How often do we substitute living our life for watching life through someone else’s eyes? Speaking for myself this is probably all to often the case and herein lies the problem. We should use technology to allow the pursuit of life more fully instead of pursuing technology as an end in itself. We should use it to work more efficiently and flexibly so we can participate in what is important and not always use it as a catalyst to work more. We should use it to share our lives with those that are separated from us. We should dictate to technology and not vice versa. Everything expressed here is blatantly obvious and a bit cliche. Nonetheless I often need a reminder.
I write this more as an inditement of myself and confession of my misuse of technology than a criticism of technology or society. Glad I have that off my chest. Headed outside, with my Blackberry, but only for emergency purposes. And maybe to Tweet an awesome view.