Friday, September 18, 2015

Internet Killed the MTV Star

They say that video killed the radio star which might be true, I really wouldn't know since I was born after the conception of music videos (yes, I know I'm so young blah blah blah). But here's the thing, technology has killed and created so many mediums over the last 25 years that it's actually kind of terrifying.

When I was a kid back in the last 90s early 00s you didn't come home from school and text your friends, you didn't even get online and instant message them.  If you wanted to hang out with someone after school you had to make plans days in advance, you had to pick up the land line (sometimes they were cordless but other times they tethered you to the wall) and you had to actually use your words.

The art of words is slowly dying.  I remember a time when I couldn't hide my face in my phone when there were other people around, when I had to make conversation and engage those around me even if it was uncomfortable.  Lately I've been trying to put down the phone and do that again, the problem is other people have to put their phones down too.

I'm not saying that technology is all bad, because it's not.  I love the shit out of it most of the time but today I was thinking about the kids who have always had cellphones, who have never lived in a world where they needed to know the Dewey Decimal System, the kids who have always had the world in their pockets.  They will never know the pure elation that comes with getting Encyclopedia Britannica for Christmas and using your precious computer time just looking stuff up.

I mean I guess kids these days are lucky, they have a whole world of information at their fingertips but sometimes I pity them because some of the best days in school were the days that they let us on the internet to explore and research.  I always felt so powerful when I was learning new things that not many other people knew, but now nearly 95% of people in the United States have access to the internet.

I feel like I'm contradicting myself a little so let me make it very clear that I love the fact that I can pull out my phone and find out what year Henry VII died but I also loved my childhood that was spent at the library trying to learn as much as I could out of a book because that was all that I had to learn from. I think that the internet is both a blessing and a curse.  Humankind survived for thousands of years without it and now I fear that if we didn't have it for a week people wouldn't know how to handle themselves.

I think that my goal for the next week is going to be to spend less time attached to my phone.  I know that it will be hard because I am just as guilty as everyone else as using my phone as an appendage of my body but I think that it will be good for me. So here's to cutting back on technology (she said as she types on her MacBook Pro, using the internet while her phone lights up with a text message and a Snapchat), this should be interesting.

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