Anyone that’s had any sort of awareness of the 21st century has probably noticed that technology has permeated the life of everyone in some sort of a modern society. I sometimes wonder how my grandmothers would have enjoyed the likes of Skype and such but they moved on back in the days of AOL floppy disks so I never had the chance to see how their interactions with the Internet would have been. I think my city grandma still had a rotary phone in the kitchen, now that I think about it.
With technology everywhere, it’s easy to see that people are now becoming dependent on technology. It’s not uncommon to see a driver behind the wheel of a car in the dark without their lights on because the whizz-bangy doo-dads didn’t turn the lights on for them. This drives me crazy for many reasons, including the fact that it’s a safety hazard for the rest of us. Is it necessary to use technology to automatically turn the headlamps on? Shouldn’t the responsibility fall on the shoulder of the driver, not the computer?
There was recently an article in the LA Times that suggests getting rid of automatic flushing systems in toilets to could save California millions of gallons of water. I know that back in the day when these automatically flushing toilets came about that we were told it was better for the environment because the toilet could control how often it was being flushed. I don’t know about anyone else’s experience, but every time I use a public toilet that has the automatic flusher, it flushes two or three times as I move around in the stall trying to get my pants back up. If it was a manual system, like in the “good ol’ days”, I would have flushed the toilet once and that would have been it. If we figure three gallons of water per flush, that one incident would have saved six gallons of water right there.
Who’s idea was it to automate toilets, anyway? Have we become so lazy as a society that we need someone to flush our toilets for us? Have we become unable to use our foot to push down the flusher (because god forbid we use our hands.)?
Sharing information and having the world at your fingertips at all times in pretty nifty in many ways. But when people are more focused on their phones than on the world around them, who is benefitting from the advancement of technology? The user? The viewer? The ad companies?
I’m all for technological advancements, even in my middle aged years where I’m probably a little crankier than I used to be. But those advancements need a purpose. We should have a reason for implementing technology, not just throwing an electronic doo-dad in every thing we use and do because we can.