Sublime Magazine Takes A Fascinating Look At The Personal, Sociological, And Psychological Ramifications Of Life With Too Much Technology In “Electric Crazyland”

by • March 31, 2011 • Psychology, Society, TechnologyComments (0)2110

In a recent piece for Sublime magazine, journalist Safeera Sarjoo takes an intensive look at what technology is doing to our minds, our society, and the way we relate to each other as human beings. Her concern lies in the fact that freedom of personal mobility and relationality has never been greater than it is now, with no need to wait to access information, order goods online and communicate globally with friends, family and colleagues. But at what cost?  Here’s an excerpt from “Electric Crazyland”:

With most of us leading chaotic lives, a little help in making the day flow more smoothly is always appreciated. Whether it’s emails delivered straight to your phone, groceries being ordered online or paying bills sitting at your computer, technology provides us with the ability to juggle both work and home life. Outsourcing so many tasks is practical, but is it good for our well-being and relationships? Futurist and keynote speaker Richard Watson has talked about how we endanger our thinking, becoming “shallow, narrow, cursory, hurried, fractured and thin” by being continually online. While we think new bursts of technology are a step forward in society, is it causing our intellectual potential to take a step back? Charlie Leadbeater, author and a powerful leading voice in innovation and creativity, agrees to a certain extent. He says, “Sitting in front of the television for hours on end can be pretty dulling. Digital devices can induce a kind of twitchiness, a need to constantly check, update. Especially with smartphones and iPads – and what will follow – they will be constant companions.” The rise of tablet PCs such as Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and BlackBerry’s Playbook gives technology enthusiasts new devices to integrate into their life. Constantly competing, the more products these leading brands unveil, the more we, as consumers, buy into them. This makes it even more difficult to switch off, and questions our ability to get by without them. But what do we mean by technology? The term has grown so wide in recent years that it’s become essential to be able to define what we mean, as Eric Meade explains. “When we ask, ‘Can we live without technology’, it’s which ones and which person.” A senior futurist at the Institute of Alternative Futures, he continues: “It depends on what technologies you’re talking about; technology is a moving target. Some of the things that may not have existed ten years ago are very well integrated into our lives. I guess technology has made the integration into our lives in such a way that we don’t even consider them technology – I mean, a chair was, at some point, a technological innovation.”

The full article is a truly incredible read and you can get the full PDF of the article by clicking HERE. For more great selections like this be sure to check out Sublime.

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