“… I don’t agree with his belief that technology can save us. Certainly, it isn’t making us more civilized, and I actually think the opposite is true.”
~Dr Kay Scarpetta: p. 181, Port Mortuary
My Daughter is one of an incredibly small minority.
She represents approximately 1/20 of teenagers at her high school that DON’T have a mobile phone. Surprised?
And what do they do with them?
They text, sext and Facebook. They banter, bitch and bully. They post ratings on the ‘rootability’ of girls.
Travelling last month to my brothers wedding, I took 6 flights. I had the pleasure (!?) of spending several hours in Sydney airport, while I waited for my (last) connecting flight home. Airports are undoubtedly one of the perfect places to watch people. One alarming thing I noticed while I watched…
When disembarking their flights, the first thing so, so many of the passengers did was to switch on their mobile phones and beginning texting, phoning and replying to the (undoubtedly??) urgent messages that made their lives tick.
Heads down, fingers moving a mile-a-minute, they were oblivious to their surroundings.
The second thing I noticed…
During only 1 leg of the 6 flights I took, did I manage to engage a single person in conversation. And it was not for want of trying. This chap (who happened to be a former cycling champion who now commentates on the SBS) has spent the last 20-odd years living in Europe, and was like me, appalled at the direction the youth of Australia are taking.
Bad mannered, disrespectful of people and property, and, dare I say it, uncivilized.
Is technology partly responsible?
Has this reliance and embracing of technology – the technology that is meant to make us smarter, work harder and learn more – helped to lead to the demise of etiquette, basic good manners and a cohesive family unit?
When you can have an entire conversation with another person online (even while they are in the next room) – through chat, email, text – without ever hearing their voice?
When children in preschool are being given iPads to play with…?
When I have to tell a 7-year-old to put his touch phone away in class while I teach…!?
Sure, I agree that we need to keep our kids up-to-date with technology and its developments. It is an everyday part of the world that they are going to inherit. That I don’t deny.
I do question though our reliance on these gadgets. I wonder what is happening to spelling? To the art of conversation? To handwriting? What will become of these skills – skills that up until recently were valued?
Can technology save us?
I don’t think so.