Thursday, November 24, 2011

So close yet so far away

How would you describe technology? Words like innovative, cutting edge, inspiring, eye opening come to mind.  Imagine what life was without it? Many of us have had the privilege of watching technology evolve. From rotary phones, typewriters with ribbons and telegrams to Internet, Smart Phones, IPads, Laptops, WI-FI and GPS. Countless ways to connect; Access to an abundance of knowledge. Truly the information highway. So what's wrong with it? Nothing. Technology boasts achievements and incredible discoveries in all realms.  We have so much available at our fingertips and look forward to even more innovation. For that we should embrace what it offers. I can't help though but notice that beneath the surface something has changed.  As connected as we all are globally, it seems we have become disconnected universally. See, it's not the tool, it's the user. We've adopted a behaviour that skews the essence of technology. Emails have replaced conversations, texts demand immediate attention, high speed has diminished our patience and all the social tools have created a hierarchy based on how many followers, friends, likes, views and klout we have. We mingle physically in places like work, school and stores but we aren't present.  Even when our phones are set to silence, the vibrator or red flashing light beckons us.  It's managed to infiltrate every nook and cranny of our lives and knows no boundary of time.  We are expected to be responsive, flexible and available, doling out precious moment after moment to 'quickly' resolve an issue or answer a question. As we continue to broaden our network those precious moments dwindle and without even noticing it, the din of technology has replaced the whispers of life.  Uninterrupted conversations, peaceful walks, lingering hugs, kisses, gazes, smiles...'aye there's the rub.' 

I'll hand it over to William Shakespeare whose words compel us to think.

To be or not to be (Hamlet)

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them. To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life;
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscover'd country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.

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