Selective Technophobia

I suggested to Jen we write a post about technology because, well, I’ve always thought that she was a bit of a technophobe. You know, the kind of person that sees technology as something to be afraid of. But as I was writing what I thought would be a humourous post about her views on technology, I realized that she was not a technophobe (and for you readers out there, I do realize the irony of writing about Jen being a technophobe when she is writing a blog). Rather, she is more of a selective technophobe. Some technology she loves, other technology she hates or fears.

For example, Jen loves her iPhone. She thinks it is a great tool that gives you access to all sorts of information that was once available only on a computer…or if we go further back, in a library or the phone book. BUT, she despises the fact that this technology has now rendered everyone into zombies. No doubt in her blog post on our topic of “technology” she will discuss her recent experience at Starbucks. Essentially, she met a friend there, where they actually had a conversation while sitting down to drink their beverage. Everyone else, it seems, was engrossed in their gagdet of choice.

I further realized that I am also a selective technophobe. I am all for the big inventions. Being able, using technology, to determine how old the universe is, to recreate the big bang and see how the universe evolved from it is simply mind blowing. I love that stuff. I am also keenly interested in the development of new, cleaner fuels or propulsion technology. I spend far too much time reading about new battery technologies, the possibilities of hydrogen and the developments of nuclear fusion. BUT, I have no use for all sorts of other technological wizardry. The PVR, for instance, means absolutely nothing to me. We recently got one, and I have yet to use it. I probably will never use it. Another gadget is the GPS. It is something that I’ve used, but frankly, I’d much rather look at a map.

I suppose we are all selective technophobes. Who doesn’t like electricity, the car or the little ball in a can of Guiness to name a few of the greatest technological inventions? But with every new technology comes a dark side. I mean, Alexander Graham Bell couldn’t have known that his invention would lead to the rise of telemarketers. But it did (I have a strategy to deal with them by the way – all you need is a toddler – a story for another blog perhaps).

In any case, I look at the state of the world today and I think it is in pretty bad shape. The world economy is still struggling. Pollution of all sorts is destroying land, air and seas. Extinctions are happening at a rate not seen in millions of years. Yet, humanity has always overcome. Be it the black plague, natural disasters or Justin Bieber, we have always found ways to solve those problems, usually with technology (including Justin Bieber…although he is doing a good job at self-destructing). I am hopeful that we will use our ingenuity to solve these problems. Heck, at the very least, we may find another planet and move there. Earth would thank us for it.

When all is said and done, Jen is right to be a selective technophobe. I think we are all to some extent. Some inventions are truly beneficial,  while others are downright crazy. I have only scratched the surface of what I wanted to say on this subject, but I think I’ll stop it here for now, and turn you over to Jen’s blog, who also wrote a piece on technology. Go read it now!

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One Response to “Selective Technophobia”

  1. Consider that in the past a microwave was considered crazy and you begin to realize that technology çan only truly be seen as good/bad in hindsight. Someone at work said to me the other day that “wireless access at work is useless”. I was dumbfounded because I use that thing every single day. I wouldn’t be able to be as efficient without it.

    Additional thing to consider. Your kids will never know a time without the internet. They likely will see the death of physical media, mobile everything, the near-deat of cash and plenty of other things before they even finish high school. As a parent, even if I hate something I need to understand it so I can talk to my kids about it. Or we’ll end up with more texting at supper and pictures online that realllllly shouldn’t be there.

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