The paradox of technology

I’m sitting in a Starbucks listening to a conversation to my right. I’m not trying to listen, really–they are literally one foot away from me.

The man is talking about the woes of the internet, particularly Google and its far reach. He makes some good points. Let’s see, he just bemoaned the lack of dialogue, critical thinking and “patience for process,” based on the way we now communicate virtually (from the internet to texting).

He’s got a point.

Of course, he’s also, I would say, in his mid sixties. Nothing against people in their mid sixties, but how much of his concern based on the fact that he doesn’t “get it?” He’s a digital foreigner. He thinks people with cell phones don’t know how to dialogue or think strategically–two skills critical if you want to play, say… World of Warcraft (probably the hottest online massive multiple player game around). I’ve listened to both my sons exhibit sound leadership qualities while sitting in their room playing the game with people around the world. However, it has also driven me crazy to see how much time they’ve spent playing the game. I sort of hate the game, and bemoan its value because of that. Am I digital foreigner in their eyes?

The man next to me now just talked about something he “downloaded” off the internet that proves his point about the danger of the internet. OK, so you downloaded something off the internet that proves your point that the internet is the problem. But, it actually just became part of your solution??

When the steam engine first became a mode of transportation in our nation, people decried the real trouble with the train was the ungodly speed at which it traveled.

 

Ah, the paradox of technology. What to do?

 

2010-01-08T15:49:59-04:00

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Written by Dave Fleming