Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dumbing Down

I was reading the paper this morning and found a very interesting piece that I totally agreed with; in more ways than one.  Kylie Lang has it one when I read about how technology is really making us dumb.  And it's not only Twitter and Facebook that's doing it to us; it's also how we have been taking the whole approach to life.  
A great example is how advertisers think that because it's cooked in a microwave - and it takes only 4 minutes - well it must be good for us.  When truthfully, when anything it cooked in a microwave, it's cooked from the inside out, the moisture is pulled out of it and it more or less tastes like cardboard.  This is one reason why I have boycotted these machines from my kitchen from the moment I moved into my own place.  I don't like them; and will never buy one or even accept one as a gift.  I see cooking as something of a challenge and something fun to do; a learning experience and knowing exactly what goes into each meal is something I've been brought up with and it shouldn't be lost.
Now, technology is something else.  If I didn't keep up with the times, I would be lost.  Without the internet and learning - teaching myself - how to use it properly, I'd have no idea what was going on in the real world.  This particular type of technology can be a learning experience or a hindrance.  It depends on how you look at it.  I don't do Twitter... it's stupid, it's lazy, it's one of the worse ways of communicating without actually talking face to face that if you really don't want to talk to anyone, well, you may as well be a bloody hermit and be done with it.  The same with Facebook. I had to be talked into going onto Facebook as my whole family and 90% of my friends are on there.  So, I've kept the personal details as basic as possible.
As for other things such as Wii's, X-Box's and other computer games you hook up to your television?  Well, no I don't have them in my house; and they are not allowed past my front door.  This isn't because of my illness; it's because I value the spoken language much more than I do staring at a screen and acting like an idiot for long periods of time.  Or music.  Would it hurt anyone to sit down at an instrument - such as a piano - and actually play it?  There's nothing better to hear at night than a well-played piano, guitar or saxophone playing away in the darkness after dinner instead of a video game blaring out of the television speakers.
I have a dvd player and use it once or twice a month to play some of my favourite movies; and I do this usually on a Saturday night as everyone around the place is very restless at this point in the week and putting on a dvd doesn't hurt once in a while.  I also play vinyls or cds because there's just utter crap on the television; and I mean it's just rotten television programming.  I don't like - and will never like - reality television.  It sucks and should be gotten rid of as it's destroying how television is supposed to entertain the public.  
And now, I'd like to talk about the amount of information that is right at our fingertips compared with what used to be there before everything zoomed into the Gigi-byte age.  I remember when I was young - at high school - and we had the very first laptops.  They were 3cm thick with a very small screen; and they didn't do much.  Their memory sucked, and so did the battery if you dared to unplug it from the wall.  And the huge amount of colours you had to choose from to type with?  Well, amber on black ... and amber on black and ... jeez... amber on black.  There wasn't any choice, that was it.  Each day we started them up, it took a full 10 minutes for them to get up to the screen we needed and saving anything took about 1 1/2 minutes as it grunted and grounded away there onto a 3 1/2 inch disk.  Speaking of which:  God help you if your disk became corrupt and all your assignments and school work was on it!  Nothing could help you, nobody could pull anything off it because, one day it worked and the next it didn't.  Yes, when I went to high school, technology was just grinding away there as a snail's pace... very, very... very slowly.
Very suddenly, we had the internet.  Dial-up at first; and then it graduated to Broadband, then cable... and then wireless!  All of the information is all right here on the net and it's so easy for us to obtain.  All you need to do is Google it and ... well, that's it.  There's pages and pages of crap for you to peruse to your heart's content about anything you want from books, Epilepsy, Andy Warhole, car engines, surgery (and how it's all done) to medications, gardening, mining in different countries and the history of pretty much anything you can think of.  However, it's how we use this instrument that matters.  Are you sitting there googling crap just for a giggle or are you Googling crap because you seriously want to learn something new?
For me, I taught myself how to use the internet as a social networking tool.  Over time, I learnt how to find reading and book sites, friends I haven't seen in a long time and use two different types of e-mailing accounts as well as Facebook, YouTube and 365Project and a photographic editing program called Picnik.  There's so much out there on the net to learn that a lot of people don't know what we have on offer - what we are paying our monthly fee for - and really if we're not learning anything worthwhile off the internet, we're all going backwards in intellect, not forwards. 

1 comment:

  1. If you have kids, you need some form of modern technology stuff, otherwise it isn't their kind of world to live in these days.