Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Social Media Wrecking the Now Generation

I've been on the internet since 1997.  It's been getting faster and more intrusive since that time and I find it's time to say something about it.

However, let me just let you in on something:  I'm a blogger, an artist, a writer, a Facebooker and an amateur photographer and I have a lot of things online and on my computer... so I'm guilty of what I'm about to tell you as well.

But my life wasn't all computers and internet staring - no, not always.

I grew up in a world where I hung around kids in my neighbourhood until the street lights went on - or until my folks called out to for us to come home for dinner.  I grew up in a world where there was so much to do in a weekend, saying the words: 'I'm bored' scored me plenty of household chores to do from my parents.  I spent time with my relatives, my Grandparents and when dinner was served up, the television was turned off and we talked to each other cross the dinner table.  Dad sat at the head of the table and we all took turns telling everyone what we all got up to during out days... there was no way we'd talk with our mouths full, elbows on the table or treated our parents like crap.

That.... just.... didn't... happen! 

If it did, we were punished.  We had pocket money taken off us.  We had time outs in our bedroom without dinner.  We weren't allowed to use the family telephone.  We weren't allowed to watch television or have friends over - let alone go to any of our friends' houses - for a month.  There was no getting out of it, no texting our friends that our parents were shit, they were crap, they arseholes.... no we couldn't do that because we didn't have that kind of technology then. We didn't have anyone to back us up - just ourselves - and believe me when I say that when you got in trouble in the 1980's, you regretted smart-mouthing your folks, your teachers or the police... because you know why?  Your parents weren't soft on you, they didn't take your side, they took the side of the law, the teachers and anyone of authority.  

Yes, unlike what happens today, where parents are soft and take the easy way out - showing through example that this is the best way out to their children - it's not the best way for society.  You see, when this happens, the child gets it into their minds that if they got away with it once, they can do it again and again, and they'll get away it because their folks will get them out of it.  This turns kids into spoiled little grots who we find are going to become spoiled little adults... how creepy is that?

Now there's the technology which we're all a party to becoming lonely, robotic dickheads to... all we seem to do is stare soullessly at a glowing, ominous screen which holds our undivided attention from the time we wake up to the time we turn out the light.  It's creepy as shit when you find this has happened over such a short period of only 25 years... that's about the amount of time since I left high school... yeah, not a long time ago really.

But there is a way out of it.

I've found a way to live a life where I get to have the best of both worlds.  I have up-to-date computerised technology in my house and also the retro goodness I grew up with all in the same place and it all gets along with each other fine!

My home had broadband internet - not Wifi - so when I turn off my computer and internet, it's completely switched off.  So, when I get those twats who call me up just after dinner claiming to be from Microsoft or HP - or some big computer company - telling me that my computer 'just sent us an e-mail' - I can tell them that that's impossible as I don't have the internet right now... and it's the truth while I'm on the landline phone - I don't.  It's switched off completely, so how can my computer do anything if it's disconnected from the net and my modem isn't switched on?  
I have a 3G phone.  It's smart, but not as smart as others around the place.  I'm getting there with my phone technology, and I'm happy with the phones I'm acquiring through family and the phone company I'm with... but this phone is good for now.
There's my iPod Blade - which is a few years old - and I've figured out that it needs a new battery soon.  But it'll get one around Christmas time, however, it's still chugging along well - even though some people are saying it's a piece of crap... it is, but it plays music and that's all I care about.

Okay, there's the technology I have - all the technology I have... I'm retro for the better part of my life.  I have vinyls, cds, traditionally printed-up books in 4 bookcases in my home office, printed photos in photo frames on my hall table, a turntable, cd player, tape deck, VCR (which doesn't do much anymore but play old VCR tapes seeing we have digital stations only now).  I have never owned a microwave in the last 12 years I've lived here - and don't wish to get one either - and yet, I'm happily cooking everything the way it's meant to be cooked, from scratch and enjoying everything for what it is.

So, why is social media wrecking our lives?  Why are we looking down at the inventions of man just to live in the now, and yet missing out on the real life which is happening outside the window?  Why are we becoming slaves to the machine, robots to the cyber-connected world out there?  Why aren't our kids playing the parks and backyards anymore and have developed their own playgrounds within cyberspace, as their health goes down the tubes?  


Because we are too damned lazy to say no to the machine.  We don't want to turn it off and look around and put the effort in that it takes to make something, pick up a book and read it, go out into the garden and re-build it into something of beauty.  We are too damned lazy to look after ourselves, our world which is slowly but surely crumbling down around us... so when will we pull ourselves away from this crap? 

I know when.... when it's too fucking late!

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