Daily I am exploited by technology. I am embarrassed to admit that technology rules my life.
If one was to live without succumbing to the pressure and appeal of technology, could one really benefit from modernism? Do we really have any choice in the matter?
As many would agree, living in a world driven by technology, globalisation, consumerism and materialism has its many benefits. Modernisation can be characterised by fluidity, never ending means of communication, choice, opportunity and where anything is possible – a firm ‘sign of the times’.
Speaking from the perspective of an individual part of the ‘modern’ generation I am profoundly aware of how traditionalism is ever diminishing. Doesn’t anyone envy many aspects of traditionalism that used to characterise society? Or have we all forgotten the differentiation between the two because we are so self – indulgent and spend our days fixated on a 5×4” screen and never actually look up from that screen and appreciate our surroundings?
The most profound frustration I encounter is when I see the quality of human interaction and the beauty of relationship development being diminished by the technological barrier that exists now between every being. Some would argue that technology has actually aided human development in a way that traditionalism could never facilitate. This point certainly applies to my daily goings on fulfilling a career as a specialist operational excellence recruiter. The use of technology certainly creates potentiality for success and I’m not sure the recruitment industry would be as booming as it is without such means. However, I would more importantly stress in this instance that face to face relationships within the world of recruiting is equally as valuable and I would not consider a recruiter talented unless one had these honed and specialist communication and people skills that are unbelievably contributory to success and reputation.
Nevertheless, how do we define a ‘real’ relationship anymore? What does it say about the quality of those relationships that are instantly built via a device of delusion within a world of confusion? Surely traditionalism facilitated chemistry, rapport, connection, respect and contribution in a much more raw sense? Of course those qualities can still exist within modernism and of course actual face to face interaction still takes place. It is merely worrying as to where our world is heading.
Wouldn’t it be nice to experience life without that utter dependency and need to habitually and inanely scroll through Twitter, Facebook or Instagram every two minutes? It’s all an illusion. But I think we are so far gone now that it is concerning to see how everyone is glued to a device that apparently connects one to a world of social media where actually it makes for a very lonely existence.
Commuting on a daily basis into London, it is interesting to often observe how manners, etiquette, respect or chivalry is far from the minds or concerns of many. I would say nearly every being is engrossed in some form of technological device – a phone, an ipad, an ipod – whatever it may be. Rarely do I see any pleasant interaction between two. It’s all a rush for who can get to the available seat first regardless of who you push out the way, who’s newly polished shoes you step on or the elderly or pregnant who are struggling to stand just because you are totally blinkered. Look up from your screen.
Actually when you take a moment to give up your seat to another, recognise the people you share your journey with, perhaps let someone off the tube or train before you or make way for passengers to alight safely, it really can make you feel good. Giving to charity for example and/or engaging in simple but meaningful gestures make all the difference to one’s day. All the people you commute with on a daily basis you share an experience with. Your paths cross for either an important reason or maybe no reason at all. That, we may never know. But it’s a shame to look upon my surroundings when I peel myself away from my 5×4″ screen and experience only distaste, disappointment and frustration.
We are slaves to technology. I would like to experience a flourishing relationship with another (whether business, friendship or personal) where the development can be recognised purely on each other’s sincerity rather than a few words on a screen that took 20 seconds to construct (at most). How impersonal and how unfortunate that we don’t get to truly experience the rawness and beauty of natural development.
I complain and I reflect but yet I’m not strong enough to resist the power of modernism and technology. That’s where the freedom of choice and never ending possibilities characterised by modernism are juxtaposed with realistically being suppressed, controlled and forced to make choices that are the same as everyone else’s.
The world of technology and computers rules our lives. It is one of if not the most important aspects of our lives and seeing as it is highly doubtful that the world of business for example will ever return to traditional means of working, should we not be conscious to take the good qualities of traditionalism, embrace modernism but remain grounded? Perhaps with the fast growing rapidness of globalisation and technology this may not be possible but I think the world would be a better place for it.
So, I suggest that we all keep in mind the importance of human interaction and the enjoyment of friendship without a text, whats’app or email and just to look up from that screen during your commute and just listen, look and appreciate and smile. Notice your surroundings, learn about your surroundings, observe the people around you and absorb the beauty of life. One’s learning process never ceases. Don’t miss out on your life by being glued to a screen that is never indispensable. Don’t be a slave to technology.
Don’t have your life characterised by self-interest and self-promotion. Technology fails to facilitate emotion and enables us to only sell our best bits to the world. But no one is actually there and constructed sentences and purposely created self-representations in order to make our lives glisten is a sad way to be. We need to go back to basics once in a while and learn how to co – exist. Let’s somehow resist the force of technology and enjoy life, family, friends and more before we become completely robotic and so far from being able to appreciate and execute traditional values. Let’s gain control of our own lives.
By: Perdi Palmer
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