When I walked into class and saw this assignment written on the board, to write a journal entry about what technology meant to me, well, I compared it to being as enjoyable as frosting chocolate cupcakes. Technology is my career, my craft, my education, it’s like a child I’m raising, an element comparable to oxygen or water… well, close.
Technology is something I never really understood, growing up. My father was the ‘man of the house’ and he would be the one to set our alarm clocks and the VCR to record our favorite shows. I owned a Vic 20 that I played archaic games like Space Invaders on, occasionally. My folks were not interested in video games, we still had a cassette player in our car, long after CDs were the norm, and well, I think my father still sets the alarm for my mother, 30 years later.
Once I escaped the small little world I grew up in, not that there was anything wrong with it, I became interested in what technology had to offer, as a member of society. I should’ve known that my folks and I were wired differently when they would melt for Waylon Jennings and Bluegrass and all I could think about was how awesome Dance Mix ’93 was. Rhythm is a dancer, seriously. They took offense to Personal Jesus when I resonated with it. Ah, the beauty of a generation gap.
I guess I got my first real computer in 2005. How sad is that? But it was mine, all mine, and it was ready for me to send emails on! Greta Grooves, my baby. MSN Messenger?! Webcam!? Oh, my gosh, am I in Disneyland? YouTube, you are my greatest teacher. Google, my favorite encyclopedia. I don’t pick up the phone to order pizza, I do it online. I don’t remember the last time I actually bought myself generic threads in a mall. Ok, wait, I do rememeber, but black tank tops don’t count. I sell my art online. I track its delivery to whatever destination it’s headed for. I bend sound to make music in huge wave files, compress it into MP3s and deliver it through cables and links, into the homes of many. This is just the internet and computers that are making me wax poetically about their contribution to society, not even the medical advances or tech’s partnership with science.
Technology, in general, is being revamped on a perpetual basis. What was new last year is old news and we’re evolving, as a species, rapidly. Each newer generation is hard wired to be more inclined to reach out digitally versus in the old fashioned ‘analog’ way. I was just lamenting with a girlfriend of mine that I didn’t want to go out tonight and asked if we could chat online. I had to stop myself because I do this so often that sometimes, it can be a couple days before I notice I’ve hardly left the house. My girlfriend and I decided to ‘rock a visit’, ‘old school’, and actually get together. Maybe this is one advantage to technology that is also a disadvantage. You have everything you could ever want, at your fingertips, information-wise, entertainment-wise, communication, you name it, it’s all there. You can conduct retail therapy after you get into an argument, through text with your boyfriend, who’s in Australia because he wouldn’t turn on his webcam and you noticed a ‘strange’ girl commenting on his Facebook page. Seriously? Yes, seriously.
So, what does technology mean to me? It’s like a lifeblood to me. I live and breath technology and starve for it when it’s not around. I gorge myself on all that it has to offer, sometimes to an excess. At the same time, though, I also respect it, like lifeblood itself. Too much of anything isn’t good and we can wrap ourselves into knots with technology. There has to be a time when you say to yourself, ‘It’s time to shut this down for a bit.’ and you actually have to, remembering the analog world that still exists outside the rays beaming in front of you or the vibrations coming from your pocket.
A true kiss can’t be digitized, nor a heatfelt hug… A listening ear is better than a listening eye. But! I have to tell you, nothing beats online shopping for DIY hoodies and avoiding the putrid smells and sounds of a shopping mall. That’s just me though, I’m sure malls will be there for kids to hang out in and to house more Food Court franchises for fast food restaurants. There will still be Senior’s Day at Walmart. But, we’re saving time. We’re learning faster. We are mass producing things that once were just ideas. We are connecting the globe.
Personally, I am thrilled at where we are in realm of technology. I’m so glad that I’m at an age to be an active participant in it’s evolution and witness it’s creations. What exciting times we live in! Maybe that’s just me though… And I guess that’s exactly what this journal was supposed to be about.