Some of you may recognise what this title represents — the merger of the names Twitter, MySpace and Facebook, some popular social media sites of today (or rather, yesterday, because Tumblr and Instagram have joined forces to render MySpace obsolete). It’s no secret that the 21st century is filled with the inerasable residues of technology — the words “email”, “blog”, “Google” etcetera in our lexicon, for example. However, there are always the people who don’t think that the path society is moving can be regarded as progress. For instance, this person.
Such people are what is commonly known as Luddites (that one is something I’m still not so familiar with yet) or technophobes. Evidently the word “technophobe” brings a negative connotation — it implies that technology is good and people who hate it are just being old fogeys, reluctant to march with the times.
The article in particular doesn’t bring a very good case against technology, though, in my opinion. The writer just seems to be ranting angrily that he understands what all those technical terms are talking about, without giving much reason why we should care. Even Wall.E was more persuasive than this.
That aside, I don’t really see anything particularly great or bad about this era we live in. Granted, I am a digital native, and people rarely find anything wrong with the culture they were brought up in. I agree that things are different now, but I don’t see it as anything inherently good or bad.
Sure, there are now people who can live their lives with nothing but a computer and handphone — they don’t even need a roof over their heads. There are counselling helplines specially for people whose computers just crashed. Is it bad that there are such counselling helplines? I don’t think so. Sure, we depend a lot on our computers now, and someday if we ever lose our machines we won’t be able to live. But isn’t it the same for many other entities, like money, for instance? Think about it. Ever since we invented money, our lives have also changed. We use money for everything now, and we’ve started keeping money for the sake of money, and using money to make even more money. We commit crimes for the sake of money. If you want to argue, the concept of money that was created centuries ago and which runs our lives much more efficiently than any technology can do, is still the root of all evil. Without money, our society will be thrown into chaos much more quickly than the case of technology.
A strange comparison, to be sure, but there are many things in life that will be invented that will drastically change our lives — they have to happen, because if society stays stagnant and doesn’t evolve, it’s yet another bad thing. Technology has done some great stuff. It’s connected the world more tightly than ever before, and provided opportunities for all people regardless of social status. You can say that you dislike “Dropbox meets storage unit”, but think about it. Dropbox itself can be described as “storage unit, minus distance”. It’s the product of someone sitting down and wondering “if I could put out a box for everyone to drop things into, regardless of where they are right now, so that everyone can take and use it anytime, what would it be like?”
Don’t think about reality mimicking technology. Think about how well technology has mimicked reality, and even improved on it by removing all its inconveniences.