Techno-capivity.

I think it is important that we rule our tools and not let our tools rule over us.

This is my hesitation with the release of the iPhone 4s and Siri. We are a society that has slowly been socially crippled by our enjoyment of technology. The appearance of the iPod allowed us to shut out other humans and invoke a state of musical intoxication whenever and wherever we wanted. The grocery store, the post office, and even walking with friends and family. This serves as a wall of separation and offers something similar to what we call “creative hiding” in the world of acting. Creative hiding is the use of a hat or hair to close off the expressions of our face. When you use the brim of a baseball cap to obstruct the full openness of your face you are masking your emotions and expressions to others around you. When you use an iPod with friends or family present you are employing an even deeper separation than that which is provided by a hat or long bangs in your face. The wall of music is complete in closing off all outside connections and the only way someone may make contact with you is through catching your attention visually or by physically touching you.

The iPhone brought a new level of technological obsession and solitude. One of the main reasons I didn’t want an iPhone, in the beginning, was that I didn’t want to become like all of my friends, staring into a small plastic box isolating social interaction. Instead of just checking your phone for the time minutes or hours can go by under the trance of information, games, social networking sites, and apps. Now it has become the norm to see couples in restaurants sitting silently with one another staring into their own individual entertainment systems instead of sharing thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Families have existed for generations on the sharing of opinions and differences as conversational fodder and each member of the family was better off because of it. I understand there is a positive aspect to the exchange of ideas on the internet. (I do have a podcast after all.) But with each generation of technology we are becoming more and more reliant upon these devices and in some cases handicapped by them. If you lost your cell phone right now how many phone numbers do you have memorized to be able to call someone for help? I know I only have a couple numbers memorized. We have become addicted to cell phones, which easily store all of our info for ease of use, but I no longer need to know phone numbers. I just select, “Mom” in my phone. Or even just say, “Mom” and my phone calls my mother. But if I were stranded and in danger without my techno pocket crutch, how would I call for help? We have become privileged to the point of passivity. Techno captivity.

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