Technological Contradictions

Have you ever wondered if technology really helps us develop better relationships?

I’m not saying I’d prefer to go back to the stone ages, but I like to think of modern advancements as supplements to a better life, not something that consumes our lives. Think about how many people you know who spend countless hours on Facebook or any other “socializing” interfaces. You see them posting how many points they scored in a game all day long and constantly nag you with notifications to join them. Sure, it’s a great way to “interact” with old high school friends, but too often I wonder if more fruitful relationships could be had with the core people in our lives if that same time was dedicated in visiting and really talking to the people who mean something.

As with everything, there are pros to using technology in relationships too. I Skype with my mom since we are thousands of miles apart. I get to see pictures of my nieces and nephews playing sports and read their highlights that their parents may not have figured important enough to call about. It really is a personal preference and I won’t judge anyone on how they chose to communicate, but I do fear for generations to come. Then again will they even know what they are missing? I got a birthday email from my grandmom this year instead of a card for the first time in my life. Will my children ever receive a card if her generation has already conformed to modern times?

One of my favorite things at antique shops are the old postcards. At first I felt like I was invading someone’s privacy by reading cute vacation messages from 1934, but then I started to romanticize the people who wrote and received these notes. I love that they are tangible. So much of what we write today is digital, lacks the penmanship and nuances that personal correspondence had. Who doesn’t love getting a written letter or non-digital birthday card? I realize postcards can be thrown out as quickly as text messages can be deleted, but to me it’s not the same; but who am I to judge as I write you from an iPad instead of handwriting you a letter. It’s a world of contradictions in my mind.

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2 thoughts on “Technological Contradictions

  1. Albums to CD’s to downloads… at each iteration of technological advancement, we’ve gained convenience, but lost something. Albums often featured incredible artwork, and the liner notes provided all kinds of insights into the performers. Who was on sax, on lead guitar? What inspired this song or that? How did the band come together? CD’s tried to keep all that – in much compacted and often microscopically unreadable print, so….It wasn’t useful or useable – just a vestige… And now? All that is gone. But here’s the kicker. When you got a new album, and loved it, you used to invite your friends over to listen to it, together.

    • I agree with you. I grew up with cassettes and CD’s, but the first thing I’d do when I bought music is put the music on and bury my head in the lyrics, stories and musicians. It was a way to connect, which is much different than clicking the download button today; so many little details gone by the wayside. I appreciate your comment, it made me sentimental.

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