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Food for Thought: The Woes of Technology (and the Irony of Talking About This Online)

I’m a pretty go with the flow kind of person. In life and on this site, I don’t like rocking the boat with making strong opinions. I'm not a pushover, but to me it's just easier to have my own thoughts and not have words over something of which I have different opinions. If I'm going to make my opinion known, I'd rather do it in a safe setting or in a way that doesn't come across like "I'm right and you are absolutely wrong".

But the other day I started drafting a post which turned into a pretty preachy piece (say that three times fast) on my qualms with technology. I literally had to remove my hands from the keyboard and take a breather; I was getting WAY too into the subject matter.

However before hitting delete, I figured why not dial down on the rage and try to post a short, calmly stated reflective piece on my blog?  

Listen, we all use technology. It’s necessary these days. I spend 8+ hours on a computer every day at my job. I use my phone to stay in touch with my family and friends. I see things around me and snap a picture to share with someone or post online. It’s kind of hard to avoid it.

That being said, social media and our reliance on technology kind of terrifies me.

I fully admit that writing about this online is quite ironic, but maybe the next time you or I am going down a technology black hole (Tumblr I am looking at you) we can come back to this piece and get a little perspective.

The use of social media lets you control what people see; it can be a demoralizing and dangerous experience. Sites are constantly shoving things in your face that make you feel like less of a person. Yes I might have a great sandwich to Instagram one day, but I’ll never be as skinny or have the clothes that the people I follow do. I’m not married and I don’t have adorable pictures of my children I can share. Why can't my hair look so #flawless? And on that note, I absolutely did not wake up like this.

These sites also beg the question “if I’m not talking about it here or documenting it through photograph, am I really enjoying it?” This is crazy! Some of the best life experiences are away from all this technology, things that enrich your soul and are just for you.

And let’s also touch on how shocking it is that we are so dependent on technology.  The next time you are in public, maybe on the bus or walking down the street, look around and be amazed (not in a good way) at how many people are on their phones. I shudder every time I sit down to dinner with someone and they put their phone on the table. Or when I’m at someone’s house talking to them and the TV is on in the background.

I am not at all trying to preach; I do it too. Phones have become the perfect security blanket against awkward situations. But please, just power down for a bit and notice the world around you! Be with the people you are with. Smile at a stranger (but don't be creepy). Even just a minor technology disconnect is so enriching and can do wonders for your well-being.