Having been born in the mid 90′s, I haven’t spent a lot of time without technologies such as mobile phones and the internet. However, I recently spent 4 months living in a remote corner of India where internet was not always possible and mobiles were used sparingly. It was not a case of going completely without technology but I simply did not rely on it as I do here in Australia.
After arriving back, I’ve noticed many downfalls to the use of technology between my friends and I.
It is no longer an unusual sight to have several friends sitting together, enjoying a meal, whilst all consumed on their mobile phones or laptops in certain ‘free wifi’ hot spots. In India, we sat in a kitchen made of wood, eating our rice and dal with our fellow teachers, the cooks and the hostel students. To say that technology never appeared during a meal, would be a lie. But meal time never revolved around such technologies. Some meals we spent making faces at the kids and playing rock, paper, scissors from across the room. Other meals were spent listening to the stories of Tibetan refugees living in India and the history of buddhism within both countries.
In India, we travelled two, sometimes five, hours to visit fellow volunteers. Now back in Australia, my friends cannot be bothered travelling 20 mins to come and visit me. I haven’t seen many of my friends in person for a while, just facebook conversations. I hate the distance fb brings to those geographically closest to me. Ironically, it allows me to stay close to those in other states and countries which is why I also love social media.
I’m sure I sound like I’m sitting on the fence, undecided whether technology has a positive or negative impact on my life. In all truth, I believe that there are two sides to this story and I cannot simply sum technology up with words like ‘bad’ or ‘good’.
Technology makes me anxious. Why haven’t they replied to my message? Maybe I shouldn’t have said that? Maybe it didn’t send properly? Or maybe they’re sick of me? Maybe I was too clingy? SHUT UP!!! Why do you even care?
I find it quite ironic that I’m using technology to complain about technology…