Sunday, October 23, 2005

Have you tried turning it off?

Last week, Montreal Gazette columnist Josh Freed wrote a hilarious column about technology and our inaptitude in understanding it.
He says, "technology is now so complex that no one knows how anything works except for Stephen Gawkins and Bill Gates." He isn't kidding.

I might understand the basics of computers and how to work my VCR, but even that is becoming a challenge. How many of our grandparents know how to record a show? Use a CD player? Even our parents are sometimes baffled at new technology.

Freed then goes on to say that no one knows how to fix anything anymore. He's right; what is most people's response to a frozen computer? Have you tried re-booting it? How many clocks or VCRs have the time flashing indefinitely because we have no idea how to set them?

Everything is computerized, to our detriment. Some teachers in high school were adamant to let us use calculators for everything - I remember our math class in Secondary 4 and 5; it was so complex, it took several classes just to figure out the basics. Even after that, I knew more than the teacher, because I read the manual and fooled around with the various functions. Teachers tought we would forget to count for ourselves. They were right. Do most people remember their multiplication and division tables from grade school? What's 9 x 12? 14 +8? Without counting on your figures now...

I always take notes during interviews with a good old pen and paper. Darcy was asking me, "why don't I use a recorder?" I said, "no thanks. I like to write, plus it's more natural when talking to someone." Poor person is already being interrogated by me, why stick a mic in his face when it's not needed?

Do I miss out on good quotes? No - I listen, I take note of what is important, the inflection of a person's voice. Plus, I don't want to go back and listen to the entire interview again; I know straight away which quotes I'll use and they are already on paper. Also, there is no chance I will erase my interview, forever loosing valuable information. Sure, I can drop my drink on my notes, but hey, I'm no slob! lol

Technology is driving our everyday lives - when electricity shuts off, people srambled, they are bored. People would rather pick up a computer and read from it, than read a book.

I admit - I am addicted to technology. I am one of many who must check their e-mails at least once a day, use my cell phone, watch TV, Google everything I research. Technology in its various ways is driving my life.

Excuse me now, while I Google my next assignement topic - I can't remember how to use the index in an encyclopedia...uh oh...

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