Technology is wonderful, isn’t it? I mean, every day, someone is coming out with something new that they claim everyone just has to have. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about the latest app for our smartphones or the latest gadget for our kitchens, there’s always something new out there for those who are looking for something to buy.
But I’ll have to say, while some technology has made life better for us, much of it has stolen the essence of life. While it has given us new things we never had before, it has stolen so much more. In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven society, we’ve traded meaningful relationships for staring at a screen. We’ve traded creating things with our hands, for using our hands to control a joystick.
Have these things truly enriched us? I think not. Of course, some of these marvels have saved us time, freeing us up for things that are more important in life. But all too often, that extra time is merely wasted on something that doesn’t bring a true reward.
It’s clear that our grandparents and great-grandparents lived a simpler life. Many times, I think they lived a better one, too. Oh, they didn’t have the medical advances we have today, that’s true. But there is little else that modern technology has given us, which we can’t do without. Let’s examine a few items.
I’ve long said that television is the biggest time-waster there is. When I was a child, I’d run home from school and plop down in front of the TV, just like everyone else. We had a whole program of cartoons and comedies we’d watch for several hours, literally throwing our time away.
Then, one day, I realized how much time television was stealing from my life. So, I quit — just like that. It was amazing. I suddenly found that I had time — time to do all the things I had wanted to do.
That’s not to say that everything that’s on TV is a waste of time. Some of it is actually quite valuable. But the valuable stuff is far outnumbered by the things that merely waste your time.
2. Social media
If there is anything that has replaced the television as the great time-waster, it’s social media. We no longer talk to people; now we just look to see what they posted. Personal relationships have been replaced by a quasi-relationship with a “friend” on social media.
Once again, social media is not without redemption. There are things that it’s useful for. But most of the time, it’s about people telling you trivial things about their trivial life. I mean, whatever gave people the idea that everyone needed to see pictures of their lunch or of their cat batting at a piece of string? We’ve all seen it before.
3. Computer games
If social media is addicting, computer games are even more so. There’s always one more level you’ve got to get through and one more enemy you’ve got to beat. And what do you get when you finally beat them? The opportunity to do it again with the next level and the next enemy.
Granted, computer games are a lot of fun. I like them, too. But what do they help you accomplish? How do they enrich your life? What skills do they help you hone, which will serve you well? Truthfully, none. Plus, they’re addicting.
4. Many kitchen appliances
Like most people, I like food. I even like to cook. Once upon a time, I thought I might become a chef. But I went another direction before I could get serious about that. Still, I can remember kneading bread on the kitchen counter and cutting onions fine with a chef’s knife.
But in today’s kitchen, you don’t need to know how to knead bread or mince onions — you’ve got a machine to do it for you. Want fresh bread? Simply pay $59.95 and this machine will make you fresh bread every morning. Those onions? Don’t cry about it; buy a food processor and let it chop them for you.
Honestly, I think that most kitchen appliances were invented not to make life easier, but to make some company money. Oh, some are useful; I wouldn’t want to whip cream without a mixer. But who really needs a popcorn popper to pop their corn? Can’t they do it in a pan, like people have done for years? Or has everyone forgotten how to cook?
5. Fast food
Now here’s one that’s literally killing us… fast food. While I’m sure that there is some sort of fast food out there that’s actually healthy, most of it is high fat, high salt, high cholesterol and high calorie.
America has a national obesity problem, and a lot of that is because of fast food and its brother, junk food. Yeah, we all love a greasy hamburger and pile of golden brown French fries, but that’s not the best thing for us to be eating. At least, it’s not the best thing for us to be eating if we want to have anything left of our health.
6. Diet & exercise systems
Once upon a time, people worked with their hands, even working up a good sweat in their day. They didn’t need to go on a diet or go to the gym, because their daily workload kept them in shape. They didn’t need the latest fad diet and they didn’t need to spend a fortune on exercise equipment.
Modern work and life in general are very sedentary. Most of us don’t get enough activity in our normal work or family activities to burn the calories we need to burn. So, what do we do instead? We go on diets and go to the gym. Since we don’t do either regularly enough, our weight goes up and down, like a yo-yo.
Now, I will have to say that smartphones are very useful. I use one, just like everyone else. But as I look around at the world around me, I’m finding that I’m having to identify people by looking at the tops of their heads. No longer do people interact or even acknowledge each other’s presence; all our attention is focused on our smartphone.
How can anyone say that that’s a good way to live? Wouldn’t we be better off with a simpler phone and maybe actually talking to the people around us? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to look at something besides a screen? How many selfies do we need, anyway?
I foresee a day when the zombie apocalypse will come. It won’t be like most people think, though. These zombies will be people who are wandering around lost, because they don’t have their television sets, their smartphones or their social media. They actually will have to talk to people and do real work with their hands — and they won’t know how.
There are too many things going on in the world today, to even think that life will continue as it is right now. When that time comes, what are we going to do?
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: