John Naisbitt – High Tech High Touch
His thing is that we are drunk on technology. He lists six symptoms:
1. We favour the quick fix, from religion to nutrition
2. We fear and worship technology
3. We blur the distinction between real and fake
4. We accept violence as normal
5. We love technology as a toy
6. We live our lives distanced and distracted
One thing he said was that we live our lives in front of screens. I can see all those things in TV and internet and video games, but I didn’t see it in cell phones or communication devices. So I raised this point with my group. I said that I find I am more open and can compose my thoughts better when using instant messaging on my computer and cell phones is just talking to another person. The answer was quite enlightening. They said that it created a surreal environment, if I find it easier to think in front of my computer instead of in front of my best friend it is just a way of getting out of learning how to communicate and talk. The same goes with cell phones. They create a new space in which to meet, one that isn’t real.
The printing press was a new technology at one time. Before it students built their library by copying a book out by hand. I think it is fair to say that the printing press created a new space. So should books be included in this category of technology?
I don’t think so, books are very hard to get published, you have to take the time to complete a series of thoughts and argue through something. There are a lot of books that might not meet this requirement, but my point is that it is a lot easier to publish an instant message, or a text message than a book; books don’t have that instant quality. Even reading a book takes a long time.
It is all in a quest to avoid silence. If I don’t have anything to say in an instant message I just do something else. Has life become a task bar where we can just switch from one application to another?