Technology is making me fat and socially awkward, and I like it!

Does the perpetual seeking of convenience-based technologies ultimately benefit society? Yes, it does; its benefits can be seen in all aspects of our life. Imagine a world with no remote controls to change the channel, no cell phones to catch up with friends, no computers to do your home work on, and no liquid-tab Advil to ease your hangovers. We as consumers drive industries to produce more and more convenient technologies so we can waste less time using old-fashioned physical and mental effort.

Of course there is a cost for all this convenience. At my old job I sometime worked with people very closely on projects but never actually met them in person or even talked to them on the phone, which is kind of sad and isolating. And I don’t walk or take the bus anywhere anymore. I take my vehicle. The planet absorbs this act and pays the price for my need for convenience. (I also guiltily admit a weakness for the “mini-sublime”, and drive an SUV because I find it cool; my eco-Karma is definitely showing a debt on my side.) Driving is just easier and more pleasant, as it doesn’t involve uncomfortable interactions with the more talkative members of the bus-riding community. The has led to a dramatically more sedentary lifestyle. There are times when I can feel the calories not burning; they are kicking of their shoes, settling in and making themselves at home.

I guess my point is that technologies can make life easier, but it’s up to us as consumers of technology to find a balance between the positive and negative effects our use of technology has on the world and ourselves. It’s all about moderation. But I can’t help but wonder as I sit here on my couch typing this with my stomach growling if my fridge will one day have the capacity to make me a ham and Swiss on rye when promted by my voice command from the TV room. A girl can dream.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Technology is making me fat and socially awkward, and I like it!

  1. Anonymous

    I hope your blog was written with sarcasm in mind. If not, then it comes across to me like there is a serious lack of information on your part. Lets look at one result of perpetual seeking convenience-based technologies.

    All these items need one thing. Tin Oxide. All electronics require this material for the circuit boards that run the logic for all our modern day toys. Most of the worlds tin oxide comes from the Congo. I would encourage a good read of some reports that have come out in the last 3 years[1][2]. People must realise that in order for us to have our toys(iPods, cell phones, etc) people are raped, tortured and killed on a daily basis.

    It is not till this is fully understood that we can fully make blanket statements like “its benefits can be seen in all aspects of our life” Who’s life? Yours? The Western World, the people in the Congo?

    “The planet absorbs this act and pays the price for my need for convenience.” The plant will be just fine with you driving your SUV, for when we are all gone it will self correct in time. It’s people that are paying the price by you driving your SUV.

    [1]http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/
    world/congos%20tin%20soldiers/

    [2]http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/
    issues/congo/2006/0915cellphone.htmz

  2. Jordan

    Those links that were posted didn’t work, so I reposted them for anyone who is interested: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/congos%20tin%20soldiers/108670
    http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/congo/2006/0915cellphone.htm
    In response to anonymous’ post, I appreciate the feedback, it’s nice to know someone feels so passionately about this issue. I don’t disagree with you anonymous. I was just being honest. And I don’t feel that the problems in the Congo can be attributed to my desire for an IPod – I wish it was that simple. As Stan Cox states in the tin oxide article you sent me, “Reducing demand for coltan, cassiterite, heterogenite and other ores — by reusing, recycling, and simply not buying so damn many electronic goods so often — cannot by itself ensure safe jobs and living wages for people in the Congo or anywhere else. But a seemingly insatiable hunger for mineral resources can and does distort economies in some of the planet’s most desperate locales. Relieving some of that distortion through reduced consumption at least gives nations and people a chance to build better lives independent of the ups and downs of world commodity exchanges.” I don’t think his conclusion is so far off from mine: that it is the consumer’s responsibility to use a balanced and moderate approach to consumption. Perhaps this was not clear due to my crappy first year writing skills.
    Thanks for the links and I look forward to hearing from you about future posts.

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