This isn’t an OAR tribute or a Beatles reference. This post will focus on NBC’s new show, Revolution.
If you haven’t seen it, watch it. Then come back here and read this post.
Now, since you’ve seen it… wouldn’t that be awesome?
I’m not condoning militia-rule or killing others for the sake of power. I’m merely suggesting that losing technology, as we know it, would be wonderful. Consider the fact that you’re reading this post on a computer, or mobile device, that didn’t exist twenty years ago. You’d have to actually talk to me to understand my mood — not read about it on Facebook or Twitter. Since I’ll be sharing this on Facebook, a lot of you will read this and never say anything about it to me. I may get a “Like” if I’m lucky. When was the last time you actually talked to me, saw me in person, or interacted with me at any level?
Technology has been on my mind a lot in the last several months. Specifically social networking: long live the superficial connection with people we hardly know. Do I care about most of you? Probably. Do most of you care about me? Hardly. Two years ago, I removed hundreds of friends on Facebook that I hadn’t talked to in years. There’s no real way to know, but I doubt they noticed. I’ve debated trimming the friends list once again but I’ve decided not to do that just yet. Not because I feel like too many people can see my online identity… because of the stray possibility that I’m not muted from your news feed and that I’ll say something you care about someday.
I’ve stopped using Facebook and Twitter for everything but pushing my business and ingesting news. Here’s the kicker: I’ve muted so many of my Facebook friends that I don’t know what’s going on with half of them. I kind of like it that way. If I want to see what you’re up to, I’ll check out your profile. I don’t necessarily want to read about every minute of every day in your life. I dumped all of my friends off my Twitter account and moved them to a secondary address that I check occasionally. @carrjd is merely a news feed of tech-related sources on Twitter. I live a glamorous life.
So how does this relate to Revolution? Realistically, I don’t think I’d be missing much if everything shut down overnight. Everything. Computers, phones, cars, planes, lights — all electricity and everything linked therein. Technology would disappear and we would drop back to the Middle Ages in hours. Granted, we have a much better understanding of mechanics and could easily work out a few non-electrical essentials like wind and water-powered machinery. Combustion engines would be, in theory, possible without electricity. Fuel would certainly be difficult to obtain.
As most of you know, I make my living fixing and supporting computers, tablets and phones. It pays the bills and I’m good at it. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t throw it all away for a chance to live a simpler life. If I never touched another computer, I’d die a happy man.
How could I live without technology?
It would certainly take a long period of adjustment before I stopped feeling the phantom vibrations from the cellphone that doesn’t exist. I would try to convince myself that I’m bored… eventually I’d choose to foster relationships with friends, family and my neighbors. I wouldn’t be able to blog about abstract concepts on a website; I’d actually have to share my thoughts with you via an ancient medium called storytelling. What a concept!
All of this brings up questions about the need for technology:
- Why do we have it?
- What good does it really do?
- Is it purely a selfish desire at its core?
I think modern technology exists because it’s the natural progression of knowledge. Every generation takes known information and applies it to the unknown until what once was a mystery becomes common knowledge.
Our current generation has mastered that concept through the power of computers while destroying the need for wisdom from their elders. I think it’s safe to present this evidence: the majority of people under the age of 30 would rather consult Google than their parents. The internet is massive. You can find excellent documentation for nearly every topic you’d ever care to know online. With a search engine like Google, there’s no need for experience. Almost anyone could become an expert in any field with a little bit of time, the internet and a computer to do research.
The days of teachers and students are ending. Eventually, we’ll be able to learn all pertinent information for a subject in seconds (osmosis anyone?). I never finished college because I realized it was unnecessary for success. Become and expert in your field… everything else is just a formality. Maybe a professional should teach medicine and psychology. What about other industries? I’ve never had a college course in computers but I’ve mastered networking, web development, database systems, etc. Could anyone do that? With a little intelligence, self-motivation and luck… I think so.
What good does technology really bring? I tend to believe that technology just compounds the daily stress we each face. It’s impossible to argue that technology hasn’t done anything worthwhile. Generally, medical advancements are for the good of humanity. I tend to think irrationally about the medical industry; medical advancements just prolong the inevitable. When people realize the importance of spending every moment with their loved ones, most of them will do anything — rational or irrational — to keep it going. If they had spent less time working, less time playing video games, less time fixing that project car… they would’ve realized the importance of being loved and loving others earlier in life. That’s why we’re selfish, no matter what aspect of technology we utilize.
Technology is selfish to the core. You could even call it evil.
Technology exists to make menial tasks easier and faster, driven by our never-ending need for instant gratification. The more you can do at once, the faster you can get everything done. Each completed task makes you more money. More money means you can have nicer things. Modern technology makes nicer things. It’s a cycle of evil based on our selfish desires. That’s just looking at it from a financial perspective. What about physical health?
When we near death, we never feel fulfilled because we spent too much time doing X instead of Y. Our selfish desire takes over and asks our doctors to do everything possible for more time here on earth. All the while, we could’ve spent our lives living. There’s nothing more beautiful, to me at least, than seeing someone at peace when nearing death. “I lived a great life.” I hope I can say that someday too… but that can’t happen any time soon. I’m too busy to die. I haven’t spent enough time just living.
For me, electrical blackout is death and rebirth in one worldwide EMP. I’d love to see it. Maybe then I can slow down and take care of the people who love me. In fact, I’m going to turn off the computer and snuggle with my wife… just to prove my point.