Friday, March 20, 2009

The Digital Lifestyle Addiction

I build software for a living, for Windows computers, web browsers, and for mobile wireless devices too. So I know more about technology than at least 99.99% of the population. Note: I didn't grab that number out of the air but calculated it based on a few reasonable assumptions.

I understand the power of technology and what benefits it can provide mankind. As such, I'm a big advocate of it. But just like there were no speed limits and other such conventions when automobiles were first introduced, so I believe society has not yet established a proper set of rules of behavior for those using digital technology.

Here are a few examples of how the use of this "product" can be pathetic at best and downright annoying at worst:

  1. Talking on a cel phone any time, anywhere, at any volume, and always incessantly.

  2. Constantly text messaging while out in public.

  3. Twittering 24/7.
If you're not familiar with the latter activity, let me give you a quick synopsis: Twitter is a global text messaging engine where everybody can potentially see everybody else's messages. Each individual message can be no more than 140 characters in length. Here's an example of a Twitter user:
  • I just woke up
  • I just got out of the bathroom, doing a #2
  • I just looked outside and saw clouds
  • I just made a cup of coffee
  • I'm walking down the street
  • People in this town are so unfriendly
  • I'm getting on my bus
  • I'm waiting for my plane
And on & on it goes. Such insight and depth there, eh?! The great thinkers of the ages must be quaking in their boots!

Anyhow, the 3 examples presented above are but a few of the myriad of examples of the often stupid behavior of technology junkies.

I've developed a theory to explain it: Isn't the seemingly non-stop, addictive behavior of such folks almost identical to the actions of a chain-smoker and/or alcoholic and/or drug addict?

For some time now society has had strict rules about the consumption of the last two products. More recently, the consumption of tobacco has been greatly restricted from most public and many private areas too.

Perhaps it's now long overdue to restrict the use of technology products in a lot more places than we currently do.

1 comment:

David in North Burnaby BC said...

I've been known to shock some people with how "libertarian" I can be (the drugs war, seat belt laws, helmet laws ...) but the sooner there's a law against gobble gobbling on that damn phone while driving the better. I've almost been run down in a crosswalk more than once, I've even seen them texting while they drive. I wonder if they twitter now too:
now I'm driving down the street
oops i think that was a red light
some old guy with long hair just put a big rock thru my back window

"Twitter", it seems appropriate for a buncha bird brains.