(“Everything’s amazing nobod’ys happy,”)
The other day, a friend of mine shared an article from NPR on Facebook that really struck a chord with me. The article basically pointed out just how impressive all the technology around us is. And yet, we do not even notice. In fact the only time we seem to notice it is when something goes wrong, like if our phone takes more than a second to load. As the author (and Louis CK) say, it is literally being sent to space, and yet we complain. This article, and the video that accompanied it, was a real wakeup to me. I sit and type or browse the web or edit photos or whatever on my laptop but I never reflect on it. Seriously, here is a three pound piece of metal and glass that let’s me chat with someone across the country in the blink of an eye. That is absolutely amazing. If someone showed up with a MacBook Pro in the dark ages, they might have even labeled it witchcraft.
I definitely do not agree with Louis CK calling us the “crappiest generation” but he is absolutely right that we are spoiled. I certainly do not think of the decades of technological research and meteorology that went into allowing me to check the weather on my phone in seconds. In fact, I do not even think about the hours that are spend everyday to ensure that I can stay up to date with the weather, or whatever peaks my curiosity. It is quite upsetting to hear older generations gripe about how we are all spoiled narcissists. But, in my subjective opinion, the same thing could have happened to any generation. Technology’s great advances in the beginning of our lifetimes have programmed us, as Rushkoff might say, to act like we do. We do not just use technology; it uses us and it’s great convenience and speed has taught us to expect instant gratification. In my opinion, the effects of this have not just affected our generation. I see my father, who is in his fifties, get anxious if his email takes a moment too long to load. And I see my mother, for all of her patience, lose her head if she doesn’t have cell phone reception to make a call. Maybe it’s just human nature to get so accustomed to technology that we don’t notice it.
I suppose my point is that we need to appreciate technology more. Maybe if we do, we can avoid our generation’s theoretical fate of self-absorption and narcissism.