Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Where's my tin foil hat?

My email was down for the last two days. It was very strange -- and yesterday I was beginning to think that it was a systematic government action to spy on us. The outage covered much of California and Arizona, which is why I began to think in terms of government spying; had it just been limited to me, I would be cranky rather than suspicious. But it's back up and running today.

But this lead me to consider all the ways we're overly connected:

Video games; game boys -- great training for future fighter pilots for our armed forces. Not only do they make young children adept with their thumbs, they desensitize kids to the act of killing by oversaturation. Besides, in the games, they just re-set and kill again. Isn't that just like life?

Cell phones keep us connected 24/7. I regularly see couples at restaurants seated together, both on cell phones, neither one with the other. Something better is always going on somewhere else -- otherwise, they'd be talking to each other. Teenage girls, walking down the street, three abreast, each chattering away on their cell phone. Nobody has the capacity to be with anybody else, it seems. Small wonder we feel isolated.

Email. Well. I can't remember what a real letter feels like -- and I'm one of the email addicts of the world. It's instant. Sometimes I email rather than use the phone.

iPods and MP3 players -- we never have to listen to the world around us; we never have to listen to our own thoughts.

We have an oversaturation of information; twenty-four hour a day television; we sacrifice imagination for technology, for entertainment. I read an article about how children should not watch television before the age of two, because they can't process the quick cuts, the fast influx of images. The article said television is a major contributor to ADD and hyperactivity -- that it is short-circuiting the wiring in kids' brains.

I'm connected again, and I wonder about it. There are days when I would like to sell my condo, move to a big old patch of land, and live off it. But not today. Today I'm reconnected.


karena said...

Hah, I know what you mean about the real letters. I have noticed that my once beautiful penmanship is now barely legible, yet my hands, arms, elbows, etc. cramp from using the computer. I remember the old days of hand cramps from writing so much, but now it is different.

DivaJood said...

Yep. And try two pair of glasses -- computer and seeing everything else!

The Fat Lady Sings said...

I miss the writing. I enjoyed the act itself - and the tools; beautiful pens and ink, paper with a high rag content. I love forming letters, feeling the pen move. Writing is a very sensual act. Typing is cold; impersonal. Like reading on a computer screen. I prefer the feel of a book in my hand - its weight, smell - the physicality of turning the pages. It’s different now. But I still write. At Christmas time - I send cards with letters. I can indulge myself. I love shopping for pens and paper, you know. Gel inks are my favorite. Florescent colors. Bright, cheerful, full of life.

DivaJood said...

TFLS, I agree completely about books. A friend loaned me "Reading Lolita in Teheran" as a book on tape -- and as I listened to this woman reading aloud on a CD as I drove, I found I could not connect at all. So I returned the discs, and bought the book. Reading this book was like sitting with a close friend, who was telling me a harrowing experience in her life.

Helen Wheels said...

I never listen to music outside and don't even own an Ipod. I am confused as to why anyone would want to block out what's going on around them. For one thing, in a big city, it's not safe.

I know what you mean. The weird isolation. Ain't healthy.

DivaJood said...

HW, I rarely listen to the radio in my car. I like to hear what's going on. I have an ipod which I use on airplanes, but not on walks, not in my car.