Technology really does suck. That’s a lead-in to a minefield, and yes, I’ll give it a shot, but where shall I start? I could address how it makes the jobs of education exponentially more difficult. I might begin with the fact that it retards people. I am able to begin with how technology in used to categorize and form a digital form of segregation. Another way to begin might be to jump right into how the communication shown with technology keeps people from actually practicing the art of communication. Honestly, I am beginning this at almost 2:00 in the morning, so I cannot function to decide which avenue will be best to begin, so I will choose at random.
I once had a “Facebook” page about 13 years ago; shortly after I began a “Myspace” page. I began these pages as a way to share pictures with relatives and friends, as well as communicate with people around the world who I was befriending through my work at a summer camp. I disengaged from these sites due to their claim of ownership of pictures and videos that were posted on them; this did not agree with my views on ownership. I spent about 11 years not logging into my Facebook page, but then I discovered that the only way to communicate with my local Rugby club was through Facebook, so I was reunited with the social media platform.
At about the same time I reopened my account I also finished writing a book. Upon discussing the process of becoming published with a family member who has been published several times I learned that I need to gather a following, and this following should be in social media. Well shit, I discovered, as I had anticipated, I was not very good at social media. This failure is partially due to my inability to use much of a filter. I speak my mind and am as truthful as I can be without consideration of how it might offend or piss off people. That attitude is with face to face contact, imagine what it looked like on social media!
My local Rugby club has folded, I have a pinched nerve in my back which precludes me from playing rugby, and the strategy of Facebook as a way to gather a following didn’t agree with my mentality and attitude; I have deleted by Facebook account as it has no value for me at the present. I find the petulant openness of media, particularly social media as not only appalling but also a representation of much of what is wrong with the world. Furthermore, it is evident that by living life through others memes, posts, and pictures withdraws the person from their own world; communication is not done in any real manner (with tone, accent, facial expressions and eye contact), communication is flaccid and false. Therefore, as I predicted, I failed at social media.
When teaching students their devices allow them unfettered access to the global world. As exciting as this could be, it does not prepare the students for accessing the local world. They are unaware of how to construct real relationships. Even when they are interacting with peers, they show a clear lack of social decorum. Extreme rudeness of burying their noses into their devices, lack of attention to simple instruction, and a systematic hyperactivity that has birthed a myriad of learning disabilities.
The bright lights of social media, the continual feed of limp information, and the constant grouping of advertisements that are specifically focused to the individual based on their personal viewing habits have been working to brainwash the planet. Political views and world opinions are shaped by mistruths. These strategies have worked well to design a population who will not question the validity of things being presented to them by someone/something with whom they trust. Using technology as a machine to categorize people and put them to extremes based on the direction they slightly lean is dangerous. Technology is utilized to turn well meaning individuals into sheep who refuse to not only ask questions but to ask intelligent questions that will hold others accountable.
The lack of accountability has been shown by how willing people will be to make accusations, harass someone, be blindly disrespectful to someone, a lifestyle, a race, a religion, or a view. Not having learned how to communicate, social media sheep have constructed no manner of interacting effectively with those who have offended; online or, more troubling, in real life. Troubling as such, we may be approaching a point where technology has become so important of a control in individuals lives that there is no turning back. As society has become as reliant as they are on technology how might there be a way to reverse the damages presented by technology’s control. Can society go for a day without using technology; can we survive without technology? I know that I am going to attempt to withdraw myself from technology, limiting my usage. I know it will be difficult (particularly for people who are used to a certain amount of connection with me), but I must discover another way to become published without Facebook, at the very least.