Sunday, January 25, 2009

How much is too much?

What happened to the simple task of making a phone call? Or even writing a letter for that matter? Instead of a quick, easy, and efficient method of communication, our society (for the most part) prefers to use about six different types of technology to keep tabs on our friends and family. Drew Barrymore addresses this well in the trailer for the upcoming movie, He’s Just Not That Into You: “I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my Blackberry, and so I texted to his cell. And now you just have to go around checking all these portals, just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.” (Check out the YouTube clip for the full trailer, if you’re interested).
I suppose this is just a way that society is changing, but the question is, why? Why do we suddenly need so many different forms of technology? For me, it seems like things have gotten much more complicated in the four years I’ve been at university. I think it all started when one of my friends, who went to a different university, asked me, “Do you have Facebook?” I think I can pinpoint that seemingly innocent question to when I had too many technologies to look after. When I entered university, I was just getting used to having a cell phone (a graduation present), then along came Facebook. It was both a blessing and a curse. However, the marvel that is Facebook is a topic for another post at a later time. For now, I want to concentrate on how many different technologies we have to look after if we want to even think about having some semblance of a social life. When I am at school, I have to keep track of my home phone, cell phone, hotmail, school email, Facebook, and WebCT (for those of you who don’t know what that is, it is an internal site for our school where we can access some of our classes, and discuss with and message our classmates). Like Drew said, it really is exhausting. Yet I check many of those things several times a day. I have a roommate who doesn’t check any of her many technologies regularly (she has the same number as me) and it is actually frustrating to me, which is beyond ridiculous. There has been the occasional time where I have gone through all her emails and Facebook messages for her and acted as her secretary. Is this really the type of world we are coming to? I think my roommate actually has a firmer grasp on reality. Why should we feel compelled to check so many different types of technology several times daily? It is excessive and fairly absurd. However, this is the world we are now living in.
Technology is now such a big part of our lives (especially as a student) that we have a panic attack when our Internet stops working. We’re breeding a generation where the Internet and various other technologies are the be all, end all to their (our) world. What do you all think of how dependent we are on technology? I’ve got a mixed opinion about it. I am completely reliant on the Internet and my cell phone, but there are times when I wonder why on earth I care so much. This has been a bit of a rambling post, but my main point is that we have so many different types of technology to look after, and I don’t know if it is really necessary. Let me know what you all think! I’m really interested in finding out how many different types of technology you all use and how attached you are to them, whether you want to be or not. On that note, I will be signing off. Kstar is done philosophizing.

Special thanks to the article in the city magazine Will entitled, “do u c what i c & r u ok w it?: The (d)Evolution of Communication,” written by Derek Krismanich, which helped inspire this post.


  1. I share a very similar opinion with you K-star. Technology has developed too quick for me, but I feel like I have to keep up with it in order to keep up with the pace of fellow students. Blackberries...soon enough cell phones won't even exist anymore and we'll all have a Blackberry. The technology that we need in university consists of a computer, the internet, and a cell phone. The ways in which these technologies are used is completely up to us, but I feel like we've become dependant on these technologies to the point where simple conversation and genuine, face-to-face communication is being left behind. We don't have the time, and using these technologies makes it quicker and easier. It's making people lazy I think. Get up and go meet a friend!

  2. What do you think of our business program starting to use Blackberries for classes? I haven't read too much into it yet, but when I first heard about it I thought it was kind of ridiculous. Aren't cell phones and such sort of frowned upon in classrooms? I'm still trying to wrap my mind around that one.