If you are an older reader here at LockerGnome, you will recall the days when technology had no place in our lives. We lived in a time where there were no computers, no cell phones, and no mp3 players. When you mention this to the youngsters who are now tethered to all sorts of devices, they look at us like we are from another planet. But has technology made our lives easier or has it compromised our human behavior to the point where we no longer communicate face to face with each other?
I learned something interesting about two weeks ago from our 11-year-old grandson. He was doing a homework assignment and was printing out the answers to a particular problem. I asked why he was not writing out the answers, which is called cursive, to which he told me that it is no longer used. They apparently do not teach cursive writing in school any longer since the thinking is that computers are now used to write letters, emails, Facebook, and so forth. Since the kids also send text messages, you do not need to know how to write. The only writing skill that is taught is to learn to sign your name.
Coming from a generation in which we only had telephones and letters in which to communicate, I have noticed a change in our behavior. Between emails, Facebook, texts, voicemails, and other communication sources, when someone asks if you got their message, we need to ask how they sent it. It has become confusing trying to keep track of all the different communication means since we continue to receive postal mail. Toss in the Internet and the forums, groups, and other organizations we may belong to and the task of monitoring everything becomes overwhelming.
In days gone by one left work behind when they walked out of the building at 5:00 pm. Today with everyone having cell phones the office staff can call you anytime, anywhere if they have a question. Whether you are in your car, having dinner or taking a bathroom break, you are in constant contact with work. Your office can contact you via email sending contracts, assignments, and other work chores via email directly to your laptop. They can even text you anytime they wish even on the weekends. The question becomes: when do we get a break away from work and actually get to rest?
Last week my wife and I were visiting our middle daughter and her family. She had a day off and along with her family ventured out for a day of fun at the zoo. But during the entire time from when we left her home until we got back, she was either texting or calling to stay on top of what was happening at the office. At the end of the day she mentioned how much fun she had and I wondered how she even knew. Even during our lunch she was banging the keys on her phone texting back to the office. If this is what you call a day off, I would have to differ in my interruption of what a real day off is.
So has technology improved your life or has it just added more stress to your daily life?