Who Tells the Creators of Technology When to Stop?

I’ll admit it. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to being glued to my phone. Yes, I’m distressed when I look around at a group of friends out to dinner and see them all on their phones, but what can I say? I do it too.

What really gets me though is that I know I don’t need it. Somewhere, deep in a drawer, is my old Nokia 3315. Gosh I loved that phone. It did everything I needed it to, and for years I refused to upgrade, until eventually I did, because everyone had, and somehow that created a need.7261754de66a72c34aa64c7e5cb41d26-red-technology-background

Technology changes lives, saves lives and improves lives, but like many things that can be used for good, it can also be just plain bad.

Companies, driven by the desire for money and success, create, improve and reinvent. And like lemmings we lap it up. We pour out our hard earned cash to buy the newest thing, because it’s new.

We don’t need it, but the very fact that everyone buys it creates a need.

There is no accountability; no one who looks at new technology and asks: Will this be truly beneficial for society in the long run? They just create and we consume.

Could we be lining our graves because we follow without thinking, people who are creating without thinking, and there is no one to tell them when enough is enough?

I’m Not as Dumb as I Sound

morning paper: photo credit stock.xchng

Anyone who has studied a foreign language and then traveled to that country can probably relate to that vulnerable, humbling feeling you get when you discover that your lack of ability to communicate makes you sound stupid.

I remember on my first trip to Germany, sitting with my host and a few of her friends, playing a board game. I think it was Pictionary, and they were all encouraging me to play, but my language was limited and I didn’t know half of the words we were playing with.

I clearly remember wanting to tell them, as I haltingly communicated in basic, broken sentences, “I’m actually not stupid! I do speak a language fluently and I am capable of intelligent conversation!” Instead I was relegated to child-like speech and exaggerated facial expressions.

I learned a big lesson that day, and one I’m ashamed to admit that I had to learn by experience:

Just because people don’t speak my language doesn’t mean they’re stupid.

I think there is far too much arrogant, English ‘monolingualism’ in this world. A person could speak five languages fluently, but sadly too often, in my country, if their English isn’t good, they’re quickly relegated to the ‘stupid bin.’

Intelligence goes far beyond communication, so let’s give our tourists, our immigrants and our exchange students a fair go. Their English might not be fluent yet, but there’s a good chance they’re smarter than we are.