Since I started bashing technology a few days ago, I may as well continue!
Swiss playwright, novelist and architect Max Frisch said, “Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” Consider:
- People walk through the public realm plugged in to their cell phones or i-pods completely oblivious to the world around them.
- Television and “reality” computer games mean we live vicariously rather than a real life.
- “Virtual” everything means not real.
- We can watch movies without even leaving the house to be with others in a theater.
- Cars, a technology after all, separate us from the world around us and particularly people.
We embrace technology blindly. There is no question it provides benefits, but we never consider its downsides. E-mail, for instance has added an hour to the work day. E-mail, voice mail, and easy connectivity anywhere has led to nearly half of us working on vacation up from less than a quarter ten years ago. It is no wonder a quarter of us are lonely and the number of close friends we have has declined by half since 1965.
One of the things I love about being in Italy on our trips is that it is at least a little harder to be plugged in. Yes your cell phone will work, but there is a six hour time difference. And yes there are Internet cafes but it is just a little more difficult to use. And no there are no televisions in our B&B.
Over the course of the week people begin to stop worrying about being connected. They immerse themselves in living – good food, spectacular scenery, amazing history and arhcitecture all around them, interacting face-to-face with people, seeing others interacting in the passeggiata (evening walk) and at restaurants, using the art course they are taking to touch life more intimately. It’s wonderful and rewarding. It’s life. What a concept!