Sometimes I wonder if I am not a Luddite. Though I have always embraced technology, I truly think it has a plethora of negatives that we just don’t come to grips with. I read this morning a wonderful op-ed piece by Emily Walshe, a librarian and professor at Long Island University.
In it she notes how technology has allowed us to stop remembering many, many things. We can use technology to find phone numbers, addresses, speeches, quotes, names of movies, etc. Much of it we carry around in a cell phone. One small child when asked for his phone number said it was 1 – the speed dial number.
Niel Postman in “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology” points out that all technologies have up and down sides to them. Writing for instance, like our phones, has enabled us to use our memories less. Write it down and you don’t have to remember it. (You do have to remember where you put it!)
Walshe says, “With so many of us a slave to tin can memory, our human capacity for identification is jeopardized. Because when we commit things to mind, we become the authors of experience.”
Authors of experience – isn’t that nice? By using our minds, observing our surroundings fully, embracing the life all around us rather than relating to a screen driven by binary codes we are the authors of our own lives. Our trips to Italy are all about life, living, being in the moment, using all our senses. We reconnect to life, and, I hope, it serves as platform and memory to propel us to living a full life when we return home.