Monthly Archives: May 2012
There is no doubt that technology has shaped and improved lives. As a college student, as a blogger, as someone who spends extensive amounts of time on the internet, I know this. But if I learned anything from my late world history class the past semester, it’s that everything comes with a price.
Could I spend a day without technology? I doubt it. Not only the internet, but cellphones, ipods, credit cards, dear god, coffee makers! Everything I do in my day to day life involves technology. It’s infiltrated society and made us dependent on it. Consequently we become addicted to it.
For me, I think games started first. Neopets hooked me to my computer screen when I was in elementary school (or younger?). Then came emails and instant messaging. Mp3 players, phones and now a laptop.
What started out as an innocent game grew to be an intense need to be connected to people, to be involved someway. It’s gotten to a point where, without technology, people feel cut off. They become listless and bored. If we don’t get facebook notifications via phone, we say “I have no friends!” No email notifications? “I’m not important!” No music? “ohmaigawd, I should just die!”
Technology has taken over our lives. It’s gotten to the point where instead of being annoyed or stressed at the number of notifications you get, you get stressed out when you aren’t getting notifications. Cracked wrote an article that included smartphones as a source of stress (here.) because we hear “phantom vibrations”.
This can’t be a good thing.
In my opinion, it’s not just technology though. This burst of progress within the last few decades or so that has made technology accessible to the everyday person, has also left us wanting more. All the time. Frequent technological updates (Iphone 4s, Ipads, PS3, blueray) means that what technology we do have, becomes outdated sooner. It’s no longer enough to own the ‘latest record’ because the way music and other things are released nowadays, you have to have the ‘future record’ in order to be on top of things.
And thus everybody wants to be ahead of everybody else. They want to have discovered the ‘new thing’ first. Leading us to the rise of hipsterdom! I feel like being a hipster has now become mainstream. Listening to indie music, watching indie films, liking something because not a lot of people do or know about it. When I first heard “Call Me Maybe” it was a few weeks before the song got big. Then when it did get big, the person who showed it to me complained at how she had heard it first, and thus how she should get the credit for introducing me to it.
So it’s all about being first is it? Technology, you’ve introduced us to a whole new level of competition.
I sometimes wonder what it would’ve been like to grow up in the 70’s, or just when technology was not as big and fifth graders weren’t watching Gossip Girl on their iPads on their way to school. It’s probably not true, but wasn’t life simpler then? You spent time with your friends and family. Like real time. No distractions from your smartphone, earphones out (or I guess off with the trend in Beats), nobody playing Words with Friends, Temple Run or Angry Birds on their iPads, but true quality time.
Well tomorrow’s the day! Tomorrow I’ll test my abilities to live without technology. Err, no. I mean without internet, my cellphone and cable. I’ll be in a house with no wifi, and in a basement with no signal. Good-bye world, try not to go too far without me!
Some time in middle school, I learned the expression “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it” and I was intrigued. I started using the expression constantly, it was so applicable, especially to my ‘put things off for later’ mindset.
At that time in my life, I understood this expression to mean that I wouldn’t have to deal with anything until it confronted me, staring me straight in the face. That was my misunderstanding. This expression is not telling you to procrastinate your problems, to not deal with them at all until they’re right up against your face, rather it implies that there are more important things at hand that come before the ‘bridge’ problem. It means that before I concern myself with this ‘bridge’ I should focus on the getting to the bridge. It’s useless to worry about what’s going to happen when I approach the bridge if I have no plan of action for getting there.
Thank You Cereal with a Fork for this comic!
Yet worry I do. I worry about what will happen after I graduate. Will I be able to find a job? Where will I be living? Will you still be with me? Will I get married? I worry about what will happen in my career. Will I be successful? Am I happy? I worry about what will happen with us, with the alien, with my family. Will I grow old with you? What will come of the alien? And my parents? My sisters?
All this worrying and looking into the future, trying to discern what’s going to happen, it’s a wonder I get anything done at all! I spend too much time trying to figure out the future, things I can’t be sure of and really can’t affect at all, things that I can’t do anything about. And in doing so forget completely about the present. It’s as if I had spent all my time preparing on how to cross the bridge that I didn’t pay any attention to where I was going, and didn’t end up at the bridge at all.
The lesson to be learned from this expression is two fold. One, don’t worry about it. Two, live and enjoy the present.
Yes, it’s an oversimplification, get over it. It gets the point across.
You showed me this, and you told me to just live in the present. I’m trying I really am. This is why I admire you, because you make this ‘living in the present thing’ which seems so hard to me, look so easy. You say things as if they’re just the simplest most obvious things in the world. And I hear you and look at you and think ‘why can’t I be like that?’ To be fair though, you came with your own set of worries, your own set of bridges. Furthermore, you came with bridges I had never encountered and never thought I’d encounter.
These are real things to be dealt with when the time is appropriate, not now some ‘600 miles’ away and not while I’m staring over the edge of the bridge, toes dangling off when it’s too late to really do anything to cross the bridge. Work towards it step by step.
How did that get published?
Just a couple days ago, I finished reading “The Wise Man’s Fear” by Patrick Rothfuss, the sequel to “The Name of the Wind” and it was great. In my opinion it was better than the first one, but I’ve met people who’ve disagreed with me. Compared to the first book, the character interactions felt more flushed out. There was more voice in them. The story took interesting turns. But, this is not to say that the book was without fault. There were definitely times where I felt the story was going off on a completely different tangent to the main plot line, and where I felt the story was not advancing at all and seemed utterly pointless.
This is to be expected though. Every book, story and novel has their faults and their good qualities. Whether there were enough of these qualities to cancel out their faults usually determines if the book was on the whole good or bad. I have yet to encounter a perfect book, a flawless book. On the other hand, I have encountered, or rather, heard of many a bad, poorly written, shallow book.
I wonder sometimes how these things got published, but then I think of all the ‘chick-lit’ out there, all the ‘beach-reads’ and it begins to sort of make sense. Girls want to read stories of everyday ordinary Janes that get swept off their feet by rich, handsome, powerful and charming men. This desire only seems to be stronger in the tweens of today. The other day when I was at Barnes and Noble, to my dismay the entire ‘Teen Best Sellers’ section was filled with dark covers of sultry brunettes with half naked boys. Every title hinted at some sort of supernatural element, some sort of mystery and romance. As I kept wandering the store, there was even a “supernatural romance” section! An entire section! People have moved on from fantasizing about being swept off their feet by rich handsome men to being swept off their feet by rich handsome vampires and werewolves. Oh boy.
But let’s be real here. It’s not the supernatural aspect that I’ve an issue with because I was all kinds of crazy for Spike and Angel back before Boreanaz picked up a few pounds and Marsters began his quest for dragonballs. It’s the writing itself. You want to fall in love with a vampire or a werewolf? Fine, but can you please do it with a little more style, voice and class? I fear that perhaps the whole ‘getting swept off her feet’ notion is, while cliche, becoming trite. All the stories seem the same. Plain looking girl who has little personality so could basically be a self insert for some reason intrigues and gains the attention of a hot, sexy billionaire and they fall in love, and in the case of ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ have lots and lots of sex.
Has it fallen this far? Unable to find authors who can come up with new romance story lines, publishers now publish twilight fanfiction that uses hot and heavy scenes from the bedroom to keep readers reading?
A little disclaimer here: I’ve not finished ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, nor do I really want to. I’ve read about 100 pages in and the main character has just lost her virginity to Mr. I’m-mysterious-handsome-rich-and-dripping-with-sex after finding out that he’s into BDSM.
I just do not understand the appeal of these things. The female characters are weak. The male characters are essentially all Gary-Stu’s and the plot is contrived if it exists at all! What happened to the strong female characters of the late 90’s and early 2000’s? Where are the Buffy’s, the Charmed Sisters and the Sabrina’s?
To be clear I’m not mourning the loss of girl power, I’m mourning the loss of tact and class in these ‘new age’ supernatural stories. The writing of these stories has lost style and have been reduced to cliche, unrealistic dialogue that’s lost the spunk of it’s predecessors (mainly talking Buffy here.) And it’s just sad that while I grew up with Buffy, with Joss Whedon’s clever one liners and lovable characters that had depth, kids and tweens today are growing up with Edward I-am-invincible-and-shiny Cullen and Bella I-have-no-personality Swan.
And thus, while everyone is wrapped around this Twilight/supernatural/not so complex and unlikely romance, I’m sad, I hope ‘Fifty Shades of Grey” is the last of its kind a new fad will soon follow.