Sometimes I wonder if my friends are really paying attention to me when I talk or just doing something crazy on their computers as they listen. Today when I received the e-mail below I realized, I am lucky enough to have some friends who gets me and listens, especially when I talked about my thesis in a recent conversation.
This is an example of a good use of technology. I don’t think I would ever pick up a GQ magazine ‘just because’ so without my friend Matt, I would never have read this article that is so relevant to my thesis ideas. This is where technology does us good–with the help of copy & paste and e-mail at the touch of our fingers, Matt could send me the articles instantly. He didn’t have to write me a letter or call me to tell me about it, but I got it! I didn’t have to buy the magazine to read it, but I could just get linked to it…amazing!
The article is the letter from the editor, Jim Nelson, titled, I Love the Way You Hold Your Gadget (GQ, October 2012).
The editor jokingly talks about how he was on a hike in California and wished he had his iPhone with him to experience the view. Funny right? But so true. Some people can’t live, and laugh at the idea of not having a cellphone. He goes on to talk about how everyone is on their phones in the city, looking down not up at where they are going. We are all guilty of it–checking our phones as we walk and not paying attention to the things around us. I know I am.
This got me thinking back to my conversation with Dr. Levinson about how the use of technology is an evolutionary process. I think it’s already clear that technology is not going anywhere and it is how we use it that we need to think about. Find our own balance as all this new information comes our way.
What was even more intriguing to me was what Nelson had to say about online dating that shows how technology is already evolving itself. He said that he read an article in the Times about how online dating can only take you so far because these online dating sites realized that “algorithms will only take you so far, and that the best way to find a potential mate is in person.” So already, the technology is finding flaws in itself. Clearly an algorithm can’t solve everyone’s problems and we still need to find that balance.
So to tend this little thought trail, (which I am not sure made any sense now that I look back at it) here are the final paragraphs from the article. Who thought that meeting someone in person would be called retro. We can’t rely on technology for everything, but as Dr. Levinson pointed out to me in our interview, it’s a learned behavior that we will figure out, eventually.