Almost everything that is available in life is available online. Most stores have online websites, galleries have their own sites to display their information and large corporations have an online portion to their business as well. With the wealth of information online, it is no wonder that people are becomming addicted to technology. Why would someone get in their car and drive to the mall when they could order the same items online? Even some grocery stores have online purchasing options where the food can be delivered to your front door. This is the age of convenience.
But with this convenience comes the possibility of addiction. As with many substances, online media sites and other sources of technology, have become entities of addiction that keep people from interacting with others in their lives. In the video that is displayed in part 2 of Portwood Stacer’s piece, Daniel Seiberg gives a little insight into his book on the digital diet. He states that there is so much technology around us that it is difficult not to give into it. But it is not necessary to give all of it up. The important thing is that a balance is found. As the younger generations grow up, they grow up with the quickly evolving technology world, which means that they have access to more platforms and more modes of digital communication. Since one aspect of life (like online shopping) is online, why can’t all aspects be digitized (like Second Life). Humans continuously push the boundaries as to what they can do with technology. In the world of science and technology this is a great thing to explore, but when it comes to social parts of life and the communication between humans all this technology could be creating recluses.
The idea of refusal that is discussed in the Portwood Stacer piece is one that should be considered and taken seriously among many, if not all humans. I recently felt the affects of how much I rely on technology. During one of the days that we got a lot of snow here I was talking on the phone when I slipped on some ice and dropped my phone into a pile of snow. I picked it up as quickly as I could but I was not fast enough to save it from water damamge. The snow had a nice layer of slush under the fluffy surface. Because of this incident I was phone less. It took me a few days to get into the Verizon store and when I finally got there they didn’t have the phone in stock so they had to order it. With the weather in such conditions the delivery took longer than expected I went for 6 days without a phone. It wasn’t the apps like Facebook or Instagram that I missed. It was this feeling of being completely disconnected to the world. What if someone really needed me and wasn’t able to get a hold of me? On one of those 6 days where I didn’t I have a phone I also decided to upgrade my software on my computer which meant 2 hours of not being able to use that form of technology. For 2 whole hours I was alone in my apartment, completely disconnected from the world. There was no way for someone to reach me. Unless they decided to make the long trip to where I live. It was a somewhat terrifying experience. For me it’s not the actual platforms themselves that I am addicted to. I can go for days without using Facebook and I only use Instagram when there is an occasion to take picutes. But the disconnect from the rest of the world is a looming fear.
So for me the idea of refusal should not only be taken as a refusal of social platform but also one of technology itself. I love my phone and my computer, but the emotions that I experienced during those days of not having a phone did not make me feel good about myself. I don’t want to have to be that reliant on anything. Especailly something that isn’t human.