As we get older many of us remember a time when the main technology was the round-faced clock on the wall and the rotary telephone on the table. The main things we needed to know were what time to get up and what time to go home...what time to eat dinner...when our favorite TV shows began. When the phone rang, we ran to where it was in the house and answered it. If it didn't we certainly didn't stare at it and tap it with our thumbs.
If we were planning a fishing day and really feeling "high tech", we paid attention to the tides, the moon cycle, sudden changes in the temperature, or in other words, how to "read" nature's circadian rhythm. We certainly didn't feel lost when we didn't have technology around us to supply us with the answers to questions that we once didn't even know were questions! Somehow we felt more a part of the actual physical world around us then.
That being said, I also kind of like a lot of the technology we have today and don't mind saying so.
The microwave, Google Maps, underwater radar, even Siri on occasion. Once understood and applied correctly, apps and other doo-dads can plug us into the world around us in with incredible knowledge, and far more conveniently. Today we can FaceTime a fish catch, post it on Instagram and dictate a story about it in real time all into a gadget the size of a pack of Marlboro's! We still get to choose, of course, but the choices have become endless and it certainly is hard to give them up once we've tried them.
It's still difficult to discern sometimes whether we are the ones choosing technology, or if technology is really what is choosing us. I once drove in a self-driving car at The World's Fair in New York in 1963. I really thought I was the one in control. I turned the steering wheel at the curves, honked the horn at intersections and stepped on the gas at the light! But in reality, I was only 7 and the car was on a rail. Hmmmm. I guess in the end it still comes down to what conveniences make you happy, not who is really in control.
We go from reading articles about nanotech surgery on our iPad to a Mother Earth News magazine at the barbershop to find out that vinegar can still cure just about anything. The balancing act is deciding what we really need and what we use simply because it's easy or fun. For many of us, it is a constant visit to both ends of the pendulum. For me, it's more of a circadian rhythm...The round-faced clock just let out a gong and told my stomach it's time for dinner.
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