Do we really need drones? Perhaps they are useful in taking photos and videos of wildfires, but for what else? Novices and those who can’t follow the rules may fly them too high, and some drones can get in the way of commercial aircraft. Don’t we have enough issues with commercial aircraft? And at some point, Amazon is hoping to deliver with drones. Do we really need our package in 30 minutes? Jeesh! Isn’t a day or two fast enough? Isn’t Amazon Prime good enough?
Driverless cars? Well, I guess increased safety is the reason behind the driverless car, but many of us actually like to drive. I cannot picture a freeway full of driverless cars . . . I picture a Disneyland ride. What will we be doing when our cars are driving themselves? Playing with our cellphones? Watching a movie? What about race car drivers?
I heard on the radio a couple of days ago that researchers were working on a way that women up to 70 years old could get pregnant. I don’t know about you, but I think that is a very bad idea for obvious reasons. To me, this is an extreme waste of research money. I would like to see all this money go for cancer research, wouldn’t you?
Progress is a given. First there was fire. There was the wheel. There was the printing press. There was the electric lightbulb. We cannot imagine being without any of these. We are always striving to improve things. There was the telegraph. There was the telephone. I remember the old telephones with rotary dial and party lines. Then there were private lines. Then there were pushbutton phones rather than rotary dial. There were those fancy-shaped princess phones, and they came in pink, and not just black. Then there were wall phones in beige to match your kitchen. Then, cordless phones replaced those nice long curly wires. Then these big carphones, which became big cell phones, which became small cellphones, which became big (but thin) smartphones.
But there is often a tipping point. We all have computers, and students can find out anything by searching Google. Schools are aiming at one-to-one devices, so every student has a device. Keyboarding has replaced cursive instruction. E-books are popular (although not as popular as expected because, often, people like print books). However, numerous studies show the importance of cursive writing for brain development, the improvement in retention when something is written down rather than typed out, and the many issues with increased screen time: eyestrain, lack of social skills, lack of physical activity, and the list goes on.
Education is constantly striving for improvement . . . No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top, Common Core, and whatever is next. But long-time teachers will tell you that the same things keep coming and going in cycles, packaged in different words with different technology.
Another case of a tipping point: Food has become convenient. While our grandmothers and mothers made macaroni and cheese from macaroni and cheese, now we open a box and throw the insides into a microwave or on the stove for a few minutes. We have microwave meals . . . and packaged foods with a long list of mysterious chemical ingredients. We are now urged to eat fresh food, organic food. Less sugar. Fewer chemicals. We are better off eating like cavemen than from boxes.
Yet another case of a tipping point: Online banking. debit cards, and Paypal . . . and increased cases of fraud and identity theft . . . leading new companies, of course, to find expensive cures for that!
Of course, many advancements are positive: Medical advancements, safety improvements in automobiles, safety improvements in infant car seats, vaccinations, safer airplanes.
Some advancements are questionable: Do we really need 750 television channels and streaming on multiple devices? Do we really need high-efficiency washers and dryers with expensive detergent pods? Vacuum cleaners are handy, but do we need one that walks itself around the house?
Obviously, companies are always producing new and improved products. They have to. What else ensures their longevity and profit?
I remember laughing as a teenager when my grandmother was afraid to buy a Dustbuster. She didn’t want that thing constantly charging and was afraid it would “blow up.” I didn’t understand then, but I understand now how technology can be unsettling to those of us who didn’t grow up these things.
One final thought: I am not a stranger to technology. I currently own a laptop, a tablet, an e-reader, an iPhone, Apple TV, and a Fitbit, which I wear on my arm. Keeping everything charged is a challenge. If it isn’t the Fitbit, it is the phone that needs charging! I guess that is why charging stations were invented!
I would love to hear your opinions on this post and technology!
Grammar Diva News:
Mark your calendars for Friday evening, February 26 at 7 p.m. I will be officially launching Fifty Shades of Grammar at Copperfields Books in Petaluma, where I will be reading sections of the book. And there will be cake and it’s all free, so come on down. The book will also be discounted by Copperfields, I believe.
If you are interested in gaining confidence in your writing and speaking, you might be interested in any of my grammar books. Check them out at the new and improved website, and check out the testimonials too!
The Grammar Diva is available for copyediting and proofreading your books/writing; writing guest blogs on your blog; and giving presentations and workshops for your group, organization, or company. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.