The Birds May Sing, But My Computer Can Tweet

Outside birds may be chirping, but within the walls of my home I’m hearing a different tone of tweets. Slowly, but surely, digital technologies are replacing everything that can be obtained outside of your home. Convenient? Wonderful? A life saver? Possibly. I disagree. The argument over the population’s social skills being tarnished has been going on for a long time, but there are other matters at stake that people have hardly considered.

Down the road from my apartment is a Target store. There, I can buy groceries, pick up my prescriptions, and find anything from dog food to shoes to home décor. Within my home, sits my laptop, on my desk, which is not too far from my bed. I would not need a car to dive into the website and find everything I need within the comforts of my pajamas. Online shopping has created a sense of convenience for people, but is it truly a blessing? I might be saving some money on gas; but, what am I giving up? While strolling a store, I am exposed to human interaction with employees offering their help, the friendly pharmacy workers who always enjoy a short chat, and also losing the curiosity sparked by strolling the aisles and seeing something interesting and new. I cannot hold a digital image, which makes me feel less inclined to buy it and learn later that I might not like the product. Online shopping may make life easier, but it’s another curse of new and expanding technologies: they keep us at home.

One activity in particular that I find I use on a daily basis is Facebook. There are about a hundred things that can be said about Facebook limiting our social skills, but one part in particular stands out: sharing who we are. On Facebook, I can spit out everything on my mind, everything I’m doing, where I’ve gone, where I’ve worked, and the list goes on and on. Looking at my life before Facebook and looking at where I am now there is something missing. It’s minor, and quite forgettable, but it’s scrapbooks! No one can deny the desire to capture life’s unforgettable moments and what better way to enjoy them than to share them with others to see. Sharing pictures virtually has become so laidback; it’s ridiculous to choose not to do it. There are lesser and lesser physical photo albums as the digital ones don’t collect dust and can easily be shown to an unlimited audience. Sharing photos online is easy, but it has eliminated the care in choosing our favorite pictures to fill the limited slots of a photo album. Not to mention, with a photograph album, to share the pictures it would involve physically going out and showing them. The problem with cataloging your life in pictures online is that the pictures will be there forever. That hilarious picture at the Halloween party is cool now, but years down the road when a grandchild comes across it, it might be more embarrassing. Or an even worse scenario: the photo being found by your future employer.

Technology creates a new world within the walls of your home. A shopping trip can be completed without even stepping outside. Life’s precious memories will be saved in pixels for eternity. With the Wii game console, I don’t need to find a baseball field to play the sport, all I need is a tiny plastic bat and some swinging space in the living room. I can create my dream family, home, and career with the popular game Sims and happily watch and create an entirely different life. If a virtual life isn’t what you’re looking for, then there’s always seeking success in obtaining a degree. Online school services are popping up through ads on TV enticing people to get off the couch and into their computer chair to attend classes online. Additionally, love isn’t far away as long as there is Internet and a subscription to a dating website.

Technological advancements have done many things. It has given us electricity, communication with the world, medical advancements and touch screens, but it has also taken away some of the most vital things in human life: outdoor interaction. As people take advantage of all of these easy opportunities, we weaken the joys of fresh air, bumping into charming strangers, and having a good laugh with a friend face to face. The swiftness of these advancements is increasing at both an exciting and alarming rate. When technology has offered so many positive services, it becomes almost impossible to turn down them all. It’s safe to assume that everyone will replace at least one outdoor activity because of a technological replica that offers convenience and comfort. The fear of the decline of face-to-face interaction and outdoor activity is real, but it’s difficult to notice it when you’re busy playing Angry Birds or watching a live-streaming of anything your heart desires. It seems that the population is creeping into a technology coma with our eyes only half-seeing what we’re actually doing. While we enjoy these new entertainments and services, we fail to notice that we haven’t stepped outside of the front door. As businesses, scientists, and experts, push for the latest and greatest, the consumer is left in anticipation in the comfort of pajamas on the living room couch.

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