First off I know the title contains an outdated phrase: “World Wide Web” is now known as just “The Internet” by virtually everyone you meet. However, the use of that term is more appropriate for this post. Let us consider for a minute what would happen if the entire planet went technologically dark. Does our generation even know how to function without Wikipedia, Google, and YouTube to explain things like simple recipes? Is the human mind losing or gaining memory? How dependent are social, economic, and everyday experiences on computers?
I’ll start with the first question, in a nutshell, no. How many people even own an atlas? Could you visit grandma without using Google Maps? Both those questions can probably be answered with another “no”. Then let’s consider everything else, the weather, email, instant messaging (IM), or Facebook. How long would it take before you’re stuck in a blizzard, lose contact with your best friend, and never remember a single birthday? Lots of questions, answer in a comment or just think about it.
Now we move onto the human mind; can you remember all those contacts in your iPhone? What about remembering an email? A phone number? Your own password? As technology grows, so does our ability to manage, store, and retrieve “memories” at will. No more pulling out the photo album when you can just pull up a Facebook album (I point out Facebook because Myspace in just a year has gone from hero to zero). Feel like you’re forgetting simple stuff if it isn’t written down? You’re not the only one.
My last big question. (Obviously there’s millions more but I just wanted to stick to these three.) When is the last time you stopped to talk to someone at the store verses talking to five people at the same time on your Intel? What is the proper way to start a phone conversation? Who ends that conversation, the caller or the callee? (Callee is a real word, I used Google to verify that, see my point?) How about asking someone on a date without texting it?
My entire point being; people need to think for themselves. If we can’t function without technology then what makes us any better than that dusty Mac computer sitting in your attic? Are we ourselves computers? What is software without the hardware? Nothing. Online society is an easy way of killing offline society. (A side note to any readers, I love technology but I love friendly tech, things that better the world online and off- like WordPress. Try limiting your time on social networks, read a book, not on the computer. Take the time to remember things yourself instead of having your harddrive do it for you. Trust me, your brain will thank you one day.)