Technology or Hands?

Question 001: Technology has become a part of us. Would you rather lose the use of all motorized vehicles, all telecommunication devices and computers, or one of your hands?

Simple answer: I would rather lose all use of motorized vehicles, telecommunication devices, and computers.

Long form:

Much of what I hear nowadays is how our phones are glued to our hands, how we don’t know how to communicate, and we don’t remember life before the internet. At the risk of not trying to romanticize my childhood simply because the only worries I had were based on whether I’d win a kickball game at recess, I would personally be okay with no technology. But even as I say this, I know my mother will still never stop handing me articles to read that say how bad technology is for you.

I’m not renouncing technology—I believe that so many important advances in every field of study have been improved through technology. I also believe the reason why our world seems to feel on the brink of disaster is because of technology. Because we’re so connected, we’re able to hear every voice. Tech has made us God and it can be overwhelming because we probably weren’t meant to handle this much information.

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But how great is it that we ARE able to hear all these stories; that we CAN help anyone in the world…if we want. Sadly, the more I’ve worked in New York City, the less I’ve seen that “want” and the more I see the hardened society we’ve become. All this technology has distracted me. This society of meme-makers and fame-seekers saddens me because I feel genuine actions are few and far between. Maybe NYC is not the greatest representation of the country but I do realize I’m in a bubble of diversity and constant technological growth with apps predicting more and more accurately exactly HOW late I will be to work due to someone sneezing and causing a fender bender.

However, without tech, would our country be as loud in addressing racism as head-on as we’ve been doing since the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement? It’s implemented body cameras on officers so there’s less of “their story, my story” and moving towards “the story.” It’s allowed, for better or worse, all the knowledge at the tip of teenagers’ fingertips, which I have seen firsthand (wah wah), forcing them to be more accountable for their decisions AND the countless videos that come across their screens showing injustices lends them the bravery needed to stand up for themselves without the shame maybe we once felt in high school. Make no mistake this is a different breed of kids coming up.

It’s connected my family in the United States to my family in Chile, otherwise who knows how long we’d go without knowing anything of them. I dig up old letters my grandparents wrote me from second grade and I wonder if having that authenticity is really as great as it seems or if it’s nostalgia driving that thought.

Without motorized vehicles, obesity rates would go down. Europe has a great model of this as I remember going to the outskirts of Munich and finding all the schoolchildren riding their bikes and walking to school; coming from a car-centric suburb near a thriving motorized vehicle metropolis, I felt I was in a fairytale—definitely wasn’t all the fairytale castles I saw, it was THE BIKES. Our environment would thrive and lessen our carbon footprint on the SUPPOSED climate change taking place. Supposedly. But obviously there’s not scientific proof yet…despite melting ice caps, rise in sea levels, and a glaring depletion of mother earth’s materials which has also led to destruction, war, and senseless deaths.

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Again, I can only assume this question applies to my own life and not speaking to the entirety of the country, otherwise I can’t imagine 300+ million people being as “successful” and maintaining their position in the Global North. Without cars, goods would not be transported as efficiently. I can’t imagine how long it’d take to get that bracelet I ordered from Amazon coming from China. Worse yet, Amazon would cease to exist and you could no longer order Christmas gifts on December 22nd with one-day express shipping, forcing us to become a more conscious and thoughtful society.

Now that I’ve stated many reasons why technology could potentially become the death of humanity, I believe it’s my hands that are going to save lives (not with knife though…I’ve cut myself many times by cutting bagels open at my first job, Bagelicious).

My hands will save lives in giving back to others and enriching my own self. I’m a guitarist. The thought of not having that part of musical expression in my life is far worse than being annoyed every twenty minutes with a *bing*, *bloop* and whistle from my phone. I’m positive I could adapt to some of my life without hands, as others have, but I’d be much more at peace emotionally and mentally knowing I could still slap my brother whenever I want.

-MAP

The Preface: My Intent

I was perusing an Urban Outfitters and came across one of the many pocket-sized, overpriced, quirky books they sell and it was simply called, The Book of Questions. There are close to 300 pages of “what-would-you-do” type questions that call for both simple and expansive answers—knowing me, I won’t do simple. I enjoy intelligent babbling and prattling and believe most things in the universe are connected. So while I plan on talking about technology in this first question, I will probably also relate it to brownies.

I bought the book as a challenge to myself to get writing again; something I stopped once I no longer had writing assignments for college and the fire called formal education that had been lighting my ass all my years got extinguished by how quickly I ran away from all-things college once I’d graduated.

I’m writing because I feel I’ve lost a bit of myself since graduating college. I think we’ve all been there where we’re now washing dishes at our parents’ houses again or not going out to dinner because we need be mindful of paying rent or even not talking as much to those friends from college simply because jobs placed us in la la land or boss-town or the city that never sleeps. I’m also writing to find my voice again; to gain back the light that dimmed—my comedic touch on most issues. Life has made me a little too serious as of late and I just want to laugh until I cry again.

Whilst in school, I hated the formal structure and could never succumb to the mindless prioritization that grades held over us as students. It bred competition and depending on the person, directed our focus away from retaining information and cramming took priority.

Despite hating, at the time, the formal structure of school and could not understand how grades were indicative of any of my knowledge, I have grown to admire that it still motivated me to do work. While I proclaimed to hate grades, I still tried to get good ones. So when an essay was assigned, I would wait until 4 AM the night before, pump it out, and hope for the best. The real challenge I’ve created for myself here is not just answering these questions thoughtfully but to rather create some more structure in my life and become comfortable with consistency. As someone who craves constant change, I’m hoping that through this challenge I’ll be able to enlighten others, make them laugh, have them challenge me, have them feel welcome to begin a dialogue with me about anything and most importantly, allow myself to complete something for once—since I have trouble even trying to finish cleaning my room.

I’m not doing this for views or “likes,” as this is something I’ve grown to detest in our society; simply another few words to read on the internet if you’re bored and avoiding work, like I’m doing at this moment. I also am an over-thinker that will be flexible about many answers because I can see the tail, heads, and ridge of every coin. I take a stance but I THINK I’ll probably never give myself fully to any one idea because to do so would be blind and I think everyone has an opinion that deserves to be heard. But no, flan is still horrible. Thanks for joining, stay tuned for more on the Mariana-issance–and trust me, I hate myself far more for wordplay than you could ever.

Delightfully,

Mango Pie

Us Generation Y’s are forever stuck in the middle; the middle of the transition phase of technology, of humans, and most importantly, of New York City. We were around to see the pay phones and count our quarters. We were around to see people impatiently waiting for a phone to open up or a conversation to stop, the other end to ring again, and the New York skyline with its twins.

But we have cell phones now. And I’ve seen every transition of this phone. I’ve seen all of us envying those with the razor until they envied us with an EnV. I travel roads today with google-map-ease that I would’ve made u-turns on because a voice wasn’t there to reroute me.

I have my cell phone to keep me company when my actual company leaves me or bores me. I have this new New York City now and it comes without payphones. It comes with wifi towers to give my device more power. It comes with me having more quarters to order more Starbucks. No wait, there’s an app for that.

Old New York has faded. Us Generation Y-do-think-you’re-so-entitled’s have observed all this change. We made the change. So now I have all this change and no payphone to dump it in.

(anyway, watch this really cool short on an ode to NYC payphones…)

 

We’ve all seen what money can do from a very young age. It gets you the best education, the fanciest food, and the self-entitled right to be an asshole like the Orange Toupee King.

It’s not wrong to want money. It’s not wrong to have it. Money pays the bills and can provide opportunities that create unforgettable moments. What’s wrong is knowingly disregarding human life to have more for yourself. Our capitalist society dictates that there should be no limit to how much you can make, but there MUST be a limit for what we allow to happen to our country and world. There must be a limit to this greed. Because this is inhumane.

These millionaires’ and billionaires’ insatiable need for more and more has created a stereotypical characteristic of Americans and how the world sees us. Frankly, it’s embarrassing, but more than anything, it’s infuriating. These vulture hedge funds feed on the weak; taken so much from so many who have so little. This greed exists for their fear of losing their power. How do we constantly allow these people to win?

The kind of power we should wield is the power to change what’s wrong. And what’s wrong is how we’ve allowed power into the wrong hands to tell us who can eat, who can learn, and who can live. Power in the hands of the rich only to make them more rich. Power in the hands of the government who refuse to act on gun violence. Power in the hands of people who pull the trigger of a weapon meant only for pain.

But power is not everything. Money means nothing. We would be nowhere without each other, so let’s start living that way.

“More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” – Charlie Chapin, The Great Dictator.

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It’s an infuriating thing when someone decides
And assumes they know you from the first bite
Or think that because you have layers to peel
You’re too difficult to care for
Imagine that feel

Imagine that pain when you’re picked from the tree
With wild and ambitious aspirations to be
Something great and something tasty
Something to be enjoyed
But I’ve just turned into something…
something destroyed

Because someone decided to leave me:
Half-opened
Half-finished
Half-cared for

They decided these cruel things about me:
My flavor is too bland
My skin is not right
My texture is too gross
Overall, not ripe

Who will love me now?
What can i be?
I’m a half-eaten banana
But I look to my left and what do i see?
Some milk, some ice…
Ah, a smoothie!

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Come join in my fight and my plight to stay relevant
I’m rotting away but i’m freaking effervescent
How can an apple be fizzy and bubbly and alive?
The same that a child imagines bunnies in the skies.

The same that a fairy sprinkles dust on Peter’s shoulders
He wiggles them to fly,
He stops from getting older.

If only a fairy could descend on my world
And give me some color
And give me some pearls
Of wisdom to become more than a fruit,
More than an apple who’s merely a mute

A mute with no voice or feelings or emotions
I may be an apple but I want to fly oceans.
I want to have wings like a magical fairy;
I want to leave my basket of bananas and blueberries.

The only ones who really see me are the ones who aren’t heard;
The ones that have sketchers and think kisses are absurd,
That girls have cooties and boys are heathens,
That men are from Mars and women are from Venus

It’s the kids that will see me as more than an apple
Their imagination runs wild like the roots i once grappled
So open your eyes and don’t label me as such
The most dangerous word will always be just

Just an apple
Just a rotting piece of flesh
Just a redless, tasteless piece of oldness, really, at best

But sprinkle me with fairy dust
And open your eyes.
Second star to the right and just
Fly, Fly, Fly.

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You never knew me when I was younger,
I was a sight to see.
I had orange skin so smooth,
Like a Donald Trump baby

I used to be tasty,
I used to be ripe,
My colors, enticing;
My flavors, just right.

My family was all eaten;
They were enjoyed, I guess.
But as they slowly all died…
All alone I was left… I was cast aside,
Forgotten for days.
I’m shrinking.
I’m hiding.
I’m withering away.

But a bright-eyed young beauty
Saw the world in a way
That gave me a chance,
Put me on display.

Someone saw me for more than an orange that’s old.
Someone saw me for the character I showed.
Someone saw me for more than my colors and wrinkles.
So keep that juice
Because we all will grow old
And we all will crinkle.