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

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