HermannM

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

When Technology Works Against Us

In Interesting on November 24, 2009 at 4:13 pm

With the holidays approaching, many people will travel to be with their loved ones while others will turn to technology to maintain relationships. Facebook and Twitter do a good job of keeping people updated as to the rollercoaster of emotions their friends undergo. I ultimately believe these technologies serve a public good. However, I question whether these technologies are really effective in bringing people closer to one other.

I am a firm proponent of marriage and family and would love to explore the role of technology in the family setting. The answer might have seemed obvious until witnessed this commercial the other day.

I was shocked Verizon would support this messaging to sell us on its flagship product, the Hub Telephone System.  The problem isn’t the technology, it’s the people. I applaud the mother for trying a new recipe to feed her family. The son, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. When I was growing up, my mother would have beat my ass had I spoken to her in a similar tone.  His resistance to a meal he’d never heard of smacks of arrogance.  I felt a slight ethnic slur as he enunciated “PAH-elle-ah” in lieu of the proper  “pi-Yay-ah” phonetic. His emphasis on the word “ever” revealed a subtle dynamic in the relationship between mother and son. The dominance of the child over the parent was further reinforced when she acquiesced by calling for pizza delivery. If this is this America, we are headed in the wrong direction.

This commercial highlights the tearing apart of American families; it would be naive to look to technology to sew us back together.  Technology is nothing more than a vehicle for communication. It works if we use it and even then, we have to use it constructively.   Let’s not forget that we are the key ingredient in the recipe for harmony and unity in this otherwise uncertain world.

As we gather around the table this holiday season, let us all think about how we treat each other, how we view each other and what barriers we still maintain. We have only one life to get it right, lets make every moment count.

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Postmortem. The Verizon Hub was discontinued in September 2009. May the technology and this commercial rest-in-peace.

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