As much as I am a gadget freak and smartphone freak, I recently started to think what life would be like without all this information at my finger tips. I mean of course I would miss the cool gadget but looking beyond the gadgetry, what if we didn't know what was going on except in our immediate world as it was only a few decades ago? Technology has changed the way we live so fast and been accepted by the majority of the world's population so quickly that we sometimes forget how much we depend on it. What is happening in the financial markets right now? Oh let me go check it on my iPhone. What is happening in the middle east? Oh let me go check the thousands of news sites on the web with my Blackberry. We have become so dependent on these devices for information it is a little scary.
Remember when you had to go somewhere say for an interview and you had no idea where it was so you tried to find it on a map and then winged it once you got close to your destination. That funny feeling in your gut? Nervous, queasy apprehensive anxiety? Now courtesy of Google Maps or MapQuest or any number of other similar services, you can not only get a turn by turn map to the address you can get a satellite pic of the area. When I was in college a few years ago.... all we had to communicate with girlfriends, parents and friends was a land line phone or a physical letter carried by our mighty USPS. We had no email, no cell phone, no social media like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, texting etc. It seems like the dark ages now but that was only 25 years ago. Only 25!! While I am not trying to sound like I walked in the 6 foot snow to school story, I am trying to grasp how much society has changed due to technology in a mere 25 years. You can create friendships, relationships and more without even ever meeting the person face to face. I have many electronic friends and it doesn't take long to feel like you really know them, and for all intense and purposes you do! You can share your life via pics, music, video, blogs, websites, etc.. I talk regularly to people in Europe via Twitter and email, share pictures with people all over the world with a flick of a button (no pun intended) on Flickr and can post to my blog from my iphone in the middle of the Caribbean while on holiday. Who needs postcards anymore. Take some pics on your phone and share them with your contacts. Instant postcard.
What would happen if we were suddenly thrust into an information vacuum? As unlikely as this is, what if we did not get instant information for even close to home? Has our dependency on this technology made us a little insecure? What if I couldn't check on my investments unless I called someone or waited for the monthly statement in the mail? Where is my package? What was the name of that band? How much is that camera? What foods are good for your liver? The web of information availability has hooked us and if we ever are without it we may fall hard. Being an information whore is not a bad thing but, remembering how we got to this point and respecting the miracle that it is without taking it for granted might reduce the need for a large prescription of tranquilizers.