Keep Passing the Open Windows! (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)

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Modern Technologies: Good or Evil?
Every time I am visiting a Euroset store or any other store of a similar kind, I am mesmerized by the selection of mobile phones, laptop computers, net books and so on.

Life is making people use technologies at work, at home, on the go, for communicating with colleagues, relatives and friends, for learning what's happened in the world around. Although modern means of communication are intended to keep us closer to colleagues, to home, to relatives, to friends, they, quite often, perform an opposite function: the modern communication devices keep us more alienated, more estranged.

Reliance on modern devices often reduces our willingness to meet in person, to speak face-to-face.

A nightmare of the modern office life is teleconferencing. Instead of a personal meeting, partners talk through a computer screen. No matter how good the monitor is and how well the sound is adjusted, this communication will never substitute a direct conversation, where the partners seat around the table and look in each other's eyes. Well, I fully acknowledge that if a simple or minor issue needs to be imparted, it may be and should be done via teleconferencing. Whenever an important matter is to be spoken about or decided upon, the partners should make an effort to meet face-to-face. There are, certainly, urgent moments, where a decision must be taken as promptly as possible. Then the modern means of communication justify themselves.

Let us turn our attention to what is going on at our homes, which are filled with computers and various gadgets. No doubt, Internet has become a vital part of our every day life at home and at work. Unfortunately, it is quite rear that children are taught to select information which is useful for them, which is contributing to expansion of their knowledge. Speaking of children, we should not forget the issue of information noise. Being absorbed in the noise, children don't use scarce time for doing home work, for outdoors exercising, for meeting with friends.

Adults are not immune to the problem. It is much more a men's issue. Having come home after an exhausting day at work, they seat at the computer and play games or browse the sites not worth to spend time on. Things don't get done, important matters get put off, even children may be neglected.

Many of us, children and adults, recognize ourselves in the narrative. I recognize myself as well, although I am trying to avoid information noise. Sometimes, after I seat at my computer for hours, I blame myself for not having used precious time differently, more purposefully. Did I really need that piece of information that I waisted two hours for? I am afraid I cannot reply in the affirmative.

Let us have a close look and carefully decide where modern technologies really support us, and where we are simply killing time and ourselves while abusing them.



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