Fort Mill Times

Is technology really making our lives better?

In life, I’ve learned that not all good ideas need to always be in effect.

Take technology for instance. There are some really great inventions out there, but I wonder at what point they become a detriment or a net loss instead of an advancement. I envision a day in the not so distant future where I’ll be side by side with a friend looking through his Google Glasses while Siri arranges dinner reservations, freeing him up to check the latest stock prices on his Wall Street Manager app and the score of the Hornets game on the ESPN app.

Meanwhile, we will have not said two words to each other in the past 10 minutes and counting.

My house is like that sometimes, including times when I’m writing this column. I’m on the computer furiously typing this rant while my son is on the Xbox, my daughter is on her phone checking Instagram and my wife is watching some design show on HGTV. As a familial unit, we’ve not looked up from our screens to even smile at one another.

What happens in five years when the computer senses my thoughts and writes the column for me, my son is playing a virtual reality simulation where he’s a gladiator fighting lions, my daughter is taking college classes remotely from her dorm and my wife is having the TV print out the latest garden design she wants to use?

Whether we want to accept it or not, that’s coming. I already feel like a fool when I start answering the guy talking on his Bluetooth. I’m going to really feel like an idiot when I’m watching the latest movie on my smart goggles and go crashing into the other idiot who is looking down at his own device. That is until anti-collision software is implemented, sending us careening in different directions, while we enjoy the bliss of our electronics.

I’m not naive enough to think the trend of burying ourselves in electronics will fade away, but I wonder if we will see a day where parameters are put around their usage. We can’t use our cellphones while in flight, not because they won’t work, but because they will annoy mercilessly our fellow passengers. Maybe restaurants (remember when that was the only place you could order an “app?”) will have app-free zones.

Driving while looking at Google Glass will be a violation and ignoring your family will be a thing of the past. Column over. Time to start working on that last point.

You can reach Scott at costanalysiscolumn@gmail.com to boycott the app store for a week.

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