Technology is a great tool. The use of the computer today allows us to pay our bills, text and get immediate responses, buy things, sell things, share thoughts and even talk to someone face-to-face with a visual chat. Are there some problems that could be made better? Sure. And yet think of how much better this mode of communication is compared with others in the past.
Think of the sailors who used to go to see for years at a time, and their families and loved ones would not know where they were, what they were up to, or even if the wayfarer was alive or dead. Then think of the colonists coming to the new world and building from scratch an entirely new way of life.
At least the colonists in the new world had ships going back and forth to England, and they were able to send letters on the boats. They could send a message and get a reply back in probably three or four months. This was a vast improvement over what had gone on before. At least they got the letter replying back if one of the two ships going back and forth didn’t sink, or the cargo did not get washed overboard.
The other concern with sending letters back and forth across the Atlantic would be whether or not the receiver had been trained in the technology. Not everyone at that time could read. Most people could not sign their own name. The old joke about putting your ‘X’ here was an absolute mainstay of contract signing back then.
We are better educated today. And yet, many do not understand the fundamental technologies of communication today. I do know people who, rather than learning a new technology that could open up their world to many new experiences, actually pack up the computer and put it on the shelf in the closet. They did not understand it, and rather than learning, they just gave up.
Those who give up on technology feel they don’t need it. Many never had the technology when young, and therefore don’t feel the technology is required now. And as these folks go through life, they can be pleased and comfortable, and never realize they are actually just an island, stagnant in a stream of everything that goes on around them. They never see anything other than their little island, because without this technology they never knew what else was out there.
If you live as part of an extended community which makes a choice to limit technology, such as the Amish, you do not miss out as much. Because everyone in the covenant works at the same technological level. The loss of information and lack of gaining knowledge happens in the broader culture where various individuals use various levels of technology and do not get to see the knowledge presented at some of the other levels.
What did they miss out on? Family pictures, live video chatting, purchasing without ever leaving the comfort of your home, gaining knowledge on anything you want to know about, sharing with others, expression, and many other things.
As a community, we can help those who wish to learn newer technologies to do so. If you know someone who needs technical help, lend a hand. If you need a little help, check community centers and other places where people share knowledge. Many centers may have free or nearly free classes.
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