Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" ~ Book written by Sherry Turkle

Now we turn the page and continue our conversation on this Wednesday, May 11, 2016. I had previously talked about the obsession we have today with technology. Here's an article headline for you: "Parent's smartphones harming children's ability to hold conversations, say teachers." This is based on some recent findings where teachers were queried about the impact they are seeing. Imagine this scenario: The internet is down and I can't communicate with anyone except by telephone. Oh my! This means I may have to actually speak to this person. I work with them all the time. But, to actually speak and have them speak back to me. I'm not sure that I can do it. There may come a day when people forget even how to verbalize at all. Just think. You call up someone and tell them who you are. They are surprised because even after all the message exchanges they were not certain that you were a real person. Laugh if you want to but we may not just be headed in that direction, we, for the most part, are already there. I've experienced folks who were stunned when they got a real person on the line. They actually wanted the voice mail system. See what I am talking about? They were hoping to speak to an electronic messaging system, not a flesh and blood, real human person. Back in the day when I was in charge of a large networking environment, I spoke with people all over the world. It was always interesting when they would come to Houston for a meeting and we would end up meeting face to face. Invariably, I didn't look to them anything like they imagined, and they didn't match my mental picture either. Today you can look them up in any number of ways. You can find their personal photos, their family information, their police records, their home address, their marital history, and many other types of information, mostly all for free, in seconds, if you know how to use the tools available to you. For most people, the good news is that you may never have to have an actual voice to voice communication with them. This brave new world is really something. What say you?

Okay. I'm done beating dead horses for this week. Or, at least, as it relates to that particular subject. If you love animals, don't be offended by that metaphor about horses. People are so sensitive today. That particular idiom about horses actually means to continue with an issue that has already been concluded; something that is considered to be pointless. While the exact origin is not known, it is typically thought to have been in one way or another connected to horse racing. The earliest mention in print is from 1859 from a newspaper in London which had this comment, "It was notorious that Mr. Bright was dissatisfied with his winter reform campaign and rumor said that he had given up his effort with the exclamation that it was like flogging a dead horse." See. I had no thoughts of animal cruelty in mind when I used it. I did read where Barnum and Bailey have now retired all their circus elephants because of the ongoing challenges from animal rights groups. No more elephants at their circus performances. That's not good enough for those who oppose animals being used for entertainment purposes. They now want Barnum and Bailey to cancel all animal acts. Period. That's just one example of the myriad of folks fighting this, that, or the other on the grounds of their concerns or just because they feel offended. I heard the other day that psychologists have found that people who have to walk through first class on their way to their cheaper seats are impacted negatively by that experience. Next thing you know they will be saying that life is mostly unfair. Yikes!

I suppose the way I move from one thing to another could be described as drive-by or throw-down commentary. I think that fits my mode and my profile. I may be one who knows a little about a lot of different things but not that much in-depth about anything. Well, that might work for most of my knowledge base but when it comes to realizing my need of God I think I have that one pretty well figured out. In fact, I well identify with the sentiment from this hymn, "I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee." That hymn was written by a lady named Anne Hawks. She was a prolific songwriter of more than 400 hymns and lived from 1835-1918. Here's her account for how the I Need Thee hymn was birthed, "One day as a young wife and mother of 37 years of age, I was busy with my regular household tasks during a bright June morning [in 1872]. Suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that, wondering how one could live without Him, either in joy or pain, these words were ushered into my mind, the thought at once taking full possession of me -- 'I Need Thee Every Hour. . . .'" The famous Gospel music writer Dr. Robert Lowry added the tune and the rest is history. I get what she was talking about. I hope you do too! Take care and may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ....More later....

No comments: