We Don’t Control Technology. Technology Controls Us

At a first glance it might sounds silly, but every time I look around me, I can’t help but think it’s true, and it only gets worse by day. Think about it. You go to a restaurant and see a family or a group of friends, at the table, all on their tablets or smartphones, browsing the internet, not exchanging a single word during the entire meal. Later, they all pack their stuff, and leave. I always wonder why did they went out in first place and not stay locked in their rooms and chat via Facebook, while eating alone.

Visiting a new city / country often turns, for most people, into a quest to find a Wireless Network, just so they can talk to someone else, or update their Facebook status about the new ‘exciting’ location they are at. We are losing ourselves into the technology in our pockets and not living in the present day. The acute desire to always be connected and record every move we make, makes us forget to actually enjoy the moment, and be there, with the persons sitting next to us.

The social disease of recording our moves, checking-in from every location, posting pictures of the food we eat, and look in a certain way for the photos we ‘HAVE TO’ upload online, turns us into the slaves of the applications we’re using. Some people say: ‘I need to check-in now, because later it won’t be valid anymore.’ or my old time favorite: ‘I need to smile in a certain way, because otherwise I can’t post the pictures online.’. To whom are we trying to prove what, by acting in a way we are not, just for the sake of being connected, with some people we most of the time don’t even like? It seems like lately what’s more important than anything, is live to the expectations of a pretended life.

I don’t think, for most people, there’s anything more painful when going out into the real world, than the lack of internet connection or the ‘Low Battery’ warning. It makes me wonder, when and where do they actually live if they are so busy with technology all the time? They live on the social network or in the real life? Because most act like their life is over when the battery dies.

I believe we are missing on a lot, because of this kind of perspective on socializing… We have no idea how to enjoy a moment of silence in the nature, we can’t enjoy a peaceful meal with our loved ones, without obsessively check our phones every few minutes and posting a picture of the food on Instagram or Facebook, and we definitely don’t enjoy special moments in our lives, like birthdays, holidays, fireworks and so on, without letting go of reality, and moving ourselves into the piece of technology which has to record it all.

I find it particularly sad to know some people can’t spend a moment alone with their own thoughts, without playing loud music to push away loneliness, and without connecting to a social network, to scroll through other people’s lives. Is like we are trying to run away from … ourselves.

And what is so social about Facebook? What does it have so special that makes us give up the most beautiful application, REALITY, just to spend virtual time, with out eyes glued to a screen? Why are we so afraid of the Low Battery warning, when it actually means: ‘Why don’t you look around you and find someone real, to really talk to?‘. What makes us chose the pretended life of so many online ‘friends’ (who only wish you happy birthday because Facebook informs them to do so) over our real friends and family, sitting right next to us?

Such a beautiful world out there, and we push it away for a small box with a screen… Who controls who again?

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28 thoughts on “We Don’t Control Technology. Technology Controls Us

  1. Totally agree! The younger generation seems to have lost how to socialise or communicate. It’s as you say, they are all on their smart phones in a little bubble world. Does not bode well for the future of mankind, if we stop communicating face to face!

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    • Thank you so much for reading! You are right. We’re all in our own bubble. I believe all this madness should stop at one point. When I look around me I find it unbelievable, sad, and rude in the same time. It’s such a pity we don’t spend more time with each other, instead of being stuck with out eyes on a screen. I miss the good old days when you will hang out and be 100% there with your friends/family. There’s nothing I hate more than be there with someone physically, when they are mentally far far away. I wonder how and when it will end. Mankind needs it.

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      • I’m not sure if that’s the way to go about it. It’s more about teaching the younger generations about respect, and about healthy interaction with the people around them. Otherwise we’re heading for a disaster…I already know some who can’t speak to strangers, unless they are behind their computers. Our brains will simply forget how to live in reality…

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      • Same rule applies, but everyone is using them. Or at least it was like this when I finished school, not that long ago. As a small child who couldn’t get in contact with her parents, as there were no phones back then, I see the use in such devices, but it’s bad when it gets out of hand, and we are kind of at that level now. By that level I mean the point where it affects our behavior, so I can’t help but wonder if they do more good or harm.

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  2. Hello Lucy,
    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful post. I agree with you on many things.
    It’s important to know how to ‘properly’ use these tools, and have a balance…
    But it is getting more and more difficult as more people become addicted to social media.
    Technology can be a wonderful tool, be we (both adults & children) have to be educated/more aware of properly using it, I think.
    Best wishes,
    Takami 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for your wonderful comment. I totally agree with you. We definitely need a balance. Technology should be seen as a tool, but we shouldn’t allow it to take over our lives. I tried to raise awareness many times through my posts, so this is yet another try at making people conscious about the fine border between the two. Have a lovely day! Hugs x

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  3. Great post Lucy and as you say we need balance. For example it’s great for my elderly dad who’s in his 80’s to be able to Skype with me every week (way better than the occasional phone call or letter when I first moved out to Australia) or for my mother in law, who’s isolated in the English countryside looking after my disabled brother in law, to be able to see family photos on facebook. However this need to stay connected at all times is causing major problems. As you say people are way too concerned with an “image” that they are portraying rather with just being in the moment. I set aside a time to check my emails, blog page and social media rather than just being on here all the time as I have many other things to do as well! That way I control when I look at it rather than being in a knee jerk response mode all the time. People constantly checking their phones at social occasions is a huge bugbear of mine – I mean why bother you are certainly not connecting properly with the people you’re physically with if you’re checking your facebook newsfeed or uploading a status update? I am quite worried about the way this is all going – my 2 year granddaughter knows how to scroll through i-phone photos and her mum even caught her on the computer table (she’d used a chair to climb up) and had called up her aunt (my other daughter) on Skype! Fortunately the internet was down so she couldn’t get through – of course I should hasten to add that her mum, my daughter, is very responsible and she has heaps of toys, books and real life experiences to keep her occupied and entertained. It’s just even small children nowadays have an innate understanding of computers and technology! A thought provoking post thanks for sharing it! Have a lovely weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading my post. I very much appreciate your comment. It makes me happy to know I am not the only one who feels this way. It’s harder to find people my age who agree with me however. As you also said, it bugs me to go out with someone only to see them busy with Facebook. Just like you, I also have my time of the day when I talk to people, write, read on WordPress, but when I say I’m done, I’m done. I won’t go out with anyone, asking them to wait until I finish talking to someone else. I find it very rude. But, you are right, it’s a plus to keep in touch with your family and friends who are so far away, through Skype. I’m not sure how I would survive either, being in another country, with no contact with them whatsoever. I’m happy to know technology does so much good around the world, but it can also harm. About young kids and phones/tablets….I’m not so sure it’s that good for them. I pity kids nowadays, as it seems to me they have no childhood. I used to go out, run, play games, build toys out of nothing. I was using my imagination and spending quality time with people my age. In the present day, kids don’t really know how to do that anymore…such a shame. Have a lovely weekend and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Hugs!

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    • I’m happy to know there are still people like you out there. It drives me crazy when you go on a trip and people panic because they can’t stay connected. The point of travel is to be there, not busy with your phone. Thank you for your comment! Have a lovely day 🙂

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  4. Lucy~ Such a great post…
    I particulalry like this part: “What does it have so special that makes us give up the most beautiful application, REALITY, just to spend virtual time, with out eyes glued to a screen? Why are we so afraid of the Low Battery warning, when it actually means: ‘Why don’t you look around you and find someone real, to really talk to?‘”… SO true I find your words realy eloquent. As to friends I have made one online (just one)… Even ahen we don’t know each other in person I find our bond is real… Thanks for sharing~ Happy weekend ahead to you. Aquileana :D‘.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Aquileana! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts. It makes me very happy to know you enjoyed the post. It’s definitely an issue, and it happens everyday around us. About online friends, I also met amazing people I keep in touch with all the time, but I think the person sitting right next to me should be treated with respect, and receive my full attention. Also, when I go in the nature, I like to disconnect and enjoy the surroundings. I do like to spend time online, but it will never come before reality. Have a lovely day! 🙂 x

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  5. Another deep and well thought post ! I really enjoyed it !

    I’m a very connected person (especially email and wordpress), but when I go on holiday, I can stay without internet and without being unhappy. It doesn’t matter. IIf I’m eating with my friends, I’m not surfing on internet while doing it. I can enjoy the nature, and the surroundings. I can use the the best of the two worlds I think 😀

    If I’m very connected, it’s because my boyfriend is not living in the same country as me. If it wasn’t for a connected world, I wouldn’t have been able to stay in touch with him and make it work for 3 years 🙂 Like everything, some things are good with being connected, but you shouldn’t forget that reality if far more important ! You have to respect people and if you spend time with them, you should enjoy their presence. I completely agree. I wish some people, especially younger generation, would understand that as well.

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    • Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment! I can’t agree more with you. I am just like you. I respect the people I am with, and I leave technology aside until I need it. Unfortunately younger generations don’t know when to stop, and what’s polite anymore. I love how we can keep in touch with our loved ones, who are so far away from us. I was in the same situation as you are right now, with my boyfriend living somewhere else, so I was so grateful to have a way to keep in touch. Right now, I need it in order to keep in touch with my family and friends. But, in the end, it’s all about finding a balance between virtual world and real world. Have a lovely Friday! Hugs x

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  6. What a provoking thought! This reminds me of a friend who complained awful her nights were when she did not have internet at home. She said it was unbearable and she did not know what to do when she could not be online. Funny to think about it, as when I were on holiday, most of the time we visited places where the internet is scarce and I did not mind at all. I can write, read and edit my pictures. But somehow my friend did not think such activities as much fun as having internet – especially to get in touch with virtual friends in social media…

    Interesting post Lucy – a great reflection!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your lovely comment, Indah! It makes me really happy to know you enjoyed my post. I know exactly how it feels. I also have a friend addicted to Facebook and staying connected. She said she wouldn’t know what to do with her life without internet. It’s such a pity some can’t enjoy a trip, a new location, or a day in the nature, without scanning the area for a wifi network. The best connection is with nature and with new people you can make friends with. Happy to know there are more people like me out there. Have a lovely day! Hugs ❤

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  7. Lucy I think the key is balance. I am very connected to social media but i know I have to keep the balance of that with enjoying the moments and being in the moments. Thank you for this thought provoking post.

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    • Thank you so much for reading. I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, some don’t know how to keep that balance or, even worse, they don’t realize it’s so much needed. Have a lovely evening! x

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  8. Excellent blog, Lucy. I’ve managed to avoid the constant interaction of modern social media, not only because it is so rude in social situations, but also because it reduces our awareness of the natural world around us, like birds and trees and so much else that makes living interesting. Your zombie illustration was perfect. I also think it impacts our ability to communicate or think deeply. Life becomes a series of sound bites— 10 second thoughts or interactions. It has to have an impact on our brain and how it is wired. Thanks. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Curt for reading my post and for your lovely comment! I’m really happy to see more people like me out there. Everyday I go online on a social network I see more and more how things get out of control. Such a pity people give up on reality for a virtual environment full of falseness and pretended lives. Have a lovely day! All the best, Lucy x

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      • Indeed Curt! But a social media environment where creation is encouraged it’s totally different than an environment you use to pass time. From this point of view, Facebook has a minus.

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      • You’re right, Lucy. The one value of Facebook is that it allows me some communication with family and friends that probably wouldn’t happen otherwise. But I know people who live on Facebook. Not good. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

      • Same here, Curt. However, sometimes I wonder how strong those bonds really are, if the only way in which we communicate is through Facebook. As you said, unfortunately some people live on this social network. I always wonder what can you do on Facebook, for a whole day 🙂 Have a lovely evening!

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