I am a nerd from the word go. I have been a nerd for quite some time. It’s a natural occurrence. My father loves to read science fiction, watches Star Trek, and loves all the newest gadgets. That is the house I grew up in, a house filled with Anne Mcaffrey, Isaac Asimov, Gene Roddenberry, and my personal favorite, Tolkien. In my youth I spent more time reading books than I did watching TV. Then I discovered the concept of fan fiction. This form of media only increased my appetite for all things nerd and wonderful. It was a deep dark secret that I tried as hard as I could to have, because in the 90’s there was no such thing as nerd chic. Thanks to shows like the Big Bang Theory, I am now free to combine all aspects of my life into one personality and not hide behind the cool side as it were. Not only that, but all of the cool technology I read about, is slowly becoming a reality. The fantasy stories I read leap onto the screen, and apparently out of it (the new Hobbit movie is going to be in 3D). It’s a great time to be a nerd, from the newest movies, and comic books that are being treated as they should be, to the newest gadgets and apps.
The latest technological breakthrough is an improvement on GPS technology on your smart phone. I have to admit the whole of Apple’s iPhone tech completely blows me away. It is something straight out of Star Trek to me. The new breakthrough not only will get you to the store, but literally walk you through it.
The layout of grocery stores is designed to make you walk through the entire store so that you will purchase more. Now what will they do. The technology can lead you straight to the aisle where you can find your cookies. Gone are the days when people looked at the signs for help. Now they can just look at their phone. Anyone can look at their phone. Anyone can look at the map of the interior of the building that has been mapped and find exactly where they need, or want to go. So I pose this question. Is this a good thing?
In many people’s minds, sure this is a fine thing to have. It makes life more efficient. After all it’s hard when you only have time to speak in 140 characters. It’s difficult to maintain that kind of pace if you actually have to ask someone for help. And if you think that this paragraph is dripping with sarcasm then you’re dead on the mark.
On a more serious note I would like to point out again, anyone can access this technology. That means those people who would seek to do harm have access to it. Now before I dive off into the finer points of my opinion on the Patriot Act I need to pause and make my point.
Technology is awesome. It is helpful, and it makes life more enjoyable (for the most part). Technology also comes with a serious amount of responsibility. Your smart phone doesn’t make you smarter. It does however give you a higher amount of responsibility to use it correctly. The things we enjoy for their efficiency make it easier for someone else to be more efficient as well. That means people who want to be more efficient at doing illegal and reprehensible things have the same conveniences as the soccer mom trying to get her kids across town to practice. So what am I trying to say?
Be careful with all of these new toys, be smart about how you use them. I watch middle school students everyday use smart phones, tablets, laptops, and mp3 players. Most of them use their stuff innocently, however there are those few who wade into the shallow end of the sinister and break the rules. Educate yourself and stay up to date with what your kids are playing with. Take responsibility for the power you have at your fingertips.
Now, where are my flying cars; I was promised flying cars?