In a world of twitter, email, SKPYE, SMART phones and internet (to name just a tip of the iceberg) information and answers are always available to us any time of day. Gone are the days of finding paper, searching for a pen, writing a letter, holding onto it until you could buy an envelope, taking it to the post office, waiting for the reader to receive it, waiting another week and a half, maybe more for a response and following the same whole process all over again once the letter has been read. I remember having a long distance relationship and being obsessed with my mail box. Every day I would check to see if a letter had arrived. Finding a letter and reading what my boyfriend thought over a week and a half ago sometimes just plain ol’ sucked!
However, these days…you want to say something to the world, you have a range of options at your instant fingertips. No deep thought needed. Just instant gratification. Bam! Sometimes, the next day you may think, “Hmm maybe not such a great idea…” D.E.L.E.T.E. Some implications may need to be faced but not really to the same extreme as a letter posted which you can’t retrieve (and which probably sat with you a week before you actually physically posted it anyway).
The same with information. Need to find out who climbed the tallest mountain, what language they speak in a certain part of Africa or the climate in the Amazon-Google. Thousands of answers at your fingertips once more. Gone are the days of wrapping up warm, getting mom to drive you to the library (or God forbid) catch a bus, trolling through hours of old micro-fish newsletters, researching books or actually having to find the needed information in the book.
Want to buy that $10,000 sofa. No worries, use credit. INSTANT purchase, no thought needed. No waiting until you actually save the money needed to buy it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I use it all the time for all the reasons mentioned above but this is my concern. When everything is instant, the here right now, what happens when something unexpected occurs. Something that means we actually have to be patient? What happens when we need to stop and actually really think about what we are doing? I worry that our children will stop working hard for what they need, stop critically thinking about what they want to write and say and just dive into action.
In some ways I think as adults we need to help them to understand that patience, hard work and deep thought is (as they say) a virtue. One that will equip them to deal with an ever changing world. Who knows what tomorrow will look like or what will be available for our children but giving them the tools above is hopefully a start in empowering them to cope and (hopefully) not be too hasty.
Anyway, I’m off to download my next book, purchase a present on Amazon and perhaps send out a Facebook message to link this blog. 🙂