All life instinctively looks for the easiest path. Water will flow down a ravine before it runs across the land. Lightning looks for something tall and conductive before it will travel to the ground. Insects and rodents will find an existing hole before they make a new one. People are naturally no different.
I’m not insulting humans, as I often look for the easiest solution myself. It’s only natural. But there is a potential problem with that practice. It’s that, sometimes we choose the quick reward of easy paths over the more substantial, long term reward of taking the less comfortable option. And technology is an excellent example of a path that is all too easy.
Before Tech was High Tech
I remember a time before the World Wide Web was a ‘thing’. The Internet was not yet user friendly. Cell phones didn't exist. Instant messaging meant having to call someone and actually speak to them. Before the early-mid ‘90’s came around and digitized everything, we used to actually face each other more when there was a conflict.
I remember people saying what was on their mind and actually asking about what they didn’t understand. But here’s the thing about that; it’s not as easy as a text, an instant message or a social media post. So as we pump more and more easy technology off the assembly lines and into our lives, we change the way we handle our most important communications. Where those communications used to be full of facial expressions, body language, tone of voice and back and forth talk; they’re now boiled down to a few lines on a screen.
We can end a relationship during a TV commercial break, or eat a meal with others while almost never looking up from our phones. It’s become too easy, too comfortable. And when we lose the nuances, explanations and opportunities that help us understand each other; the right way to handle things is over before it begins. So much information is left out that we get referred back to the last article in this series, Filling in the Blanks.
The speed of Tech
The equation is staggering for me, someone who’s worked with electronics for virtually my entire life (started exploring and taking things apart at about age five). About every two years, the power of our electronic devices doubles (For nerds; yes, it's arguable that Moore's Law is changing; but the technology still grows at a pace that far outruns our sense of responsibility).
The breakdown of human behavior, directly relating to technology
When it comes to human behavior the formula about growth is generally backward from Moor's law. We’re getting dumbed down more and more.
Tech support for our devices is almost always outsourced. Those ‘technicians‘ are usually just reading from a book and often don’t know the devices they’re working with;
Me (rare, distant past times I've called tech support): “hello, my computer is acting like someone gave it crack.”
The techie: “have you tried restarting it?”
The techie: “okay, please try restarting your computer.” (because that’s what the manual is telling them to say).
Me: "I did. That didn't work. I'm wondering if there is an issue with heat dissipation and maybe the computer is randomly shutting down to protect the processor?"
The Techie: "Did you try restarting the computer?"
In the deeper world of tech engineering, we’re seeing less and less hands on, thoughtful design and less and less hands on construction. Most design aspects are being figured out by computers. Devices are being put together more by robotics than anything. Artificial intelligence now has an immense part in the development of our everyday systems. Technicians who repair items are becoming fewer and further between because our devices are highly disposable. It used to be that something would break, you’d take it to the shop. Now most of the time you just throw it out and buy a new one.
Circuitry was once pieced together by larger numbers of physical parts that made the machine ‘think’. Now it’s down to just a few parts and the computer code inside runs most of the functions. It used to be that the hands-on engineer was dominant and the coder was less needed. Now it's becoming the opposite. The coder decides more about how the system runs.
What all that means is, even in the 25 years since I completed formal education in electronic design, the human mind and hand has been greatly removed. There used to be huge scores of people who were involved in the design, construction and repair of technology. But the human element has been spread so thin that it’s much harder to find anyone with a truly authoritative role in technology.
And then there’s the sheer addiction we see in its use. It’s getting to the point where, at the cost of our health; we’re so in need of the fix that our toasters, air conditioners and refrigerators are being jacked into the home network. In other words, quite simply and truthfully, our devices are running us more than we are them. Don't believe me when I say we're addicted? Try to watch absolutely no TV for two weeks. The next time you're in a waiting room, don't pull the phone out even once. Get rid of your internet for a month.
This onslaught of technology is not just bad for our relationships and our mental health. It’s not just a problem of ease and addiction. It’s also bad for our bodies and our brains. The data is there, even though it’s not widely published.
Cell towers are popping up everywhere. Home networks are growing to include more and more of our devices (it's called "the internet of things"). Virtually everyone has a phone in their pocket. Smart meters are on almost every home and building.
The amount of electromagnetic radiation around us, for those of us who realize it’s there, is staggering. Safe levels were passed up years ago. It’s so rampant that there’s now an awakening new term used in the tech world... “Electrosmog”. Among my own, personal set of EMF/Electrosmog (EMF = Electromagnetic Field) meters, I actually have a pro-grade version called and “electrosmog meter”. And let me tell you, I can turn any one of my meters on in just about any part of any urban area and find consistent unsafe levels of radiation.
Side note: want a quick, interesting learning experience? Go to your favorite search engine and type "electrosmog".
It’s long proven, but often hidden; this electrosmog of radio waves causes things like fight or flight mode, heart rhythm issues, mood swings, sleep loss, cancer and other bodily damage. Think of it this way; a microwave oven uses concentrated radio waves to cook muscle, bone and other once living tissue; exactly the same stuff we're made of. ALL of our wireless devices use some variation of the same radio waves as the microwave oven. No, those radio waves are not different enough to keep living things safe. Yes, they are becoming so concentrated in our normal atmosphere that they are surprisingly dangerous.
The bottom line
I’m not saying technology is evil. I’m saying we’ve not kept it in check for our health, our moods and our interactions between each other. Our understanding and control of the ripple effects has barely grown over the years. Meanwhile, the use and consequences of our devices had spread like wildfire in a fireworks factory. It’s created another major wall between us; mentally, emotionally, physically and most important... spiritually.
Links mentioned above
Walls, (1/7) - Filling in the Blanks (and Series Intro) (article) - Series intro. We feel the need to understand our situation to move on, but often times that need backfires.
Walls (3/7) - Self Talk (article) - If the influence was as innocent and ineffective as it seems, it would have died off before we ever knew it as everyday life.
Walls (4/7) - Anger and Hate (article) - None of it makes any sense or benefits anyone. And the glue that holds it all together is deception, the kind the Devil uses every day.
Walls (5/7) - Deception (article) - If you can convince your opponent the real you doesn’t exist, you can stand right next to them with a smile on your face and hand on the controls and no one will say no.
Walls (6/7) - Money (article) - Is it bad to be wealthy? The question sounds simple enough, almost as if there should just be a “yes” or “no” answer. But in truth it’s a bit more complicated than that.
Porn is Okay, Right? (article) - A popular example of what technology can do to the soul.
True Fellowship - it Starts Where it Ends (article) - ...simply put, people are just not getting along and the walls continues to build between us.
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