I am not an early adopter of technology. In fact, I use my cell phone as a clock. As a society, technology has become so enmeshed in our daily lives, that I doubt few of us even question its value.
". ... They are not made of steel or iron, but of silicon and plastic and digits and electrons and waves zooming through the air. These are the chains of all kinds of devices, like the BlackBerry, the iPhone and the Voyager. These are the chains with which we have bound ourselves, losing much of our solitude and our ability to see the world around and inside us. ..."
The danger of always being on and available 24/7 is that it creates an illusion of activity and connectedness when, in truth, we're less engaged with our family, community and inner self.
Compulsive and obsessive behaviors are warning enough. It's not called "CrackBerry" for nothing.
Without time for reflection, we will continue to add layers of blankets, burying ourselves deeper and deeper into un-remembering. The American Labor Movement of the late 19th Century was inspired into birth for good reason. It is true that "labor is endless" but to what end?
How do we define true labor when we've exchanged a true sense of purpose for tantilizingly sleek plastic? I'm no Luddite but, perhaps for just one day, we can all "turn off and tune in." That would be just the opposite of the "turn on and tune out" of the 60s Generation.
I think it's time to start a new trend.
(To my non-U.S. readers: Labor Day is the first Monday in September, observed as a holiday in the United States and Canada in honor of working people.)
Read the full article, Connected, Yes, but Hermetically Sealed, in the August 23, 2008, edition of the NYT.