“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror that you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
— Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith
President Barack Obama has taken some heat from tech-lovers for recently having told graduates at a graduation ceremony:
“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter.
“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”
In his speech to the graduates, Obama mentioned Thomas Jefferson, who, Obama said, recognized “that in the long run, [the] improbable experiment called America wouldn’t work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out and left democracy to those who didn’t have the best interests of all the people at heart.”
Yup. I wholeheartedly agree with the president on this one. While you’re wasting your time with your latest gadget and are not participating in the political process, others are — and they’re probably not looking out for you.
I am surrounded by people with all kinds of technological wizardry — iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc. — who have the means to say just about anything to just about anyone just about anywhere in the world. But they don’t seem to have much that is very important or very meaningful to say.
Americans seem to mistake technology for good content, but content is king.
Plenty of good content is available online, but let’s be honest — is that what most Americans are accessing with this technology? Are they accessing the best that our culture has to offer?
I don’t think so…
Most of all, I think, iHate the iPad.
The iPad is little more than a fucking status symbol.
Recently my boyfriend and I were at a mall (where I pretty much go only for shoes) and we saw a temporary Apple store set up. The place was packed as though it were the second coming of Christ. Apparently the sheeple were covering their bases — if they weren’t saved by Christ, then the iPad and/or the iPhone would save them.
It was my first opportunity to see an iPad up close. I was unimpressed. So the screen adjusts its landscape or portrait orientation as you move the iPad. Oooo! Yeah, that’s worth the hundreds of dollars.
I found the iPad to be too heavy and all of the display iPads were covered with smudges, since you have to touch the screen to work it. Might as well coat it with Vaseline and get it over with.
I have access to desktop computers at home, at work and at my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t even like laptops because I like to be able to use a real keyboard, not a squished keyboard. I like to be able to spread out and relax when I’m at the computer.
Since I have no use for even a laptop, I certainly have no use for an iPad, which doesn’t even have a keyboard. iPass on the iPad. And on the iPhone, too, since I don’t have use for even a simple cell phone. I have plenty of access to land lines, and I prefer e-mail anyway.
But back to what Obama said — again, I’m with him. We Americans are too entranced with our gadgets, and in our obsession with our gadgets that we don’t even need, we are losing meaning and purpose and depth. And we’re becoming even more isolated from each other because increasingly, we prefer to socialize via gadgets rather than in person. We don’t even want to talk to each other on the telephone anymore — we want to text or instant-message instead, even though it’s less efficient and more time-consuming to have a conversation that way.
And I’ll never understand how it makes one cool to purchase what everyone else is purchasing, most notably today, the iPad.
I have the impression that on some level, Americans really do believe that their technological gadgets are going to save them.
Meh. Your iPhone won’t even work when Armageddon comes.
Better find something on the inside to save your soul.
Learn the ways of the Force.