8.9.11

Technology and the city

Are you a technology lover or hater?
My husband is definitely the latter.
If you know us in real life you’ll have probably heard him moaning or fretting about technology at some point. His latest gripes have been with Sat Navs {what’s wrong with using a map?}, smart phones {why can’t people just talk to each other normally?} and pay-at-the-pump petrol stations {WHY ARE THERE NO ATTENDANTS AT THIS PETROL STATION?!?!}.
Personally I’m somewhere in the middle. I don’t hate technology and I know that I’m a quick learner when it comes to gadgets, but I haven’t really embraced all of the new technology that’s come out recently. We don’t have anything made by Apple, I’ve never used iTunes, I’ve only just worked out how to check emails on my phone, and my Dad has far more computer equipment than we do.
That sort of thing just doesn’t interest us much and, with a low expendable income, we haven’t bought into it as much as other people.
HOWEVER, living in a city {even for just three days} has begun to change that, and quickly…
Example one/
When we came to buy furniture in the city last Thursday we brought our friend’s Sat Nav because we knew we needed to find lots of shops right across the city. It was really useful and we navigated without incident. However, last Tuesday we tried to make a trip to IKEA {without a Sat Nav}. I looked up directions online {more technology!} and we got there okay, but I forgot to get directions for the way back. It took us approximately five minutes to get completely lost and we ended up doing a forty minute detour around the city.
Example two/
Yesterday we went shopping at our local superstore for the first time. When we got back to the car we were unable to turn the key in the ignition. We called the break-down people and I walked home {neither Josh or I had our mobiles at the shop}. I Googled the problem as soon as I got home and realised that it would be really simple to sort out, but there was no way I could contact Josh to let him know. If I’d had a smart phone I could have looked there and then in the carpark, or if Josh had had his phone I could have rung him.
Example three/
I have no idea where anything is in the city and so I’m much more likely to use internet shopping than I was in Aber, especially if it means I don't have to drive through the city to get there. I’m also more likely to do things like rent DVDs online because it’s less effort than driving to the nearest Blockbuster.
Now I realise that there are non-technological solutions to these problems {like buying an A-Z of Cardiff for a start}, and not all of them are solely caused by the city, but the problems seem to be exacerbated by living in such a big, crowded, stressful place.
People are scared of each other, scared to ask for help, scared of getting in way of others’ busy lives and so we retreat into ourselves and technology helps us to do that – it’s possible to go through a day without really communicating with another human being at all.
What do you think? Do you agree? Do you embrace technology, shun it or just see it as a necessary evil?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.

5 comments:

  1. I think it's a necessary evil. :(
    I'm more like you. In the middle. But MJ LOVES technology. I'm sure he prefers buying a 3D TV rather than having a baby... :/
    haha
    Just kidding.
    Maybe.

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  2. I never thought of needing more technology when being in a city as opposed to needing less when you're out in the country. I love my laptop, and sometimes I get to borrow my mom's ancient navigator for the car, but my phone isn't "smart", and I'm surviving. (though, I'd LOVE to have one, I just don't NEED one). Rick is anti technology. He hates how everything relies on computers now. I would perhaps faint away if I didn't have access to the internet. :)

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  3. Personally, I have always found Cardiff to be the friendliest of places. I have family there, and spent some time there as a child, free to wander around the city centre, so I got my bearings early, which helps. But you will soon recognise landmarks. I'm sure you will grow to love it, and in years to come, you will look back just as fondly as you do on Aber.

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  4. As someone who loves technology surely all of your 3 examples are actually nothing to do with the city. You can get lost in the country, if you break down in the countryside you may not actually have a phone signal and have to walk to a phone box, and with no shops in the countryside and the nearest Blockbusters 50 miiles away - internet shopping could be great. When technology works well it makes life easier wherever you are - as long as you actually know what to do when it all goes wrong - like read the A-Z... I think you should both get a Kindle and get rid of all those paper books

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  5. I'm a technology lover. I love things like Skype and the internet and how connected people are. I love that now I can speak to my brother in Palestine for little money and no effort. I dropped my phone the other day and the thought that it was broken left me bereft.

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