Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I’m Throwing Away My Laptop

I've gotten to digging around  my old writings again and I found one feature piece I wrote almost 2 years ago. So far I like what I've written, but then again I'm completely biased. To the few who read our blog, what do you think of me as a feature writer for the broad sheets? Enjoy!

I’m Throwing Away My Laptop—#lolnotreally

I remember when I was still a child. It was a time when even black and white television was entertaining to me and cell phones and the Internet were still but promises of the future. Back then, there was no such thing as cyber media, and global communication was very limited.  If you wanted to know the news you would have had to read the newspaper or watch television religiously to know what was going on. Missed news was “forgotten news”, unless of course the rumor mill was still having fun keeping the buzz alive. People’s lifestyles were simpler.  

That was a decade and a half ago. Nowadays, you wouldn’t even have much of a choice as old media and cyber media practically shove information down your throats. With all of the alternative media popping up it has become a question of how you will find out and no longer if you will find out. At first it was a breakthrough; suddenly, everyone was more aware of the world and what was happening. As time passed, however, the internet and social media has given people a deep sense of morbid fascination. Once you’ve watched a tsunami ravage a technologically-advanced country in YouTube, you can’t resist but watch it over and over again, and in HD, too.

On one hand, new media have done wonders for communication all throughout the world. Families, friends, and even complete strangers are now able to share stories, opinions, and experiences through Yahoo Messaging, Twitter, Skype, Facebook, and countless other ways. Global support can also be called upon in times of disaster, letting people from all over the world help out in the comfort of their own homes. In times when mere seconds can decide the life and death of human beings, readily and conveniently accessible information is Godsend.  In this regard, technology is an invaluable asset which has saved and changed many lives.

 On the other hand, any kind of information, whether it is an irrelevant update on Prince William’s receding hairline or a new sex scandal of a famous celebrity, is accessible to anyone who has a computer or a reasonably-capable handheld. Because of this, many people, from juvenile preteens up to cyber-literate senior citizens have developed this outrageous sense of curiosity which often knows no bounds. It is one thing to be informed of the killings, the scandals, and all the injustice in the world. It is another thing entirely to feed off the bad news by “raping the replay button” in YouTube. In a way, it is voyeuristic.

The world has developed and continues to develop at a rapid pace. At some point in the past decade, being informed has suddenly become a synonym for being desensitized to brutality. Censorship has also taken on a looser meaning as more and more children get exposed to news they are not mature enough for. When did the development of technology start to make it okay for people to sell DVD copies of the Japan tsunami? When did being famous start to mean that you have no privacy?  At what point will we stop and realize that we’ve already taken a step too far?In the course of writing this, I’ve read about workers in Japan expecting to die because of radiation, I’ve watched a spoof about twin babies supposedly talking about political issues in Libya, and I’ve read a new tweet by a famous international star who was recently axed from his show. Undeniably, I am guilty of every accusation I have dished out so far. Really, though, who isn’t these days?

The information superhighway was one of the most brilliant inventions of the human race, and with it, came endless possibilities alongside many drawbacks. With technology already so closely intertwined with the world’s daily routine, it is practically impossible to imagine living without it. Sometimes, though, when the news spews out one horrifying tale after another, when morality becomes a vague concept through an LCD screen, and when people don’t know when to just stop clicking away, you have to wonder. Are we really the masters of technology, or are we actually the slaves? #deep