Mar 07

Question: How much time do you spend in front of a computer these days my dear denizens? I would wager that you, like myself spend about 70% of your time staring into the one-eyed monster (2-eyed for you dual screen IT nerds) all day. When you think about this please factor in smart phones, tablets and that family of pocket-PC too. Scary isn’t it?

I thought about it the other day and I spend about 90% of my life in front of a computer of some sort. While I don’t feel obligated to using a computer, I do willingly find one to do the things I love throughout the day. I wake up and check my email, drive in to the day job to stare at dual monitors for 8 hrs, stare at my Blackberry when riding to lunch and then go home to stare at another screen for movies, shows, my business and video games. Before bed I read a book or watch Netflix on my ASUS Transformer tablet. Can you even imagine how strange this would seem to someone from another time?

“We are in a place that most Sci-Fi movies depict as bad”

I think of the movie Metropolis by Fritz Lang and the scene where the worker is turning the hands of a clock to regulate the temperature in the factory and I cannot help but feel that we are not much different in our daily cycles. The internet has become the life’s blood of the informational age and us bloggers, web masters, designers and business people are the tiny cells that automate the daily activities that keep it running. To think that all of this happened in the blink of an eye… not to say that it is negative but it does lead me to wonder what’s next?

We are in a place that most Sci-Fi movies depict as bad, we are in the Matrix, the Cell, the Network and we happily click, click, click along like automatons every day of our lives.  If this were the book 1984 by George Orwell the internet would be Big Brother, though his version of the dictator was an absolute authoritarian, ours is more a vice… one that our children can’t seem to live without.

See I feel detached because I have been privileged to have spent Summers, breaks and a lengthy childhood free of the machine, so I still can take pleasure in sports, debates, war games (paint ball, obstacle courses etc.), and long hikes and bike rides. I can appreciate the days outside of the Matrix because I wasn’t born into it… imagine how miserable your children will be without their iPods pumping music, their X-Box 360’s offering up Call of Duty and their internet loaded with forums, blogs and Facebook?

I almost feel that we could use a good blackout for a month just to see what sort of chaos and destruction would come about from the bored and dangerous.

Imagine a year without the internet and tell me if you could and more importantly would you want to deal with it? Personally I make my living completely from the web so it would mean that I would have to get a brand new hustle really quickly – but I won’t lie, it’s a challenge I would happily undertake just for the adventure of it. Celebrities would rejoice as their daily lives would vanish from under the evil eye of Twitter and TMZ clones, and the Post Office would be reignited with vigor as people would be forced to mail their bill payments in again.

Life would become… Napoleon Dynamite wouldn’t it? Okay maybe not that extreme in bizarro-world but it would make for an interesting look into how dependent we really are on light-speed information transfers. Just think, it wasn’t 25 years back when we were mailing out bills, using phones strictly for calling people and the computer was a device that stayed mainly independent of anything but a printer.

Time sure flies when you’re having fun; but in our lax embrace of the web, I wonder if we have given up an aspect of freedom which will not be easily reclaimed if fate was to take our internet away. How dependent has your life become to the internet and smart phone technologies? Do you fashion yourself as a potential Neo that can break out of our Matrix, or are you an agent, happily living with your toys and willing to fight to keep them?

See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.

One pingback/trackback