Technolunacy?

14 May

I was reading Time Magazine this morning and I came across this quote from the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who, during an interview, was lamenting what he considered to be the overuse of cellphones everywhere and the constant snapping of cellphone pictures and selfies. “So I’m the only person here without all these electronic devices? And I’m a free man, and you’re all slaves. You are slaves to your gadgets.” He said.

When I read that I did think it was a bit extreme but later that morning while driving across town I harkened back to his words as I had the fright of my life! For what did I encounter but another driver in front of me who was talking on his cellphone. The good news was that he was using a hands free device. I could tell because of the headset he had on and the fact that he wasn’t holding a phone in his hands.

The bad news was that he wasn’t holding anything in his hands! Not even the steering wheel!

He was apparently a hand talker and he even had his window rolled down so that when he excitedly gesticulated during his conversation his left hand had someplace to go.

So there he was wildly gesturing and waving his hands (which often appeared outside of his vehicle!) while his car careened down the right side of a four lane main road. I tried to keep my distance and wondered what would happen as we both approached an oncoming bend in the road…and wouldn’t you know it…around the bend he went still talking and flailing away with both hands. He was steering with his knees!

So talk about being a slave to one’s gadgets. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu has it right? Can’t we put down our phones for one damn minute these days? Can’t we just all stop talking, texting and taking pictures of everything…and enjoy our lives, smell the coffee, and watch the road???

” I don’t get this new world. added the Prime Minister. (while continuing on about cellphone use) Everyone is taking pictures. When do they have time to live? They’re taking pictures all the time.  Everyone is taking pictures of each other. Only taking pictures, that’s all they do. Taking pictures, pictures, pictures, pictures.  Stop taking pictures: Live!”

But here comes the best part of my story because…

If you agree with the Prime Minister (and me) you can text him or send him a photo because…

The Prime Minister HAS AN ACTIVE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT!!!!! Where you can checkout his latest photos and selfies!!!

And here it is:

http://instagram.com/israelipm#

So now I’m guessing he has his own personal driver too…at least I’m hoping he does.

 

10 Responses to “Technolunacy?”

  1. sheenmeem May 14, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    Very interesting!

  2. Anne May 14, 2014 at 2:23 am #

    While I understand the problem of preoccupied drivers, I actually like the fact that more people are communicating with friends and family more often. We seem to have developed some etiquette around phones in restaurants and trains, etc., so we are improving our awareness in that regard. I don’t see people failing to live. I see people enjoying life and each other in new ways.

  3. The Crazy Crone May 14, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    I loathe mobile phones, I detest the fact that people have their noses stuck in phones or on iPads and are ignoring the world around them. I detest having to listen to other people’s phone conversations and as for talking on mobile phones while driving – come to North Cyprus where the locals do it all the time, and drive like maniacs. We have the highest rate of automobile deaths in Europe. Bah, humbug!

  4. W E Patterson May 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Good post. I think that maybe we are all a bit too preoccupied with some of the technology, as Prime Minister Netanyahu says, but a lot of good has come from it as well. While I agree we are all snapping far too many pictures, I think back to when I was young and wish I had a few more of family and friends that have passed on. Back in the 60s when I was growing up, about the only time we got the camera out was for family get togethers and on Christmas.

  5. Mr. L May 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

    This was incredibly comical to me with regards to the Prime Minister’s Instagram account. When the page loads, what do you see but a selfie from Benjamin Netanyahu! Hilarious!

    I don’t have a problem with the technology itself. It’s people that bother me. It’s the people that are choosing to stay focused on social media sites instead of noticing the world around them. Everything has it’s place, including social media. If we view it in moderation when we have down time, I don’t see anything wrong with it. What I see a problem with is feeling like it is a necessary aspect of life that we cannot go 30 minutes without accessing. The technology is not going to go away, we might as well accept that as a culture. What we have to do is emphasize to the next generation the importance of the world around them so that they do not let beauty of day-to-day living bypass them.

  6. RAB May 14, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    To judge from my classes, you’d think students had become very religious. Entering a classroom used to be a jolly, noisy activity, as students compared notes about the day’s assignment, made plans together, talked about campus activities, bitched about their previous class, etc., and greeted me as I passed. Now I enter silent classrooms where all the students are sitting, heads bowed, hands together….but no, NOT praying. They’re just busy being ELSEWHERE. After class, do they turn to their neighbors with a comment or question? Do they urge me to Have A Nice Day? No, they whip their phones up and either start talking to their mothers (oh, sorry, “Moms”) or absent friends, or begin texting to same. The quiet is eerie. Again, they are all ELSEWHERE. We can tell ourselves that they’re relating more deeply with their friends and family….but what they tell ME is that they feel “uncomfortable” talking to people face-to-face and would much rather text them. All the subtle means of communication that our species has developed over the millennia, now reduced to emoticons and LOL…. I think that is simply horrifying.

    • Outlier Babe May 31, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      I think this you are right and I also suspect that this distancing is contributing to the (documented) growing lack of empathy. We are, or were, biologically programmed to be social animals–to touch, and to have face-to-face contact, and read face and body language–perhaps vital hormonally-linked emotional signals as well. Children are not benefitting from that to the same degree any longer, and colder children and adults may result.

      • RAB May 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

        I agree completely, OB. And what could be scarier than this?

  7. womanseyeview May 14, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Not the only hypocritical thing the PM of Israel has said…far from it!

  8. TamrahJo June 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    LOL – hard to be a public figure – there’s always a way to expose your own hypocrisy – Full disclosure – I have a cell phone, but not an Instagram account – – LOL

    This reminded me of my in-laws, who did the European Grand Tour, except instead of doing a year or two abroad, like the gentry of the South did pre-Civil War period – they did the 3 week version –

    Came home and visited us to share their 12, count ’em 12, dvds, each loaded with hundreds of pictures –

    As we viewed the first one, I exclaimed, “Oh that’s wonderful! What celebration is that?” and was answered, “Somewhere in Germany, I think, Germany, right?” as they looked at each other ….

    “Ooh – what a beautiful church! Where is that? When was it built?” –

    “I think that was in England? No, maybe it was Ireland – – I’m not sure, honey, where were we when we took that pic?”

    Needless to say, I, once head photographer of the yearbook club, put my camera away years before digital photography made it possible to snap hundreds of pics without paying any attention to the experience – – Not saying photography is bad – I get to virtually travel to all kinds of lands I’ll never see except through the lens of someone else and their blog – but oh, how I do love the ones that put captions/stories along with the photos!

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