Thursday, September 9, 2010

Plugging in and tuning out?

I never realized how addicted I had become to my phone until the trackball stopped working a couple of weeks ago. Suddenly I was unable to read through e-mails because I couldn't scroll down the page. I couldn't send text messages. I couldn't surf the internet. Now my phone was nothing more than a... phone.

Until yesterday, that is. For some inexplicable reason while I was sitting down and eating lunch I picked up my phone to see if I had received any new e-mails. As usual I started trying to scroll down the screen -- but this time it worked. After two weeks of feeling no friction when scrolling down, it had come back.

Suddenly I was able to read my e-mails, send text messages and surf the internet. Life was good again.

But it made me pause and think about my addiction to always being in touch. It also made me think about how much reliance we place on technology. We are rapidly becoming less and less social. There are a multitude of cable and satellite channels for niche interests. There's Facebook and Twitter. Texting and e-mail. Increasingly our interactions with each other are through technological means rather than face-to-face.

How does that affect our ability to communicate with a jury? Are we losing our ability to just sit and talk with one another? Are we losing our ability to concentrate on one matter for more than a few seconds? Has dialog been reduced to sound bites?

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