Primitive conditions reveal our technology addiction

Alexandra Nicolas - Editor-in-Chief

Alexandra Nicolas – Editor-in-Chief

My cell phone finally died.

For the past week I, like most in the Midwest, have been held hostage in this ever-so-exciting disaster area following an ice storm. If ever I didn’t give due credit to the early settlers of this country (and the Donner party), I do now. I was never aware how difficult it is to heat leftover spaghetti over a wood-burning stove.

However, if we all could have stopped bitching and moaning about how we were cold, how we couldn’t heat up our Lean Cuisine and how our Internet wasn’t working, perhaps we could step back from our Sidekicks, Myspace and even electric lighting and think of what our addiction to technology says about us.

You’re not addicted? Prove it. We are slaves to our laptops, our cell phones and ESPN. I assumed when the greater part of southwest Missouri lost power, we would all whip out the flashlights, grab a quilt and play Monopoly. I was wrong.

However, I’m sure the owners of Super-8 and the Holiday Inn are loving this. Many of us have been without power, heat or even running water. I can understand the instinct to seek refuge, but think back to when there was no indoor plumbing. And no outlets to charge our Ipods.

I hate this weather. It took me two hours, a hammer, a shovel and an ice scraper to free my car from its icy confines. And all that was so I could charge my cell phone with the car adapter.

Now that power, and life, has returned to normal, we can take stock of what we learned. The human mind is a terrible thing to waste. It gave us flight, space travel and Facebook. It also gave us the works of William Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, Kate Chopin and Chuck Palahniuk. Though I experienced cabin fever like no other, I can honestly say the time I spent with no electricity was more beneficial than anything I have experienced in quite a while. I read, I really slept and I took stock of the fact that just a few days before my friend sitting across the table from me was sending me a text message.

When was the last time you spoke to someone? And I mean really interacted with another human being. Flipping a fellow driver the bird doesn’t count and neither does swapping gossip via text messages. Smoking a cigarette on the curb while complaining about the cold doesn’t cut it either.

The last conversation I had before the sky started falling was with a friend in my scuba class. This conversation was short and involved skydiving, but I learned something about him and the discussion had the vague resemblance of substance.

Stop. Look around.

I fear one day when our generation is coming to its end we will all take stock of the life we lived and find that we spent our brief existence keeping up with our technology. Read. Breathe. Look. Listen. Learn.

Now, I’m off to go make a snow angel, but I will leave you with a piece of wisdom from the blockbuster hit [ITAL] Snakes on a Plane. [ENDITAL]

“Are you playing that videogame or is that videogame playing you?”