Kilroy Was Here


Technology:  Friend or Foe?

Once upon a time, not too very long ago, sodas were touted as health drinks, French fries counted as vegetables, and even Grannie’s coffee table had an ashtray that could be used by any smoking guest, and thought nothing of by the non-smoking home owners (or anyone else.)  Ah, the good old days.  

There are solid arguments supporting the fact that technology improves our lives.  And just as convincingly, there’s evidence supporting it’s “destroying us.” In this heightened, enlightened day of instant information and communication—when you see a word you don’t know, or wonder, “Who sang that one song?”—just ask Siri. I often marvel at this magical resource, the Internet, whomever invented it.  I’m more inclined to click the device that’s a permanent appendage, to find the answer.  More than I was inclined to consult our outdated 1960s-something World Book Encyclopedias, or to pull down Webster’s, in hopes that it would hit the floor and not me.  I wonder which method is best retained.  Perhaps there’s no difference once your brain is forty decades or older.  Okay, so I’m probably your elder; I’m still fun at parties, and I used to sing in bands!

Whether it’s using some app or website’s program to assist my writing work; recording my vocal, using only my phone and earbuds, on instrumentals I’ve found online; or simply commenting on a post or tweet, I both revel in and detest our New-Age technology.  Spell Check can come in handy, but not when typing my own name or others it considers “wrong.”  Defiantly (and annoyed) I leave the red, squiggly lines.  Often I like to write as I speak, which throws conventional grammar out the window and leaves some editors and me with a mess of green waves, thanks to Microsoft Word.  And who hasn’t cursed the likes of Autocorrect, although its “knowing better than we” has been the source of much comedy in most of our lives?  It’s obviously a TSO problem (Technology Smarter than Operator.) I really should disable this editing service, which I find myself editing more often.  

I miss the days prior to cell phones, Internet, cable TV, etc.  Life was simpler and less stressful, watching channels 2, 4, 6 (my little town’s local network affiliates), 7 (PBS/Kentucky Educational TV), and the owner of the one cable company’s channel 13.  He had a camera constantly panning a pig, clock, and Stroh’s can, with the local radio station playing in the background, all on top of the hill at the TV tower.  It made for some great, late-night, bore-yourself-to-sleep viewing.  As much as I’m a news junkie, I believe cable TV was the beginning of the end, en masse, of true journalism.  It’s a fleeting memory, but I recall networks giving pretty much straight, non-opinionated news, during the “news.”

And men no longer have to stop for directions in these digital days.  They could be missing the opportunity of meeting the love of their lives behind the counters at quick marts across the world.  Maybe people wouldn’t need dating websites.  However, they’re big employers, and quick marts are probably turning greater profits not having to give free, and often inaccurate, directions.  If Kilroy were here, we could ask him.  If that doesn’t compute, Google or ask Siri, “Kilroy” and “Mr. Roboto Styx 1983.”  

Author’s Note:  I write political op/eds for a weekly newspaper, and it’s online by subscription only.  I respect and appreciate opinions and beliefs other than mine, though often I find it unreciprocated.  I’m an educated, Hillbilly conservative, an irreverent Christian, who doesn’t take herself very seriously.  I invite you to visit my Facebook blog: Stefanie Rose Miles, On the Edge if you don’t hate me.  Some of my articles appear there, but also personal musings, some music and commentary; I actually spend little time on it, but hope to do more.


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