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Concerns About Advanced Technology and the Direction of Modern Society

Updated on January 7, 2013

PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

It is a crazy world we live in today. I’m sure many who were born in the last twenty do not see the craziness that I see; their perspective is completely different from mine. You see, I was born and raised before this technological explosion that we have seen in the past two decades.

This writer remembers party telephone lines. This writer remembers black and white television and only three network stations, and this writer remembers physical exercise as the preferred way to while away some free hours.

Come to think of it, this writer remembers obesity being the abnormal rather than the norm, and this writer remembers when personal, face-to-face communication was preferred rather than Skype and Facebook.

Times, they are a’changin!

The computer:  a blessing or curse?
The computer: a blessing or curse? | Source

THE TECH REVOLUTION

Of course, technological advances have been a part of the worldwide landscape all during my lifetime, but for the purposes of this article I want to concentrate on three particular advancements, namely cell phones, the personal computer, and the internet.

The first demonstration of a hand held mobile phone occurred in 1973. The device was a Motorola and it weighed 2.2 pounds. We have come a long way in the ensuing forty years.

At about the same time, Hewlitt Packard demonstrated the first personal computer, and by 1982 Time Magazine selected the personal computer as Time’s Machine Man of the Year.

By 1969 the first Apernet was developed, the predecessor to today’s internet system. By the early 1990’s the worldwide web connected the entire world.

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY

The statistics are mind-blowing to say the least. Consider these figures:

· There are 245 million internet users in the U.S. alone, or 78% of the population

· There are 2.5 billion internet users in the world, or 34% of the world population

· In 2011 there were 6 billion cell phone subscribers in the world, or 87% of the population

· In the U.S., 32% of computer users spent from 1-3 hours per day on the internet

· In the U.S., 17.5% of computer users spent from 3-6 hours per day on the internet

· In the U.S., 7.7% of computer users spent from 6-10 hours per day on the internet

· In the U.S., 12.5% of computer users spent over 10 hours per day on the internet.

· In the U.S. there are 740 billion text messages sent yearly, or 4.1 billion messages per day

Yes, the statistics are mind-blowing to say the least.

ONE OF MY CRAZIER DAYDREAMS

I am a writer, and as such I have a rather active imagination. During one of my voyages inside my mind I was wondering what would happen if suddenly the technology disappeared. What would happen if all cell phone signals were blocked, and what would happen if the internet crashed?

I can sum up my answer in one word: PANIC!

Am I being unreasonable? I think not! As a society we have become dependent on the cell phone and the internet. They are as much a part of our everyday lives as breathing and eating. The statistics do not lie.

I purposely did not include television in this discussion because, despite the millions of hours spent watching television, people are able to function without it. However, that is not true of the internet and cell phones. Think about it for a second and tell me that I am wrong. I dare you!

Sure, we could continue breathing and eating if those two technological giants were to suddenly disappear, but what of our collective psyches? How would we face and react to the sudden disappearance of our primary forms of communication?

Shut down the internet and the financial institutions and market would crumble. Fear, doubt, and distrust would be the watchwords of the day, and mankind would time-travel back to the days of cave existence.

A silly daydream, right?

Think again! Technology exists at this very moment that is capable of crashing the worldwide web and blocking all cell phone transmissions. That is not science fiction but rather reality!

SO WHAT IS THE POINT BILLYBUC?

I am not some disaster theorist. I do not live in an apartment with windows blackened and tin foil wrapped around my head to block incoming wavelengths. I take a shower daily, and I am reasonably centered and in balance with the natural flow of life. I do not lie awake at night worrying about the CIA or Homeland Security, and I certainly don’t lose sleep wondering if the Chinese are preparing for world domination.

I do, however, worry about the direction we as a people are heading, and the direction that industrialized nations are taking. Let me explain why.

I believe nations that are too strongly dependent on one economic endeavor, or are too dependent on one technological advancement, leave themselves vulnerable to the vagaries of fate. History will support this concern of mine.

For many years the United States was an agricultural society and its economy was, for the most part, based on farming. Then along came the Industrial Revolution, and farming fell by the wayside and industry ruled the roost. We poured all our economic efforts into being an industrial giant, and the economy flourished, and then……

We lost our stranglehold on the world economy, and other countries caught up to us, and jobs went overseas, and suddenly hundreds of factories had boarded up windows and hundreds of thousands of workers were on welfare and then……

Our President tells us that we must now concentrate on being a service society, and we must train our workers for tech jobs, and those industrial jobs are never coming back, and then what? What happens if we base our entire economy on high tech jobs and it fails because of a new shift in the economic landscape?

I am reminded of that old saying of not putting all your eggs in one basket.

The world that is not touched by the computer
The world that is not touched by the computer | Source

AND ANOTHER CONCERN

Yes, I have another concern! I have major problems with a citizenry that spends so much time on the computer and texting on cell phones that they cannot communicate in any other way. My prediction of panic should the system fail is not unrealistic. Modern society would basically shut down if cell phone and computer use disappeared. I think that is a frightening scenario.

It is one more reason why I believe that returning to a simpler life is the only logical course of action. I have lived a majority of my life without cell phones or computers and I can do it again. Can you? Within three years my wife and I will be debt free and rapidly approaching the day when we are off the grid. Our footprint on this planet will be as negligible as we can make it, and that means that we are protected from many, many worries regarding the economy and the state of world affairs.

I sleep well at night knowing that we are three years away from relative economic freedom.

To those parents out there, let me ask you how much time your children spend watching television, playing on the computer, and talking on their cell phones? If your answer is two or more hours I have concerns. The real world is not on television, nor is it on the computer; the real world is outside your front door, and that is where kids need to learn about life.

Could you function comfortably without a computer or cell phone for a month?

See results

IN TRAINING AND LOVING IT

Bev and I are in training for a future of our choice. We are growing more and more of our food. We are selling off all unnecessary possessions. We are paying off debt. In three years we will be able to walk away from the craziness of consumerism, and in essence we will return to a life that disappeared in this country a couple hundred years ago.

Can you imagine having no bills each month? Can you imagine not being dependent upon the actions of politicians and corporation CEO’s? Can you imagine living a life that involves interacting with people face-to-face rather than by technology?

We can imagine it, and we are almost there, and I can’t begin to tell you how good that makes me feel.

The disaster scenario that I dreamed up will probably never happen, but that doesn’t mean that the current direction of this country and its inhabitants is the correct one. The further we distance ourselves from each other the worse we will be as a nation.

We need to once again learn how to interact with each other on a personal basis, face-to-face, before we completely forget how its done.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      I don't think I could live without the internet or cell, I admit. But I do say that yes, we have become too obsessed with these technological gadgets. Yes, there was a time when we could have lived without these and it served us well!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I really relate to this. I remember the days when I was out running around, riding my bike, playing hopscotch and roller skating. Idid know any fat people..maybe a few who were a bit overweight...Obesity is an epidemic as well as all this technology stuff. When I see people texting and on computers with games I feel it is a true waste of life. My cell phone is for important and short calls..and I have to admit snapping a few pictures. The internet to me is only about writing, promoting my writing other friends words. I do enjoy learning new things online...However today it is a mania. And you are right to say the disaster if the someone turned off the electronic switch. I love the way you are engineering your life to growing your own food and finding pleasure in simple things in life. I do not stay awake worrying about our country but do give a few moments each day thinking about the world. This is not about politics..however when I found out the money for Sandy was mostly going to pork items..new limos, airplanes, hatcheries in Alaska..Something is very wrong. I am seriously sharing this...voting up across......

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Michelle! It's an interesting time that we live.....not necessarily a better time, but interesting for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, this only scratches the surface of my concerns about our direction as a country. I think we are way off path and headed for bad times....I hope I'm wrong....but convinced that I am right. Thank you for sharing and good morning....have a great day!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Bill, I am on the same page with you about technology and the future dangers of our society. The one saving grace, besides our God's own grace, is that we are a product that , even though we may lose all of our technology due to some solar calamity, (etc), we still have acquired knowledge that will carry us onward into whatever new ways of life we may have left. We are not stupid and very inventive, and this gives me more hope, my friend. whonu

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I admit I am one of these people. And having lived through Hurricane Sandy and having none of the above for over two day, I did completely panic at first and was kind of lost, which is truly sad, but the even sadder reality is this is our society and world now. I truly love how you put it so frankly here and was born before this ever even was huge, but somehow has become the a big deal and not sure when or how, but it is. Thanks for the reality check here and I do have to try to unplug more and did that last night for a bit. Have of course voted up and shared all over!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, thank you! I am always hopeful, but I am curious how we would all handle it. I do not like us becoming so dependent upon one technology.....it has inherent dangers that could cause a boatload of problems.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, the interesting thing is that even though I come from a different time, before the latest technologies, I have found myself dependent on them as well. It is so easy to do....and that is what scares me. :)

      Thanks as always Janine; you are a blessing to those of us who know you.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      The Internet/computers is bad enough but I think the obsession with cell phones is totally out of hand. Have you tried to talk to a young person lately? They do answer you but it is WHILE they are texting..social skills?

      The area I live in was once totally dependent on IBM for employment and survival, you know the effects of a large employer...well, when IBM closed up and moved out it left a huge hole in our economy that has yet to be filled. If I may add, DIVERSIFY! Get off the computer, get off the phone, and look to the future.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 4 years ago

      I am secretly glad when the electricity grid goes off for whatever reason and releases me to do other things. But, I confess, I like all my friends who live in my head. ha ha.

      Seriously though, everything has its good and bad points, but for people who are chronically sick, infirm, the old, lonely etc - it's great to be part of the world beyond their front doors.

      Cellphones are what I find scary, they seem to be glued to people's hands, although they wouldn't be if they remained the size and weight of the first cellphones we knew! Up, interesting and useful.

    • profile image

      SilverGenes 4 years ago

      So much of the world has shifted to the Internet that it would be disastrous on a global level if it shut down now for all the reasons you mention. I don't wear a tin hat either but some of these 'crazy' scenarios are turning out to be true and without social media, many of us would be left in the dark. Case in point: I had missed a recent television interview conducted with the head of our intelligence agency here. It was an unprecedented event, as you can imagine. Anyway, he made it clear that our political system has already been infiltrated by foreign governments and gave enough information to implicate China and the Middle East. So there we have China et al and CSIS (comparable to the CIA) in a real world situation that up until now, has been the stuff of the tin hat squad.

      Would it have progressed to this ignition point without the Internet and technology in general? Probably not. However, I think we are now in a real world situation that can't be divorced from technology. How do we go back without forfeiting life as we know it? We can't. (Putting tin hat on now)... I think we are in a period of flux and our guess is as good as any global leader's guess. We have to look at the situation with different eyes. On international levels, technology has become similar to the arms race of the '50s and '60s. Unlike that era, it has also leveled the playing field, giving every human being on earth a voice for the first time in history. How we use it will determine our outcome. The trick is to see 'behind the curtain' and recognize what may be nefarious agendas. With greater advances in technology comes greater personal responsibility to analyze data properly and that's not easy. (Removing tin hat now.)

      Would I appreciate a simpler life? Oh, yes! But are we past that option without a darn good solar storm? Maybe not. On a personal level, we can opt out any time. On a global level, we need connection. We have to find the balance and close the distance. Dang! That tin hat chafes the brain!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      Oh, Bill, those days are gone forever! You and I agree on so many things you write about, and I mentioned this problem in my Hub on our brains and how to improve our memory. I am very concerned about the young people who are loosing the ability to communicate with others (among other concerns!)

      I'd like to go back to the "good ole days", but I have to realize they are gone!

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Great hub Billybuc. I can't say that I was around to remember simpler times but I remember hearing very descriptive details from my dad who did. It does seem like all the eggs are getting put into one basket as far our reliance upon technology. It is a useful tool but so many are over reliant that they do not allow themselves to think, they look for all answers on their phones, tablets, and computers. Some cannot communicate very well or choose not to, face to face. Sad.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, thank you! You perfectly summarized my point.....but better than I did. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shelley, I totally agree about the older generation....technology has opened the world for them....in truth, cell phones are my biggest complaint, and I fear we are losing the personal touch to communication. Thank you for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, in my opinion, technology has made our society lazy, and our brains are shrinking because of it...plus, practical knowledge and "how to" knowledge is gone. We don't problem solve any longer....we just look it up on Google. Maybe the good ole days are gone, but I'm going my part to return to them.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Express, thank you...that's my main concern...a new generation does not know how to think and problem solve, and I find that scary!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

      I'm thinking of a prophetic piece in a 1950s Mad comic book. The punch line was, "What if the machine that repairs the machines that repairs the machines breaks down?"

      I think technology now is but a hint of what is to come, with nanotechnology, vacuum tunnel trains, genetic engineering, new spaceship propulsion method, etc.

      I knew a couple who lived off the grid and felt frustrated that their wood stove and ax were manufactured using electricity.

      I agree that it is prudent to know the old ways. I'd like to see without electricity cooking recipes.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I applaud you! Consumerism is a dead -end road --and yet, here I am on my computer writing this response to you. There is a part of me that wants to do just what you are doing--

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Billy - I agree with you. I sit back and watch so many of my friends PANIC when they can not get a signal on their laptop or cell phones. I have refrained from the technology as much as possible. Although I have a cell phone for emergencies, I can not tell you the last time I used it. I am not on Facebook and the only internet group I belong to is Hub pages.

      This last snowstorm had many people not knowing what to do to fill their time. We were without power for a few days. I had more than enough wood to burn as well as some outstanding open-fire recipes. Mom and I also had a relaxing few days reading our favorite books.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, LOL....take it easy on that brain, will you?

      No, we cannot, as a nation, divorce ourselves from technology. My biggest problem with it is the way it has depersonalized humanity....that and the fact that we have a generation of kids growing up unable to problem solve because everything they need to know is on Google. I'll be writing about the Scientific Method this week, and how it is disappearing from society, and I think that is sad and dangerous.

      As always, thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Brian, I love that...the ax manufactured using electricity. Yes indeed! I hope you write that hub about the Mad comic book, and thank you as always.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, believe me, I thought about that as I was typing away on my computer. My biggest concern is that we do not communicate with others eye-to-eye any longer....we have lost inter-personal skills because of the computer, and that saddens and concerns me.

      Thank you Audrey.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, thank you so much for that! Last winter we lost our power for seven days, and we managed. No, we were not terribly comfortable all the time, but we managed quite nicely. Woodstove and books....that's how we did it. :)

      love,

      billy

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, I agree. I can't tell you how many times someone has said "just Google it" when I ask a question to which they don't know the answer! And I am guilty of looking to the Internet for any number of solutions myself.

      But I also highly value a self-sufficient family structure. Our children and grandchildren need to learn how to function without using the computer. I think it's up to our generation to set a great example in that regard. So what you and Bev are doing goes a long way to show others what is possible, as well as logical and enjoyable, about taking care of yourself.

      I purposely have left out cell phones because I think they are very helpful in an emergency situation. Personally I feel a lot better knowing I can connect to 911 or my husband or whoever if I am in trouble and need help. But I do agree that cell phones are certainly OVER USED. Voted Way Up my friend.

      Pearl

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Grandma Pearl hit it right on the head - "a self sufficient family structure. Relying on family and friends with face to face interaction.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      How many people would lose all the money they have if the internet failed. How many people would have no friends if Facebook failed. How many people would be stranded at home and unable to call police if cell phones failed?

      Just wondering.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, hundreds of millions and that is a conservative guess. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I'm going to write you an email later....there is some stuff I want you to know.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Billy, this article is precise, thoughtful, perceptive, and everything in between. You are spot-on about how we became disassociated from our life support systems with the advent on the Indusial Revolution, and the internal migration away from framing and the country, and into cities.

      ‘We lost our stranglehold on the world economy, and other countries caught up to us...”

      Absolutely, and we still have gotten over this. Global competition has since become the name of the game; with price and trade wars, cheaper labor, etc.

      Technology has improved our lives to a certain extent but, as the Eagles’ song said years ago, “Every point of refuge has its price.” The growing lack social empathy, the pitfalls of “social media,” and our overdependence on convenience and information technology.

      We have always been an innovative culture. But we better start to wake up to our shifting realities before the price far outweighs the costs to humanity. Voted up and sharing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Pearl, and I agree with you about cell phones; my main problem with them is constant texting.

      As for family structure, no truer words were ever written. We can trace most of the problems in our society to the break down of the family unit, and I'll argue that point until the day I die.

      I sure appreciate you, Pearl! Thank you!

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      I was away from my rented room and my PC all last week, and I can say I loved it. I spent all my time with Joan helping her with the illness she suffers from and only spent maybe 20 minutes each day reading mail in case there was a job offer. I did not make one phone call and received none. I actually enjoyed the time with Joan, talking, caring etc.

      I agree Bill, that society would panic in such a situation and it is a sad state of affairs. The kids today spend every waking moment on the cell, or FB, or games and the results are obvious!

      Mark

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      I remember how we all panicked, in 2000, when we thought the 'millennium bug' or Y2K was going to bring the digital world crashing down about our ears. Imagine an Intensive Care Unit where all the life support systems are computer based. Thank the Lord it went with a whimper and not a bang. :). What concerns me is the modern young people who are so dependent on computers and calculaters they wouldn't know how to use their brains if these things were to suddenly disappear. That said, I wouldn't be without the internet, but great article.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I could do that in a heartbeat, as soon as I got over the withdrawals of losing HubPages. LOL Seriously, I could use a vacation I can't afford right about now, away from everything technological in nature.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you and I share the same concern....the inability of today's youth to think on their own without the internet...this has been a concern of mine for quite some time as a teacher, and now as an interested and concerned citizen.

      Thank you and no, I do not want to be without the internet...I love it...but it does not own me.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, it will be interesting for sure....love that line by the Eagles, and so appropriate for this discussion. I have concerns when the President says the old ways are gone and we need to sink all our resources into service and technology...I think that's a recipe for disaster.

      Thank you my friend!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... an interesting read and one I have thought of many times. I know the location of a cabin in the far North I built years ago and it would be where I would head. All I need is there, just take along a rifle and a few essentials the grocery store is all around and fish in the river. I would be just fine.

      I agree with you, the Internet and communications are a major source in our lives but take me back to the simple life and I would be at home. How are you at smoke signals man. Keep looking to the far North so we can stay in touch. The key is to wait till it is calm without wind.

      Hugs from Canada

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I could learn and I know that for a fact....the problem is that fickle wind. :)

      You and I are cut from the same cloth, and I happen to think that's a good thing.

      blessings from Oly, and thank you

      bill

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      Fascinating thoughts, Bill. I would like to say I am above this electronic addiction stuff, but alas I am not. I have had a wicked cold the last few days and couldn't sit in front of my computer (or Ipad) without a headache and runny nose. I felt not free, I felt GUILTY for not responding promptly to emails, not to mention HP postings. I fear however, that the genie is not going back into the bottle, without an electromagnetic pulse bomb. For better or worse, we're stuck with our connectedness, but my heart is with your thoughts.

    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

      Billybuc, nice hub. The points you make are precisely why it took me until 2012 to have a website/blog, get facebook and twitter accts, and participate in social media activities like on hp. I was very resistant and have been concerned for some time about the loss of real life connections in the current generation. I now realize that in order to be relevant and survive as a business, I have to participate. I've learned to have an appreciation now for all of it. See my humorous hub on the subject of young people and how they take technology for granted ("Thank God For Laptops"). Voted up and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Russ, I know...I was writing a Never Never Land kind of hub. It will never happen but that doesn't keep a guy from dreaming. Hope you feel better soon my friend, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jan, you hung in there a lot longer than I did.....it has become necessary for writers to play the social media game...how else can we hope to get published or recognized. It is a trap for sure but a necessary trap, if that makes sense. :) Thank you my friend!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 4 years ago from Clinton CT

      I am a child of technology...there is no mistaking that. I wish I could imagine life without it...but I can't. I think that's a sign of an addiction. Sigh. But I'm amazed at the progress you and Bev have made towards living simple. Great work!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Julie....I've always been travelling in the wrong direction. This is no surprise at all considering my personality. LOL Thank you for the visit; you are appreciated.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I so agree with you. Society is too dependant on technology. We do enjoy some of the trappings of modern life, but living in Peru keeps us centered. We aren't constantly bombarded by commercials telling us what we "need". Cell phones are used to communicate with my husband when we are across town from one another. The computer is to keep in touch with friends, family and the HubPages community.

      Everytime we return to the States to visit our family and friends, we realize once again what a challenge it is not to be sucked in by the "system" while we're there. I admire your efforts to get off the grid, to live independently and happily. Our best to you and Bev! Love this hub. Voted up and shared.

    • farmloft profile image

      farmloft 4 years ago from Michigan

      A fear I have about our youth being so connected to technology is that the digital world doesn't have emotions and feelings. If they spend so much time with a cold machine, how will they learn the warmth of human interaction? And how will they know themselves if they never stop and think in peace and quiet?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I can remember black and white TV too. When we got a clear picture, ( snow free ) we were happy campers. I also remember neighbors who actually spoke and visited. Those were the good old days. I have a cell phone and i can't imagine not having one, but if push came to shove, i would survive. My son and grandchildren is a toss up. They have every gadget on the market and each time a new model comes out, they think they must have it. I used to enjoy TV, now, i don't have time. HP has taken over my life. One of these days, i am going to get up and not turn my computer on, get on my bike and say hi to my neighbors, that is, if they are not on the computer. LOL... Great hub Bill. You inspire me..Cheers.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Great questions, bill.

      When I was growing up...we just had the radio. No mobiles, no Internet. Libraries were famous then. I fail to envision what would happen if technology would halt for a bit...man sure would panic...lol

      Includes me too.

      Voted up as interesting and sharing it across

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vespa, thank you my friend! I truly have nothing against technology until it takes the place of quality time interacting with others, and then I think maybe we might have gone a bit too far. I watch people sitting with loved ones in restaurants and texting while they sit that.... I don't understand that. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Farmloft, thank you! You just said it all and anything I add will be repeating your important points.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruchira, I would be out of business if the computer disappeared, but unlike many, I can walk away from it and find time to sit and reflect, or visit with loved ones.

      Thank you my friend; I hope you are well and happy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, you crack me up...that was a great line...say hi to the neighbors unless they are on the computer. And how true that is! I know those, too, who have to have every new gadget that comes out....I just don't understand it.

      Thank you Ruby! You are always appreciated.

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      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Yes, texting has become a social issue. There are texting rules of etiquette, but few follow them. I just think some people don't realize how their actions affect others. We're all products of our environment, but we need to stop and think about how our lifestyle is impacting ourselves and others. These are great reminders!

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      stephanieb27 4 years ago from United States

      Billybuc, your future life sounds wonderful!!!! I totally agree that technology consumes us as a whole, even down to the littlest ones. I finally caved and bought our family an iPod last year. I let my young kids use it but their time is extremely limited, they could very easily stay on it the whole day if I let them!!

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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Yahoo, Bill to you and Bev with your 3 yr plan, hats off to you. I agree that technology has not been all positive. My nephew does not spend too much time in front of the tv or on the computer, but his cell phone is his pacifier. I remove it from him when I have to set disciplinary action and holy cow! That's hitting him where it hurts.

      I dislike the lack of communication when everyone is walking around texting instead of talking. Nice job, Bill...Up/U

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vespa, that is a great point...our lifestyle does impact others as well as ourselves, and that needs to be remembered....thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Stephanie! It is addictive, and I just hate to see young ones falling in that trap. However, as a parent, it would be next to impossible not to buy your child one....and if I had a little one right now I know I would too.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hi Denise! I hate to sound like I hate technology; I really don't. I just think there needs to be moderation before we, as a society, lose all touch of what is important in life.

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. This computer is now all I have. My next step will be a radio and a bed.

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      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Bill, this was fabulous. I agree with you completely. I know that is surprising. lol

      Like you, I am most concerned with our loss of the art of communication that has resulted from our increasing dependence on the digital world. Today I sat in a room of about 10 people for a meeting and eight of them never looked up from their text messages (smart phones). For over two hours. They contributed nothing to the conversation because they were not involved in it because of the distraction. It made me very sad. I do not own a smart phone for that reason alone. It is important to me to be able to speak my mind and I value voice inflection. I want to "hear" what your heart is saying in your voice and words. Otherwise, I cannot really know you.

      This was a very important subject and you have expressed my own concerns beautifully. Just awesome Kindred!.

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      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Wow!! Way to go!! Great that you are realizing your dreams. Nowadays, .we live in a world with so many communication devices that we have forgotten to communicate as human beings face to face for real. Sad state of affairs. Great hub. Voted up.

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      Melanie Chisnall 4 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Bill, loved your blog earlier and enjoyed your post here too. Very important topic my friend. It's just too easy to text everything these days. I realized last night that I check my cellphone just before sleeping, and as soon as I wake up. How sad is that? I'm going to have to start doing something about that. Great post!!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Really good hub, Bill. I admit that for the last few years I had buried myself in the Internet. The last few weeks I've cut down my hours and I have to say I am the better for it. Suddenly I have time to do things that I have been putting off. As a result I feel less stressed and more able to manage my time. I like this feeling and I want more of it.

      I am concerned about my kids spending too much time on the computer and/or Xbox, so I plan little day trips at the weekend to get them out of the house. I also encourage them to go out with their friends. This village is quite safe and my kids are sensible.

      I welcome all the technology we now have but, as you say, we shouldn't become so dependent on it that we lose our self-reliance.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, you get a pass.....use that computer to create more beauty and humor....we all need it!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Kindred, don't leave me hanging....what kind of meeting and who were these idiots who could not join in? I've been in similar meetings and it drives me crazy.....and yes, voice and body language are so important to communication. Sigh! We have a lot of work to do. :)

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vellur, thank you! That is exactly the point I was trying to make. It's nice to know there are others who feel the same way.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shoot, Mel, I think we all do that, don't we? It's the ones who text while talking to me that drive me crazy! Look me in the eyes and talk to me.....it's called respect and it's called conversation!!!!

      Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hey Phoenix.....I love the technology we have, and I live by the computer.....but......when technology takes the place of communication and relationships, then I think we might have crossed an invisible line.

      Keep encouraging those kids of yours; that's what should be done.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Natasha 4 years ago from Hawaii

      As much as I use the computer, I really, really try to keep it from taking over my life. I see so many people walking around the park blasting music with their phones or busy texting while their bored kids stand around (or, worse, run around unattended!). I confuse people regularly by keeping my phone on silent, or not bringing it places with me, because sometimes I just don't want to know what the whole world is doing every single minute.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Natasha, you do old-style crafts, you ride your bike everywhere, and you are a history nut....I don't think there are any worries that you are going over to the Dark Side. LOL Thank you my young friend.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Another boomer here, who lived without all the same things.....and today, the world of technology, never fails to amaze me.

      Looking more and more like we share 50% of our DNA......I do not get fretful or paranoid about all the hype that's out there, being spread by the boogie man to frighten us, alert us, warn us...or why ever the hell it is that "they" do that! ....and I can easily share the concerns that you have and so many of us should focus on.

      Your comment to Julie D'Neen hit me like a bolt of lightening.....honestly Bill, decades ago, I know I was ahead of my time in so many ways.....while NOW, I'm "behind." What's wrong with this picture?

      I wonder, Do the technology Whiz kids have any idea what it all means to the boomers? Of course not. Stupid question, old lady....UP+++

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I'm reminded constantly of something the President said....that America needs to retrain for this new tech revolution. How are we supposed to retrain the Boomers? or the poor with no education? Now I'm on my soapbox again...time to get off of it and mellow out. :)

      Thanks Sis!

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      Kas 4 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      Yeah billy, you're right on so many levels. Heck, in the Great Depression, our grandfathers survived because they knew how to hunt and can food, we were still on the gold standard, and most people knew what a hard day's work consisted of. Nowadays, it has seemingly diminished into a splinter of the mind's eye. Glad to hear about your impending financial freedom. My wife and I have been debt free for a while now and it felt like a ball and chain was removed from our ankles. Great hub and voting up!

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      pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

      Sir,

      i liked this hub , when we question ourselves , can we live without modern technologies? answer is no, we can not.

      Internet and many new advanced technologies are emerging , we have no time to decide and select right and wrong out of that.

      Direction of the society, we can say no kitchen without modern gadgets would function. Income levels of Middle class are rising but unemployment is also on rise, so technologies and subsequent benefits are passed on to affluent class , part of the society is left without benefits.

      The people are happy when they repay loan completely , it seems that

      in era of technology and globalization more failures and less success.

      This is my opinion.

      pramod gokhale

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kasman, good to see you again. Thanks for the visit and congratulations on being debt free. It is a wonderful feeling for sure.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      pramod, it is your opinion and it is a good and accurate one. No, I do not think modern society could live without technology; parts of the lower middle class and the poor would function quite nicely, however. Maybe we would see a change in the class system. Interesting!

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 4 years ago from Pune( India)

      In India we have joint families earlier but now separate families and small family concept and isolation has become practice.

      Short cuts for wealth, values a item no body is willing to buy.

      India's corrupt system and poor governance is taking society to opt unprofessional and filthy methods.

      The nation is governmed by incompetent and corrupt affluent class.

      If you expect class revolution the how?

      pramod gokhale

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pramod......thank you for telling us about India; I fear the same can be said for many countries.....even the most industrialized of countries. How will revolution happen? will it happen?

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am lost without my computer, but could really live without the TV, radio and cell phone. It would be tough, but life would be less complicated and restful. TV has nothing of real value for anyone.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, I wouldn't have food on the table to eat if it weren't for the computer, but cell phones drive me crazy and I could live quite well without one.

      Thank you and have a great Friday!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I worry about my daughter not being able to function in the future without technology. We force her to turn off quite often so that she can fend for herself. I'll be interested to see how dependent she becomes on technology when she is older. Interesting and thought provoking hub (especially for parents).

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, it's going to be interesting in ten years to see where we are at regarding technology. I think there are some huge changes coming. As always, we will find a way to adapt.

      Have a great weekend my friend!

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, you are so right in the meaning behind this hub. I, too grew up before all this technological crap took over. However, I am now a slave. When I wrote for a living in the 80's, there was no internet. There also was no slap-in-the-face compensation to writers at a measly $2+ per article. Today, the only way a writer can earn a living is to succumb to the workings of the computer age and the disrespectful compensation that comes with it.

      As far as cell phones, I got my first cell phone eons ago when AAA offered a cell for $10. It had a AAA button on it, so you could call for help at the touch of a button. That was the ONLY reason at the time that I opted for a cell phone. To this day I rarely use it, but I make sure it's in my purse when I get into my car. You never know when you need to call for help and don't want to leave your car on the side of the road.

      Technology sucks, I agree. I wish our children were taught math without the aid of a calculator at their desk. In my day we didn't have them. When they did come about, they were prohibited in schools because it was imperative the students learn how to solve problems without the aid of technology.

      Where would you and I be today without computers and the internet? We'd be SOL. What you and I have over the new generation is if technology were to suddenly crash, we could still survive on brain power, pen and paper and that other dying entity, the Post Office!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha....great comments. Yes, I need technology, but I sure as hell could survive without it. Don't even get me started about calculators in school.....they effectively take away critical thinking, as do computers. We are raising a bunch of kids who are incapable of problem-solving and it's because of technology.

      Okay, I need to settle down, relax, and get back to writing.

      Thank you dear friend.

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      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Sorry, didn't mean to rile you up, but you started it! :-)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...thanks Sha!

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I don't know, I think that we should always be looking forward to new and easier ways of doing things. Personally, I really do not want to live on a farm or grow my own food. But I have great respect for my friends and family who have chosen not to live with technology.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I have no problem with technology as long as we don't get lazy in allowing it to do everything for us. Having taught for eighteen years, I saw a great deal of laziness and inability to problem solve, and technology was the main reason for it. That is a serious concern! Thank you!

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