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Has Technology Made Us Lazy?


Have you ever seen those commercials where it’s like a teenager dies in a car accident and at the end there’s a statement like, “Don’t be afraid to speak up.”  As if the kid knew that they were in danger and didn’t speak up because of peer pressure.  Have you ever felt that way driving in the car with your friends?  Today, I’m not talking about drunk driving (albeit a very serious conversation). I’m talking about distractions.  I have this theory about technology in the car. It’s just gotten completely out of control.  There’s more stuff to look at inside the car than there is outside the car.

I was riding in the car with my mother one time and she spent the better part of a quarter of a mile trying to setup her Bluetooth, but she couldn’t find it, so she’s digging in her purse and everywhere else in the car to find it. Finally, I asked her, “Don’t you have something you should be doing right now?  Like… driving.”  Of course she stared at me like I had lost my mind, but I was serious. Is it all that serious?

Check out today’s mix from @CarverTheGreat, it’s called Phone Etiquette, and it’s inspired by what we’re talking about today.  A tracklist can be found below, but download it here, or stream below:

People these days are so reliant on technology it’s ridiculous.  I can prove it to you too.  Let me tell you a few things that would probably surprise you but are reason for concern.

1) Quick, the last person you were seriously talking to romantically, what’s their phone number? – It’s a number you’ve probably dialed a thousand times, but you don’t remember it.  Sure if you see it, you’ll probably be able to pick it out of a lineup, but truth be told you don’t know it.  A couple decades ago speed dialing was created and today we have cell phones with contact lists in them.  We don’t have to remember a single number, just their name.

See Also:  Nobody Cares: Men Get Rejected All The Time

2) How many times have you had to tell a friend your address? – This is a pet peeve of mine.  If I tell you how to get to my place once, I shouldn’t have to give you my address each time you’re heading my way.  If you would pay attention to where you’re going, you would remember how to get there or my address.  The current state of GPS systems in cars has gotten so out of control.  I’ve seen people who refuse to listen to you tell them the shorter or more efficient route.  Out of frustration they bark, “Can you just give me your address and I’ll plug that in?!”

3) Which would you rather have happen to you?  You realize you’re at work and it’s raining and you don’t have an umbrella, or you realize you’re at work and you left your cell phone at home? – I’ve been almost all the way to work when I realized I didn’t have my phone.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and went back to get it.  If LL Cool J couldn’t live without his radio, we definitely can’t live without our phones.  Our entire life is in our phone.  A little rain has never stopped a soul, we can buy new clothes, but we can’t replace that phone.  In fact, we’d rather it stop raining so we can use our phones, because a wet phone can be the collapse of a man.

4) Is there anything too big for Apps? – I don’t normally make comparisons to the Good Lord and his greatness, but “For Jobs so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Apps, that whoever uses them shall not perish, but have stress free life.”  There is very little need to pick up the phone and call the weather anymore.  In fact, they’ve discontinued the weather on the phone.  There’s no need to pick up a newspaper to check the headlines around the world, there’s an App for BBC and CNN.  There’s not even a need to sit down and play a board game with friends, you can play Words with Friends without ever meeting face to face.

See Also:  Embracing Technology

5) Can you hop on gchat? – I’ve been guilty of this myself; I’m on the phone with a friend and I notice that my gchats are blinking something crazy.  I’m in the middle of a conversation when I abruptly interject, “Hey can you hop on gchat real quick?”  With the blessing of gchat, you no longer have to have a conversation with just one person.  You can hold 5-6 conversations at the same time on gchat, while the phone only limits you to one-on-one interactions.

6) Why do we need to meet in person? – I don’t judge women who give it up on the first night, I judge women who have never had a real conversation with a person before sleeping with them.   There’s no need to talk on the phone anymore.  You can text and chat your way into sex.  Although, I think sexting and skype’ing are the safest forms of sex in these our last days, but still… if we’ve never had a conversation where I’ve heard your voice or seen your face and I’m able to take you down, I’m judging.

I was riding the train one day and I saw a group of kids who were deaf.  They were all sitting in the same area and they were texting on their phones to each other.  I had this epiphany at that moment.  In a few years, it really won’t be a big hindrance to communication if you are deaf or hard of hearing.  You can just whip out your phone and have a full conversation.  Technology is a double edged sword.  It’s almost made the need to interact with humans obsolete. So for those living with disabilities it’s great, but for those of us who have the ability to talk, we just don’t do it.  You’ll never have to stop and ask for directions again, you can just use your phone.  And quiet as it’s kept, schools across America are not even teaching kids how to write in cursive anymore. What’s the need?  They’re just going to use computers and cell phones to communicate in the written form anyway.

See Also:  Men Don't Like Pretty Women

How about you, do you think technology has made us complacent or superior?  Is there any reason to worry about where technology is headed and if it’s in the best interest of humanity?  Has technology frustrated you in the past?  How heavily do you rely on technology to handle your day-to-day business?

– Dr. J

The Tracklist from Today’s mix: 1. WWJD He’d Prolly LOL Like WTF by Lupe Fiasco, 2. The Bee by Jessica Tonder & The Proton, 3. Phone Tap by The Firm, 4. Beep Me 911 by Missy Elliot, 5. Video Phone by Beyonce, 6. LOL 🙂 by Trey Songz & Gucci Mane, 7. Seinfeld Cell Phone Interlude, 8. Digital Girl by Jamie Foxx, Drake, Kanye West, & The-Dream, 9. Phone Sex by Shaun Boothe — Check out Carver The Great at his personal website, where you can also find booking information and more music!


  1. I went on vacation last month to Jamaica. I was there for a month (on mat leave til Jan). I couldn't use my iPhone. I swear I thought I was going to die. Not having easy access to the internet was one of the hardest things I've had to do for a long time. I ended paying for "International Roaming week packages" just to be able to have a data plan while away. I use my phone all the time. I don't know something I google it. I hear a fact that sounds off, I google it. I wanna know if Erik Christian Olsen is related to the Olsen twins, I google that ish. Needless to say my bill is almost $800. Necessary? Absolutely not! But I just coudn't not have access to my phone or the internet for an entire month. That just wasn't going to work for me. I <3 TECHNOLOGY!!

    1. Wow, so that's almost $10,000.00 a year for your phone!? I hope you're finding legitimate ways to write it off on your taxes. I hope you're kidding because I'm cringing thinking of what I could invest in with an extra 10grand annualy.

        1. That IS what I meant. The bill for the trip was $800. $10,000 a year for a cell phone is beyond crazy and totally unnecessary.

    2. Andrienne you need cell phone anonymous class…lol
      I was in Negril, and Mo Bay Jamaica in 2006 and was able to use my phone fine. I had international calling with my plan so it didn't jack my bill up. What part of Jamaica were you in?

  2. Yikes! Kids aren't being taught to write in cursive anymore?! That is crazy! I believe it though my cousin had to by her 12 year old a net book or an ipad as a "necessity" for her school. I think that we will pay a high price for over reliance on technology. There is something to be said for being able to hold a decent conversation in person as oppose to solely in the virtual world.

    1. My son is 12 and he will be getting a net book for Christmas. I actually asked my son's teacher about the cursive thing and was told it was no longer a part of the curriculum. Oh well… They really dont need it anymore.

      1. It's not just writing either, it's reading. Some of them can't read script either so they're illiterate when t comes to historical documents or anything else written in cursive. Everything in the world has NOT been typed up and digitized yet. Although if you want to hide something from a youngin, I guess this is one way.

    2. I teach fourth grade, and it is saddening how cursive is being phased out of the curriculum. Though I don’t focus on it as much, I still write only in cursive. I also give incentives for students who write only in cursive. However, it’s annoying that technology is the focus; if that is the case, then I should have a laptop for every student in the classroom but I don’t. Until then, back to “when I was your age, we used/did…”

  3. It's all about balance. Most of the scenarios you mentioned are why I refuse to get a smartphone. I have a prepaid Motorola Razr, yes, in fashion circa 2005. I don't want you to call my cell phone unless something is wrong with my children. Work, the doctor, family, friends etc can call my home phone (yep, a good ol' fashioned land line) and leave a message if I'm not there. I just don't like being connected all the time; it makes me feel like I'm living my life inside of a screen instead of enjoying my man, my children,my friends and family in the flesh. Don't get me wrong I love technology; I'm on Twitter and Facebook and I frequent various blogs and websites but I try to limit the time I spend using technology.

    The only thing that worries me about the advancement of technology is that children who are growing up amidst all of this technology are becoming borderline illiterate. They don't know how to use standard English because they are using text speak and internet speak so frequently. There is nothing wrong with being computer literate as long it is not interfering with one's ability to use English properly.

    1. I agree with the point about our kids. Not only are they becoming illiterate, but also obese. They sit at home and stay on the computer or ps3 all day. It has even been reported that this generation coming up will be the first not to live past their parents age or even die before them. That is so crazy to me…

        1. I intentionally don't have a smart phone either and I've been eligible for an upgrade for years. I have web addict tendencies and I'm frugal, so it's a win-win for me to resist the call of the smart phone. I have one of those old QWERTY keyboard texting phones with the mobile web disabled (although I could turn it on in a web emergency–hasn't happened in 4 years).

      1. I have a flip phone, the 2011 LG Lotus. It's a smart phone. I prefer flips because I know so many people with tacky cracked screens on non-flip phones. They always have to pay to get it fixed or replaced.

  4. It has made us very complacent. I don't know phone numbers outside of my mother's and the home phone, although my significant others have been far less lazy when it comes to that. I don't feel empty when I leave my phone or return for it when I'm more than 5 minutes away from home or about to miss the bus, though. I'm rarely ever in constant communication with anyone when I'm not dating.

    I'd say that technology is more of a blessing than a curse. It provides one with easy access to information, although it's up to individual to capitalize on that. In some cases, it's making people more accountable for their actions. People used to get away with some messed up ish back home (Nigeria), but with the advent of cell phone video recording, things are being brought to international attention and some officials are starting to sit up. It hasn't made a huge difference thus far, but it's a start.

    I'm fairly reliant on technology. Most of my communications are handled via computer or phone. My entertainment is derived from things I see and hear on the web. My school work is completed courtesy of online libraries and other resources. It permits me to check the weather and transit schedules, pay my bills, etc.

  5. I was just having this conversation with family during TG. An older cousin was commenting about how some of the younger military wives are wussies. She saw a bunch of them on base crying because their husbands were being deployed for 6 months. She said in her day when her husband was deployed for 18 months at a time to Vietnam there were no cell phones, no skyping, no e-mails. You had to write letters. We joked that today military are probably in the middle of battle texting. Also, I think parents have more work to do with kids growing up in such a cyber rich time. Not only do they have to make sure they're not raising a generation on illiterate, impersonal beings, but they have ot work harder to protect their innocence. Way to much access to monitor. As for me, I like balance. I'm not attached to my phone. I appreciate genuine connection. I like freedom when I'm out and about. I feel you on the directions- that is annoying when people do that!

    1. Amen, as a parent today, you have to be on top of your kids making sure they aren't falling down any rabbit holes on the internet. It's rough because there's just so much available for free on the internet these days. My kids will definitely be passing over those passwords and friending me on any social networking sites they participate on. (No limited profile).
      My recent post My First Blog (The Final post on The Book of Jackson)

      1. The family computer used to be in plain view, where the whole family could access it. Now every family member has their own unchecked, private access to everything on the internet. That's how kids fall down the rabbit hole.

        1. Giiiirl. That is what I've been harping on around here. Our kids won't get computers in their rooms and when they're old enough whatever time they spend on it outside of homework will be timed. And the internet will not be on their phones (if they ever get phones that is) I feel the same way about TVs. Why do kids need that in their rooms? That's just asking for trouble if you ask me.

        2. I have no problem with kids having their own comptuers, especially if they are technically minded, but that needs to be hand in hand with a secure internet environment. Parents need to educate themselves on basic computer and network security. Because computers are so integrated into our lives now, parents need to take upon themselves to block websites and monitor web activity.

          My recent post Slow Down and Enjoy your Tech!

    2. That's soo true! A parent at church said she didn't even know half her teenage daughter's friends because they just called her up on the cell phone. I was like whaaaaa?!?! Yikes! You don't know what your kids could possibly be getting into if you can't/won't/don't properly monitor it. Flashback to the house phone with call waiting. "Oh that's for my mama. I gotta call you back."
      My recent post A Patchwork Life

  6. The part about the GPS is so true! I have a good ol' fashioned map in my car. I've gotten lost several times w/ the GPS, but never w/ a map.
    On the flip side, during TG i saw my 3yr old niece play on Barbie.com. She was handling the laptop mousepad like a pro. She knew how to type in the words to get to the website and find the game she wanted to play. I was dumbstruck at how natural it was for her. But she gets the and enjoyment from reading to her or coloring with her.
    I think it's easier for kids because they're sponges and are able to focus. As adults we neglect the skill of compartmentalizjng because there are so many things at once requiring attention.
    My recent post Dreamgirl

        1. I don't know what state you live in, but in many states now you can get pulled over and ticketed for holding a phone in your hand while driving-even for just looking at a google maps app. I prefer to print out directions and keep it green by recycling the paper 🙂

    1. I have a map in my car also but I never use it. My stepfather taught me how to read maps a long time ago, I've had one for every state I've lived in. I don't use it but I like knowing that if I had to, I could.

      my parents are so old school though, they still stop at welcome centers on road trips, read maps and talk/ask people for directions. they keep me grounded. I'm buying them a gps soon though! LOL
      My recent post I know that we don’t know each other well…

  7. Technology is only bad because we depend on it way to much. I have no problem asking directions when I'm lost even with GPS. But personal communication almost seems like a thing of the past. It's crazy how people can be so interesting via G-Chat, FB, Twitter but once ypu try to have a phone convo or face to face meet up their just dull. People are literally living their whole lives through technology, nothing worst than going to a "poppin party" and half the ppl tweting on their phone about how live it is instead of really just enjoying it. The funny thing is while we talk about how technology has made us very impersonal, we go on their everyday trying to find new ways to become more personal with ppl.
    While I love my phone theirs nothing like goign on a week vaca to another country where I cant use my phone (mainly b/c of roaming) and just enjoy the vaca, who ever called or text me I just get back to when Im in the states.

  8. Doc didn't you and I have part of this convo a while back? Technology HAS made us complacent. I do think it will be the downfall of humanity because we are hardwired to have that one on one face to face interaction and by the looks of it we could end up like the folks on Wall-e. I'm an online student so I do depend on technology for that. And then there's the dishwasher. Other than that, you'd think I wouldn't depend on it so much day to day but somehow, I keep finding reasons to log in. My husband thinks I have a "phone problem" because it seems like my phone is glued to my hands sometimes so when he's around, I try to limit it's use.

    1. And I am so guilty of number two. (pause?) I depend on my phone to get me places and I don't even care if it is a longer route. People forget I'm not from here and steady giving me janky directions. I show up two hours late to the function because yo behind COULDN"T give me the address. "Oh I meant turn on the OTHER Emerson." That happened in real life btw and one too many times for me to trust folks with their directions. You: Just turn by the tree. Me: Which tree? You: You know that one big tree. Me: You've been going to this church your whole life and you don't know the address still? (Real life)
      And number three, I'd rather just get wet (pause?). I mean, I don't care if my hair gets wet unless I straightened it so the umbrella is not really necessary but I'mma need my phone just in case somebody challenges me on something I know so I can pull up the info and be like "Bam bytch!" and life is good again.

  9. Yo, leaving your phone is DEFINITELY worse than an umbrella! I've ran through storms and been soaked plenty of times. That all pales to not being able to be reached immediately if something's wrong with my family or friends. It's not all about playing Angry birds.

    #6 is perplexing. I've been out of the dating game for a while, but can you reasonably expect to have sex with someone without a real conversation (outside of the one night stand thing of course)? I would judge both people though – the woman and the man. That is just sketchy.

    1. It's happening. Like I seen a dude (not that I know this guy). He bagged a shorty at the club, texted her on the way home like, "Yo what you doing after the club?" She responded, "No plans, probably just go home." He hit her with the, "Tryna smoke?" She was like, "Where?" He was like, "My place, [address truncated]."

      And it went down.

      ***That was actually better than Tony's Story.***
      My recent post My First Blog (The Final post on The Book of Jackson)

        1. And I love Dr. J but I was just surprised that people just assume that people smoke. I know what weed is!

        2. I definitely just got educated! I guess in some circles offering "smoke" is like offering a glass of wine or some other cocktail?

      1. This explains a lot. I always get confused with these dipshits who think they can text a couple of words and get something. Like, dude. What incentive do I have? I barely remember what you look like. You try to call them up to have a conversation and they don’t wanna talk. As if…

  10. I’m mad at myself i really couldnt answer #1, but i mean when we met i gave her my number that one day she texted back i stored her # n that was it. However i think technology has made some superior and the rest…meh. I’d trade this BBA in Accounting for a vast knowledge in coding anyday. The cashier who is completely expendable now is at a disadvantage but the one guy who knows how to fix the self checkout machines is not. I try to avoid using technology in place of actual manpower (except at bank of america who wanna charge $12 to see a human teller #thatishcray).

  11. Technology has made us complacent but its our own fault. I think you can choose to be so attached, choose to let it run your life. I'm guilty of this too though. I use technology to fill the time in my day to day life. If I have 5 mins to do nothing I either search the web or go on twitter.

    Years ago people would use an extra five minutes to finish the book they are working on or call a friend they haven't talked to in a while. Technology does not need to fill every moment of our time. When I go abroad I never bring my laptop or phone. Its a nice break. You can only be married to someone/thing for so long before the annoying stuff they do just gets to be too much. My laptop eats my time and my blackberry naturally freezes daily. When we've been away from each other for two weeks I don't even miss them. It may be time for a new relationship…

    My recent post Dear E,

  12. I consider myself one of last before the completely dependant tech generation. I went thru high school without a cell phone period, and didnt get my first smartphone until Jr year of ugrad. I could only imagine going to school in an era where my fights were uploaded (though i’m a solid 15-5, 2 KO), i would need an ipad for textbooks, and i could get a prom date via an LMS post

  13. As a big technology enthusiast and Engineer I feel that every generation says the same thing about the technology of their times. Communication is fluid and if one form of communication is replaced with a different form, older people assume its the end of the world.

    We communicate more today than ever, we absorb much more information than previous generations (hence the Information Age) and interact with many more different types of people than our parents could have. Our world is big and Technology is helping to make it feel much smaller and faster.

    Students still have to go to school and interact with each other, adults still have to go to work and communicate with co-workers and those in Metro areas still need to take Mass Transportation to get places. There may be extreme cases of dependence or abuse, but thats human nature. Humans haven’t change, just our mediums to communicate. Check the quote below:

    “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” – Western Union internal memo (1876)

      1. I don't even think it's video games themselves, because I'm 31 and I grew up with them too. Because my parents were from a generation before video games were mainstream (before the NES in 85, or arguably before the Atari 2600), they made sure we balanced outside time with inside time.

        I think it's parents that have grown up with video games are more willing to accept their kids overdosing on them.
        My recent post Slow Down and Enjoy your Tech!

      2. Yes yes yes Dr. J….going outside to play…I hear a lot of parents say it's making their kids lazy and not wanting to go outside and socialize with other kids. Too much video games and internet is not good.
        This was even on an episode of Reed Between The Lines on BET.

  14. Yeah, technology is both a gift and a curse to mankind. In certain ways it has helped to be more efficient (real time business data, quicker assessment of healthcare diagnosis with electronic medical records, and etc.) The curse comes into play when we rely too much on this technology, become lazy, and forget how to actual maintain normal lives. As the Doc mentioned, no one really has personal conversations and use FB, Social Media, and Texting to get a point accross. Even with work, technology has now allowed more people to work from home instead of physically coming into the office where you would have to engage with co-workers. I think we should use it for what it is, but not let it totally consume our everyday being.

  15. I am guilty of running back home cuz I forgot my phone, was late for work/functions/gatherings quite a few times because of it, but I’ve gotten BETTER, I am not ashamed to admit that I used to have a sick love affair with my BB, I couldn’t leave it alone, but now it’s programmed to shut off automatically during the week at 12midnite.

    Oh yeah, that GPS addiction is real as well, Just text/bbm me your address, I’ll find it”. No need to give me directions over the phone, you wasting time. #welp

  16. Ugh! Number 2 is SO aggravating. No so much me giving u my address over and over, its the “i’ll just use my gps” that I hate. When I’m trying to tell an out-of-towner how to get somewhere and where not to go and they insist on listening to Tom and Garvin, I may end up saying “f*ck it” and let them get stuck on 85 or whichever terrible way they chose to go.

  17. technology has changed things, but I still love it. however I still take handwritten notes at meetings, I like phone conversations (and face to face for the people that dont' like talking on the phone) and I try to do little things to keep the old traditions alive in my life. I was very reluctant to buying a Nook Color because I love books/magazines. so I read both. I don't want to become a drone/slave to my technology.

    but I must honestly say I don't remember anybody's phone # but my own. its really sad.
    My recent post I know that we don’t know each other well…

  18. I think technology made lazy people more effective at being lazy. Facebook is a great example. Folks don't talk to each other anymore because they can just read each others Facebook status updates and pictures and use that to find out what's going on in their lives. People who do that had to be lazy before facebook came around.

    I think there are a lot of people who use technology – specifically the myriad of ways we're able to connect with each other – in great ways. I'm able to effectively keep in touch with way more people than I would be able to if not for all the technology of the past 20 years. The circle of people I consider "friends" would be much smaller than it already is, simply because I wouldn't have the bandwidth to keep up with everyone.

    Good post Dr.
    My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. For my 10 year reunion in '09, we went to a happy hour…had the top floor to ourselves, lol…

        No more ballrooms, fancy dresses, and suits, lol…

  19. As a computer scientist, it would behoove me to not herald the technological advances. I would say it makes some people lazy, but iot makes others resourceful. There's always a backlash to tech. Im sure people said "whats theneed for a telephone" when it was first invented.

    Communication evolves over time. I just hate the impersponal aspect of it. A lot of kids are being antisocial due to technology, or better yet are learning how to communicate without having a personality. Think of people on social media. 75% of them can't interact with real life people and are only interesting on the internet. Thats a damn shame.

    I am guilty of no longer remembering numbers. In the year 2000, I had to be a lexicon of info, now I can rely on my phone. I remember the frequently dialed numbers and fam. if I met you after a certain period of time. chances are I wont have your #.

    Im guilty of the multiple address swindle. I always know your area, but want to make sure (house address). I can drive off instinct when I listen to it, lol to thats nothing.

    I will teach my children to itneract both with and without tech. You have to use tech as a supplement not a compliment.
    My recent post Infographic: Black Friday Shopping Stats

  20. My first thought was a simple, "yes." But, I think it's a gift and a curse. For example, it's funny how I can sit on the train and when I look up everyone is looking down playing on their digital device of choice. No one is talking to each other. On the other hand, when I think back before the technological age, everyone was sitting around reading books/newspapers and not talking to each other. So it's not like technology caused people not to socialize, that's a choice people actively make.

    On the other hand, it does seem to have a far larger effect on communication and interaction as a whole. As you said up thread, kids dont play outside anymore and dont have a reason to. Adults can pretty much all interact through Facebook/email/etc. Thing is, we're still communicating, just not face to face, but we are communicating with a far lager network. It seems to be a Catch-22. In the end, I think it's up to us as individuals to figure out how much or how little social interaction we are going to have in our lives. Cant blame technology for our own choices.

  21. Great post, lol. Technology had def made us more lazy…

    1. I have ZERO cell reception in my cubicle. So, I still have to remember and actually dial important phone numbers. I had to start giving my bf pop quizzes so that he'd memorize my cell number, lol…smh.
    2. I have a photographic memory. Once I use GPS the first time to get to your spot, I'm good. I like to travel from memory…exercises my brain, lol.
    3. I def go back home for my cell phone and my badge. I hate having to be signed in as much as I hate not having my phone.
    4. All I use on my phone is texts, email, Pandora, weather app, FB, contacts, calculator, google search, youtube, GPS, camera, and gallery. I don't see a need for a billion apps, lol. I bought some jewelry from my cuz…she used her iPhone as a cash register…swiped my card and everything. I was amazed, lol.

    1. 5. I've never used gchat. FB IM, yes. Any other IM, no…except for at work. I love my work IM, lol. I don't skype.
      6. I love physically interacting with people I like. Plus, you don't get a true feel for folks till you get their mannerisms. So this isn't an issue for me…

      *reviews my response* You'd never know I actually have an IT career, LMBO! Smh…

  22. Technology is a blessing and a curse. We have access to information in new and exciting ways like never before. At the same time, we have access to information in new and exciting ways like never before, all without having to engage in person-to-person conversation. Honestly, I think its making us worse people. People can be as rude and hateful as they want to people they don't even know. People have a chance to prove to everyone that, indeed, they lack home training. I see it everyday. So, we're no longer personable, but we're becoming horrible people whose arrogance allows us to say and do some egregious sh*t just because we think our opinion matters in the lives of strangers.
    My recent post My Love Is Like…

    1. The children are now bombarded with information that could be easily regulated by parents 10 years ago. Now, every child thinks they should have adult toys because its all the rage. I'll be the only parent who's kids will have actual books, will not have a computer/tc in their bedroom, and no smart phones. My kids will actually learn things, rather than live that "Google it" life.

      With all of that said, I enjoy some technology, but I prefer real life, offline life much more. Its all about balance.
      My recent post My Love Is Like…

  23. Now that I think of it…there are a couple of things that I lament about this technologically charged world:

    1. Text/email takes the romance out of letter writing and greetings. So kids sext or text each other all day back and forth, but I admit that I used to like sending off a letter, waiting a few days and receiving a response back from a boo. When I was younger, this was one of the many activities of the summer that would keep my nose open to a particular girl. She would of course send me scented stationary complete with that bubbly handwriting girls have and a couple of pieces of candy. I've saved most of my letters from those times. Your emails/texts disappear when the batteries die.

    2. Cellphones take away the anticipation of a call from that special someone. Well…you can still get it but that call will occur at anytime anywhere. I guess what I'm saying is the ease of accessibility is one of those things that I can appreciate but not quite get used to.

    3. GPS…I know grown men and women who don't know how to read basic street or road maps and this is a gottdamn shame. Reading maps was a requirement for me in school and in the military but the amount of people with no sense of direction will be hurting if these networks go down all of a sudden.

    4. Bluetooth headsets: They are convenient for driving or multitasking but let's be real…you've walked up on or past someone who you thought was talking to themselves and pegged them as crazy, but then when they turn at an angle where they can see the flashing blue light, you realize they were not.

    5. Cellphone cameras: Curse and a blessing. Blessing: We get to see women exposing themselves in front of a poorly cleaned bathroom mirror, eliminating the need to be a peeping tom or waiting for pictures to come after they've been developed. Curse: Every attention whore will inundate their page or profile with 800 pictures with 300 of them being that stupid blowfish look. These women will also want you to respect them despite the fact that they are half naked with a provocative pose with their kid lingering in the background.

      1. I frown upon their shennigans. Divas and Diva Dudes are the annoying results of camera phones.
        No man should have 1000 pictures of they took of themselves.

    1. I still write letters on occassion to my older relatives. I have a 96 year old aunt who really appreciates it. I like pretty stationary. If I'm really in love my man will be surprised by a perfumed scented (maybe even lipstick kissed) note. In business, I also like to send "thank you" cards. It definitely makes me stand out and get offered more opportunities because I took the time to write a thoughtful note and mail it instead of e-mail.

      1. "f I'm really in love my man will be surprised by a perfumed scented (maybe even lipstick kissed) note. In business, I also like to send "thank you" cards. It definitely makes me stand out and get offered more opportunities because I took the time to write a thoughtful note and mail it instead of e-mail."

        same here
        My recent post I know that we don’t know each other well…

  24. I don't mind the GPS direction thing. If I gve you my address then just plug it in. I find people get really impatient and frusterated if they heard you wrong or made a left instead of a right and blame YOU…also, if lost and my phone isn't immediately by me or I don't see/hear it ringing they're screwed (i.e. i'm hosting a party or social gathering somewhere and am distracted).

    Now me, I usually have no problem remembering how to get to someone's home after going there just one time. It can be a couple years later and I'll still remember….not sure why that is, but I rarely need to ask for an address more than once.

  25. Well like with any addiction, there are different levels of dependence. The old folks in my Bible study laugh and shake their heads at me when I come in with my cell phone or look at it to pass the time…until they need me to google something real quick. But then I look at these youngins' who only know cell phones and can't live without them – one of the college students in my program lost her iphone and damn near lost her mind. She was like my whole life is in there – banking info, when to call my grandmomma, when to buy sanitary napkins. Ummmm…you might wanna write some things down.

    I have left my phone several times – in the car so that I can shop leisurely or as I run into my mom's house (and then hours pass), whilst on vacation to lay out on the beach. And I'm glad that I don't get the shakes. It is a peaceful existent to not be dependent on the chimes and the bells, but to enjoy the moment you're in – kinda like when you're in a store and the clerk gives more attention to the customer on the phone when you standing right there ready to buy…
    My recent post A Patchwork Life

    1. Diana I turn my phone off when at work and only turn it on to check texts and voicemails and only return emergency or business calls.
      Times I have left my phone I never cared enough to turn around and go all the way back home to get it.
      Friends and fam have my work number so they can reach me there if need be.
      Like you I also use my phone to keep track of time because I can't recall the last time I wore a watch….lol.

      1. Yesss! My mama stays using my work number. That woman will FIND me! That reminds me some Black comedian on Last Comic Standing was like, "you ever leave your phone at home all day and come back and ain't have no missed calls?!!? You feel so unloved." Hee heee!
        My recent post A Patchwork Life

        1. Yes. I usually leave my phone on vibrate when I'm out in the world because I'm sure no one wants to hear Wale saying "DC chillin. PG chillin" Heh. I just meant the concept of people you're not in front of or in the same place with pulling at your attention with texts, emails, gchat and bbm messages. I also turn my phone to phone calls only option when I go to bed – some people leave theirs on and can't sleep because their phone is constantly going off? I know my friend had left my house to get on the road early in the morning and she was just-a gchatting me for directions. Finally she called like you don't hear your phone?! Girl, it is 5 in the am! My phone is not on!
          My recent post A Patchwork Life

  26. This post is Awesome Dr. J. I agree with NIAnaturally that technology is a blessing yet a curse. It's great to be able to Skype with family and friends across the world as well as having great research at your fingertips. However, some folks man, just take it TOO darn far. I don't even think about a computer on my off days, let alone a phone. My favorite channels are Music Choice channels. Technology although useful has made many dense, antisocial and of course lazy.

    My children have over 200 books and their friends literally look puzzled when my children pick up books to read. Video games are reserved for the weekend and maybe once a week if earned. Some children these days got it too easy and have access to way too much.

    Although we have all this allegedly great technology, we have somehow slowed in progression. We still can't answer many of the great mysteries of the past such as the Pyramids. Writing in cursive and working out a math problem using your head allows one to use the areas of the brain that we rarely use today. We have to be more careful with buying into all this stuff.

  27. I like the tracklist Dr. J..lol Can I add "Computer Love" by Zapp & Roger Troutman and the Text Messages song by Trey Songz……lol
    I remember when pagers were out when I was in high-school in the early 90's.
    I hated pagers. I had a boyfriend who gave me his just so he could keep track of me.
    He would "beep me 911" just so I would rush to a payphone or any phone and call him back and when I did all he had to say was "I just wanted to know where you were and what you were doing"? And I would be like "WTF" is it really that serious?" I used to tell him he was like 5-0 and I spy private eye all rolled up into one. I gave him the pager back and told him if he didn't take it I was gonna straight throw it out a window….lol
    This may sound corny but I miss writing letters. My friends and I used to stay trading notes and letters back and forth in class. I still have a little purse full of notes and letters from friends and cute little love letters and poetry from guys.
    Maybe because I think of myself as a writer because I love to write and I'm all about face-to-face conversations because I like to look at folks when we talk, but I think technology has also dummified our society to a degree. We can get information easy as 1-2-3 nowadays and no real research has to be done.
    Not to mention all the misunderstandings that can come from emails and text….don't even get me started on how folks can get into huge arguments and break up or be on the verge of divorce (or actually divorce) due to an email or text that may have been misunderstood.
    As for the fella's… due to "technology" and more advanced ways to track folks men can no longer cheat and lie and get away with it for very long….which may be a good thing..lol.
    Question for the men – has technology made it more difficult for men to be playa's? How has technology thrown salt in your game?

    1. Good call on "Computer Love". I went to a comedy last night after I made the mix and heard that song and got tight.

  28. Good post. As someone said before every generation feels that way about the generation before and I myself have to watch my thoughts about how "doomed" the future is. Things are just different and there has to be balance. GPS for me was the best thing they could of ever come up with. I am perpetually lost <–true story. Plus my fam is all from Chicago and are a bunch of smart alecks. They directions be like "you see that mcdonalds on the left.? me: yeah, am I turning(as I proceed to get into the turning lane)? Them: naw I was just wondering if they were still open you gone be heading str8t for a while. Me sigh, so extra." LOL
    My concern with the differences is more so will I be able to relate to my children. Or will I go on and on with my "You know I had FB since it first started…." type stories while my kids roll their eyes behind my back (side bar they dare not do it in my face cause like my mama I smack first ask question later). I just don't want to be so out of touch that my kids feel they can't talk to me. My biggest fear is that these kids are exposed to so much so soon that they are not allowed a childhood anymore.

    1. Oh I also meant to touch on the cell phone glued to hand thing. I travel a lot and while I am attached to my phone I love the break from the cell phone especially when I am international. When I travel I ask ppl for directions and interact a lot. I love it! When I am home GPS and mean mugging the whole way.
      I have yet to skype which is weird for a person like me who it would proably work well for but the fact that someone can see me sort of freaks me out. Like am I suppose to just stare at the camera the whole time I am chatting? If I glance at the tv am I considered rude?? Can I still text and skype or is that bad ettiquette? I am a huge muti-takser so its hard for me to give anything my full attention. Its easier to fake attention via phone and text but if you are watching my every move this could get difficult.

  29. A list of some of the things I hate about technology abusers:

    1. People (read: women) who start a thread on a topic via text but when you make a joke on the same topic they reply with "huh?" ….how can't you follow the context of the convo you started?

    2. When BBM users expect non-BBM users to reply to texts write away….just because you SENT a text doesn't mean I received your text…let me live and reply when the f*ck I feel like it.

    3. People (read: women) who don't know which way North is….EVER!

    4. Coworkers who IM you even though their cubicle is close enough for you to hear them type the IM….smh

    I could go on for days….

  30. Wow this is so on point. I am guilty of shifting a phone conversation to gchat so that I can have multiple conversations. I feel extra guilty now, that I think about it. __Oh and the whole gps scenario…this has happened to me alot—its so frustrating.

  31. I have a phone that lets me call, text, and set reminders. That's all I need it to do. I don't want a newer (better?) phone cause a) my phone bill will go up and b) I will be available to everyone, all the time.

    If I forget my phone when I go to work, it's not a disaster. I'd rather have it, but if not, it's cool. I remember all the important people's number by heart, and umm… all the other questions also show that I've pretty much hopped off the technology train. Too old, too lazy, too something. What I need, I can use. Everything else, nah.

    Why you judging the women but not yourself? It's pretty sketchy of you too, to hop in bed with someone you've never talked with.

      1. I know, you had a very valid point with the post.

        I obviously misunderstood when you said "if we’ve never had a conversation where I’ve heard your voice or seen your face and I’m able to take you down, I’m judging."

  32. The answer is YES! But, it has also made us more efficient. I’m in law school and I would hate to have to “hit the books” to find a case…thanks to technology all cases are electronically stored now so I just have to go on an online database; that’s efficiency, and in turn we learn more and faster. On another note…I just got my new IPAD2 today in the mail and I must say, I haven’t stopped playing with it! I’m starting to wonder how it was that I ever lived without it…icloud…..WHAT?! 🙂

  33. I have a degree in Communications and I agree with this article 110%. We, as humans, do not interact anymore. We go through drive-thru windows, pay our bills online, and shop at home through TV. You don't have to go to the video store to rent movies and you don't have to go to the CD store to buy music. Ipods and On Demand have eliminated all that. As a consequence, people aren't talking. Basic human communication is lost. I believe that society as a whole is more miserable than ever because of this sad truth. God bless this world. We need You now more than ever.

    1. I felt kinda bad while reading this comment bc, as I type, I’m sitting here on lunch break with my crew members and my eyes are glued to my phone. But I’m borderline anti anyway so, oh well..


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