COLUMN

FUTURE SHOCK | The future is here!

Originally posted at The Manila Times

Noel F. Lim

Everywhere you look..it’s here. It’s in your hands… it’s in your house… in your car… and its in your head. THE FUTURE is here! What was considered science fiction is now reality. Smart phones… Smart TVs… WiFi connectivity… streaming content… online dating… online social media groups —it’s the world of instant connections and lightning speed info exchange. Instant mami noodles… instant coffee… instant relationships… instant breakups… solid-state drives to boot up your computers in seconds…. because a few minutes is TOO LONG ! (talk about speed junkies). Technology is giving us what the 80s generation demanded… WE WANT IT ALL, AND WE WANT IT NOW!

Yes, we have it all and we have it now! But what do we really have? Yes, technology gives us more time to spare… but more time to do what? More time to fool around with gadgets.

A few days ago I was eating in a restaurant and spied a family across me. A Family of five. The father and the mother and their kids. A typical filipino family eating out. A classic Sunday tradition. Except for the fact their not interacting with each other anymore. All of them twiddling with their respective gadgets. Engrossed and concentrated with forrowed brows. Together. But not really.

I love observing people. One of the main reasons I go out in the 1st place. And for that evening they piqued my interest. All thru the night the family managed to exchange a few words, which entailed the food and who got who’s drink. But the majority of their time was spent on their tech tools. Yes, the family that stays together, plays together…separately.

The cynic in me imagines the father having cybersex with his online lover, while mother is following up her orders from her business partner thru messenger. And the kids are participating on an online gaming app. But most probably the dad’s just conducting his online buy and sell business. The mom chatting with her high school classmates and scheduling a reunion, while the kids participate on an on line gaming app.

Technology has brought the world smaller…closer. Ironically, also drives us apart…way, way apart. Another case in point: family throws a party but they don’t invite everyone. Then they post photos of the party on Facebook, which were seen by those they didn’t invite. What do you think will they do? I bet everything, except make them closer to each other. Yes technology, the future is here… and it is terrible. Welcome to Future shocks!

Originally posted at The Manila Times

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