Invasion of the pod people

Oct 132005
Authors: Kate Dzintars

Hi. My name is Kate, and I am a tech-aholic.

My iPod is always by my side. I feel lost if my cell phone is not with me at all times. I shake with fear at the thought of having to talk to a real person when I call a 1-800 number. And – I can't believe I am telling you this – I drooled when I saw a commercial for the T-mobile Sidekick II.

But even I, a slave to the gadget, think an iPod that plays TV shows just might be too much.

On Wednesday, Apple released the new iPod that, along with playing music, also displays photos, video and TV shows on its 2.5-inch color screen.

While I can see a practical use for iPod video capabilities (long flights, car rides, etc.), television rarely needs to be so portable that it fits in the palm of your hand. I fear its portability and ease of use will contribute to an increasingly dehumanized society.

I already see people avoiding all human contact on the Plaza with telltale white cords snaking from their pockets to their ears.

Imagine what will happen when the new generation iPods take over. We will only recognize people by the tops of their heads bowed over 2.5-inch screens, only looking up when they run into something that says "ow" loud enough for them to hear it over their headphones.

That is, if people even leave their houses at all.

The Internet permits individuals never to leave their homes. Everything, from food to furniture to pets, can be ordered online and delivered right to your door.

Get lecture notes and submit homework on WebCT.

Why go out and meet people when there is Facebook?

Like I said before, I love technology, but it has a time and a place.

The problems arise when human beings lose traditional social skills.

I would bet, that most people would rather e-mail their professor than set up a face-to-face meeting. It's kind of a shame that tangible meetings, where a good first impression and a firm handshake matter, are becoming a thing of the past.

I couldn't do my job or succeed in school without it, but often the technology I feel is "necessary" really is superfluous.

I could survive the 15-minute walk to school without my iPod, but for some reason I feel the need for constant entertainment. If I forget my musical wonder, I find myself browsing through my phone looking for someone I can call who will keep me occupied.

In this world of constant audio and visual stimulation, our own thoughts are getting lost.

It's great when we can use technology to express ourselves and transmit ideas.

But we hardly give our minds time to wander and imagine anymore.

Unplug. Cast away the bonds of gadgetry. Talk to a human being face to face.

If nothing else, you can always talk about your technology addiction.

Kate Dzintars is a junior technical journalism major. She is the associate managing editor for design and entertainment at the Collegian.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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