Screens and nerds

I am catching myself glancing at my iPhone and Blackberry more frequently than I would like to.

I spend a good chunk of my day in front of screens. My mac laptop at home, Windows powered computer at work, kindle when relaxing, instant messages on phones and gadgets,music on ipods, skype to stay in touch, big screen movies, entertainment systems on the planes, dvd in the car, GPS, TV, you name it, it has a screen. And I, like almost everyone around me in the West and increasingly in the rest of the world, am hooked on shiny back-lit screens.

And now I am aching for an iPad.

What has happened to us in the past few decades? It was bad enough when it was mostly the TV that was the culprit that invaded households during the last Century, the stupid box, where families would slowly forego their communication skills while numbly glaring at whatever was dished to them while allowing themselves to be  passively bombarded with canned entertainment.

Then cable networks started bringing people around the world round-the-clock sensational news coverage that kept people glued to their screens during major happenings, catastrophes, upheavals, elections-especially problematic ones in the US, and the scandals of politicians such as the Lewinsky affair. This was soon followed by Tivo, giving spectators a sense of control making them more hooked to their precious TV time and again foregoing communicating with each other face to face, nose to nose, eye to eye. The same is true of facebook, twitter, youtube, myspace, flickr and every other platform that makes us glare at a screen and attempt to digitally communicate with others. I am doing exactly that right now as I write this blog post.

We spend an alarmingly significant amount of time behind our screens, as well as in front of them, as they have become our front, our shields from meaningful interactions that are human in nature.  I am guilty of being one of those people who got undeniably fascinated by new technology, gadgets, applications. I love the science behind the incredible advances in diffusing our information and ideas. What we share with the world on twitter for example is nothing but our own attempt to be counted, heard in real time.

Take a closer look at who rules Twitter, with the exception of the few celebrities a la Kutcher. Who did you say? Yeah, don’t be scared to admit it. Geeks. Techies. Now geeks rule. Whereas previously branded as outcasts and tortured by their peers, now nerds and geeky men and women are ruling the web. We need them for our daily dealings with our screens, our tech support, we listen to their expert advice on youtube, we follow them on twitter, they are ruling the waves.

Yes. The revenge of the Nerds. Damn straight. And about time.

I believe that this screen trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future, during our lifetime and that of our kids.  At least in the Western world of the here and now, this is true.

Go to the middle of Africa or places like rural Yemen and you see that at least half the population has never been online. The chasm is large between the first and third of the worlds that make up our home planet. Yet the trend is on the up and up, with the world becoming more not less digital, where techies are here to stay, to be counted and to benefit from our addiction to our screens.  They have become our revered wise and suddenly (dare I say it?) cool people that we all look up to for inspiration, information and support. We crave their advice and innovation, seeing how digital communication is taking over our lives. Think Steve Jobs. In another era, he would’ve been picked on, now he’s the essence of cool.

Long live geeks and screens.

I still want my iPad.

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This entry was posted in Current affairs commentary, Human Relationships, Reflections, technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Screens and nerds

  1. evologynow says:

    Great post! I like the positive note you end on at the end. I was getting a little discouraged before that because I love technology and am all about the positives. I blog about it all the time if you’re interested: evologynow.wordpress.com

    ps. I’m totally lusting after an iPad toooooooooooo : )

  2. iblogz says:

    Yes its true that we’re spending more and more time caging ourselves behind screens in that endless attempt to not miss a single tweet or facebook update. But remember by living in this, what would seem unsociable world it has in some ways made us more sociable.

    We have more contact with people we would normally loose touch with and it has increased the ease at which we can organise to meet up with friends (in the real world lol). This surly shows that growing up in a technological world has benefited us greatly…….. it has also turned everyone into a mini geeks aswell haha

  3. victoria says:

    Awesome post. This goes to prove what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, our technology addictions. I think it’s important to stay conscious of our time behind screens. I am for much of my time as well…I spend 8 hours behind Windows at work and come home and live on my Macbook, and when I’m done with that I retire to the glow of my TV. And I’m jonesin’ for an iPhone 4…so bad!

    • Hi Victoria. That’s a lot of screen time right there, but your addiction is very much the sign of the times, like the rest of us, you don’t seem to be able to abstain even for one day from the steady flow of information and digital stimulation.
      We need to control our screen time, but how?
      We need to deal with this alarming affliction.
      Thanks for reading and commenting

  4. Diana Estigarribia says:

    Great post. I wondered the other day what our lives will be like in 3, or 5 years. Will we remember what it was like before all the technology? With the exponential rate of gadgetry transforming how we live, play, and work, there’s little room for anyone who wants a break from “screen life.” Sometimes I think, I’ll take Saturday or Sunday as a non-gadget day, but invariably there’s a fact I want to look up or a sports score or even just listen to music–and that means back to the machines. Despite loving all the tech, and the geeks who bring it to us, I still feel we need to fight to regain our eyeballs, at least for part of each day.

  5. Ramsey Shantouf says:

    Loved this post.. will be getting my iPad as well.. in fact, am going to throw out all our PC and make the switch to Apple.. Got to love our Syrian friend Steve Jobs!

  6. Pingback: Screens and nerds | Reblog ur blog

  7. justdc says:

    Sigh, an iPhone 4G is so unreachable to me at this point. lol

  8. justdc says:

    Loved, this post, I want an iPad tooooo 🙂

  9. larze says:

    Enjoyable read. Long live the nerds!

  10. Pingback: Is technology making us nerds? « Chicago Mac/PC Support

    • That is the trouble with technology. You can never get enough of it, and it is always transforming itself that what is new and cutting edge becomes obsolete in such a short time, that leaves you with a permanent ache to want the newest, shiniest, coolest gadget. Sad. Yet true. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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