I miss fighting. Not the punching and kicking variety, but by the use of words. I want to sit down at a coffee shop or bar, have a beer, and debate intelligently (depending on how many beers are consumed) about what matters. And not what matters to the entire world or people that I do not know, but what matters to me, my friends and my family.
Though this may seem like selfish rhetoric to some, consider this: Why do most of us know more about our ex’s than we do about our parents?
The answer is “technology”. At the click of a button we can see who is doing what and when, and even if we don’t care, we still look. Has all this overload of information made it entirely to difficult to interact as normal adults, or is this just what “normal” has become?
Back to the point at hand, “fighting”. One of the more vivid memories of my late teen years was gathering at a local restaurant in the area with friends, and debating about anything. I italicize anything to point out nothing was off limits. We fought about politics, religion, food, cars….and the idea of being proven right after hours of haggling back and forth was followed by a feeling that was nothing short of greatness. There was an unseen art in those conversations which relied on persuasion, passion, and occasionally volume. Those who walked away the victor (whether they were right or wrong, sometimes didn’t matter) held that pride for days.
Recently, a “fight” was going to break out at a dinner I was at. The argument: How many oceans are there? Someone said five, someone else said four. I could feel the glorious tension rising, and before anyone else could chime in I heard the dreaded, “According to Google, it’s five.” He devilishly smirked, as he put the phone back in his pocket, proud of the fact that he was able to know the answer and teach us all a little something.
Therein lies the problem. He didn’t teach us a thing. If anyone is owed any credit, it would of been Google. Just because he has opposable thumbs and can use a phone, doesn’t mean he has any means of measurable intellect. There were no powers of persuasion, there were no valid points brought up, the conversation had a beginning, a middle, and an end which totaled 15 seconds. The argument that some may have at this point is how efficient technology has made us, and I would just ask you to balance that against this: At what cost? Will there become a time when people are judged on their intelligence, by how fast they can use a search engine?
At this point you are probably fairly certain that I live out in the wilderness and barely know how to turn a computer on. However, I am a complete and total nerd. I love technology and everything it is capable of. I spend my days creating 3D models for construction projects, and surveying job sites with GPS technology and was previously an Account Executive with a telecommunications company. I have no fear of technology. I don’t think that machines will rise and destroy our planet (zombies are a different story), I just feel that it has its place. We can not allow ourselves to get to the point where communicating face to face, and sharing ideas, and open debates are a thing of the past. Please, put your phone down and go “fight” with a friend.