Monday, April 14, 2008

Is the computer the worst thing to happen to us?

At the post office on Saturday I overheard an old gentleman in line saying that computers were the worst thing to happen to society. We spend almost all of our time at them.

Then he followed up by saying the 2nd worst is Television.

It got me thinking. We do spend a lot of time at computers, and some of that is being very productive.

I can now pay all of my bills and balance my checkbook in about 5 minutes online, With paper only that used to take close to an hour. I email my friends or post blogs to let everyone know what's going on with me. I type a lot faster than I could imagine writing. so I'm able to share more information with more people a lot faster.

I remember when I was in college sitting down for an hour a day and writing letters. I would finish and send 2 or 3 a week.

Now I can send a letter to everyone I know practically daily in 10-15 minutes. The fact that I don't is my own fault, not that of the computer.

I do spend a lot of time at my computer. I read a ton of news that I never had access to before. I'm able to follow world events and scientific breakthroughs at a level that only specialists in those fields had the ability to follow just 15 years ago. I'm able to learn things in order to make more informed decisions on purchases in my life.

On top of all of that, I spend time at the computer for entertainment. I watch movies online, I listen to songs, I watch funny clips on YouTube. Things that weren't possible for anyone to do 15 years ago are now commonplace.

The computer has become both an efficient way to deal with many of life's interactions, and the entertainment hub in my life. When I'm done touching base with people, I don't even need to walk away from the computer to switch into a pure enjoyment mode.

I think the computer has saved us a lot more than it has cost us. Yes, we do spend time on the computer now, instead of socializing with our neighbors. But we are able to socialize with people from around the world that have the same interests as us, instead of just talking to the person that lives next door. We are able to accomplish our work quicker, and move on to play. I think the computer is a great thing, that has helped us enormously.