How dependent are we on our digital equipment? Remember the Y2K scare and all the people running to the stores stocking up on water and food? It gave us a little glance at the panic that would capture people’s minds if computers were to just stop functioning.
How digital is our world? I wake up every day to a digital alarm clock. I then proceed to drink the coffee freshly brewed from a digitally controlled coffee maker. I strap onto my belt a pager, grab my cellular phone (don’t ask why I still have both that is another editorial) and remote start my car. As I enter my car I turn on my digital radio and check all the digital gauges on the control panel. That is just my morning, not even touching an actual computer just yet and I have already listed a variety of little gadgets that I will miss if I did not have them.
It goes further than that. Since the explosion of the Internet, we have created a new kind of community. The Internet has spawned email lists, online forums, and other gathering places where communities are formed. All of these things have made our world even more digital. If you were to ask someone involved on any of these communities whether they would miss their connection to the internet and they would for sure tell you that they would not know what to do.
So should we be concerned that we are becoming more and more dependent on digital devices for not just entertainment but just every day life and now even social interactions? I am not sure; I guess it all depends on an individual’s comfort level. Some people might be ok knowing that computers might be gone tomorrow and their life would go on and not skip a beat. I am somewhat in the middle, sure I work in the technology sector but if an electromagnetic pulse destroyed all technology in the world I would change my profession and make a living. I am not that dependent on computers for happiness… that is of course if the economy does not collapse and the world ends like a lot of people thought it would during Y2K.
I do believe that there are some people that have centered their lives around the digital world so much, that without it they would feel empty. If all your human interaction is purely done via a computer screen, then you would feel that not being able to talk to your internet community is a total desolation situation. Some people might think I am crazy but watch the movie The Net, with Sandra Bullock and you will see the scenario, that back when the movie came out to most of the general public might have seemed far fetched is today’s reality in some level.
And for the skeptics out there that might think I am going a little bit too far saying that people are not just living in virtual communities now a days. Talk to anyone that is addicted completely to MMORPG games and they might shed some new light on this ever growing reality of living in a digital world.