Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I could beat 'Technology Jones'

The TV station MOJO runs a show called "Technology Jones." It features a tech-crazy guy (haven't seen a girl yet) who has to give up all his gadgets for a week.

It a way, it's a modern survival story. It has nothing to do with living in the wild, hunting or making a fire, but for some of these guys, it might as well be.

On a recent show, real estate agent Dave's life gets transformed to the year 1971. A crew comes in to take all his "tech toys" away. They replace them with items used in 1971.

Dave, who lives in a beautiful house in the Hamptons, finds himself driving around in an old car without a cell phone, without a GPS system and without his patience. Watching him fly from payphone to payphone is both fascinating and frustrating, and when he crunches up his map and loudly declares "I don't know how to read a map!" I have to laugh.

He then has to host a dinner party, without fancy cooking gadgets. Dave tries using a crockpot, then turns to the grill without much success. His only salvation: He knows how to mix old-fashioned drinks and can keep his guests happy.

Perhaps it all seems strange to me because I remember life without technology. I remember summers in the woods, without electricity and bathrooms, where we had to walk to the well to get water or bring gallons of water with us from home before we left.

We still cooked, cleaned, bathed and socialized. We played music, we sang and danced and we sat up talking all night.

There was a life before computers, before cell phones and before GPS systems. It was called trusting your instincts and your creative abilities. It was called spending time with people who really mattered.

Sometimes, I think people today have lost that ability.


Kristen said...

You're so right. At times we pay too much attention to the technology at our fingertips, and I think it may cause more stress than make things easier the accessibility and proximity of the Internet when you could be doing something else like spending time outdoors, reading a book, holding and talking to a loved one, and more stress-relieving activities.
Sure, we need technology in this day and age, but wouldn't it be nice to spend time away from it all for a while?

BluePlastic said...

I agree that it's a little silly to be so reliant on technology that you can't drive without a cell phone plastered to your head, but there's nothing inherently superior about hanging out in primitive conditions without electricity. You should be able to occupy both spheres, but one is not more "genuine" than the other.

ab said...

It was called normal living in a Swedish sommarstuga! ;)

I don't get it, either. Only yesterday I visited a Swedish cottage with no indoor plumbing whatsoever - no running water in the sink, no shower - but there was electricity. The outdoor john was 50 m away.

The participants obviously are not outdoor people?