Are We Adopting Technology Blindly? – A Boomer’s Perspective

By Paul Groat

If you are like most people, you likely use various technologies such as computers and cell phones frequently.You are likely using technology to read or listen to this. Technology is everywhere these days. Everyday, tech seems to get more ingrained into our lives. We are also accepting many new technologies with little or no discernment or risk reward analysis. 

My queston to you – are we adopting technology blindly? If so, what are the real costs, both short and long term? Not just for ourselves, for our relationships, our families, for humanity as a whole? 

So, have you given much thought to your use of modern technology? Have you reflected on modern technology’s effects on your life and your relationships? Hey, how about your mind? Do you ever think about what technology is really doing to your life? Or to humanity? 

Many of these technologies can be or are life-altering or in the case of AI, potentially life-ending. In what is almost an obsession-like mindset, it seems that far too many of us are all too eager to intertwine these technologies into our lives. Even worse, accepting technology blindly and downplaying or ignoring any potential risks. This is especially the case related to our children, especially young children. 

I can’t help but think that an outside observer, say “Bob from Mars,” would see us humans devouring these new flashy technologies and be shocked. Looking at us humans objectively I’m sure would be easy to conclude that there was something deeply wrong with most of us. We seem to be adopting these new technologies with the same level of concern that an alcoholic has when they are reaching for their next drink. I’ll worry about the problems later.

(For great metaphor: I highly recommend watching Star Trek – The Next Generation, Season Five Episode #6 “The Game” for some added perspective.)

My Boomer’s Perspective 

A Brief Introduction

Before I begin, I want to share that I’m in my late 60’s. AND (from my perspective) I’m fairly up to date with technology, at least the ones I’m interested in. I’ve built my own computer (from scratch,) I have video channels and blogs, and utilize technology regularly. I also try out and can be known to utilize leading technology offerings such as ChatGPT. I also discuss and implement various types of technology with my buddy Peter, also a Boomer and a good friend from high school. Peter has also spent his life in the tech industry and has owned a couple of very successful tech businesses. 

I want you to know that there are many new technologies that I just don’t care about. For example, I don’t see the purpose of paying for things with my phone or wasting time on Facebook, etc. Additionally, from my perspective as an ex-broker, Crypto has no underlying value. I agree with the late and great Charlie Munger, who was embarrassed that countries like the US allow it to be traded. I just don’t see any purpose for its existence. Sorry, but I try to be objective.

Understanding the Boomer Generation- Our Early Experiences with Futuristic Technologies

We boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, (and others born before us,) have a unique viewpoint about today’s world. You may not have considered this, but we are likely the last generations who will experience our world before the overwhelming influence of technology. In many ways, we have experienced the world in the “before and after phases.” This disappearing outlook provides us with a unique viewpoint. It gives us a different way of seeing tech, than that held by younger generations. While boomers are criticized for being slow to adopt new technologies, I contend that there’s more to this. Due to our unique perspective, we see technology differently.

Growing up, our generation experienced futuristic technologies. But, for the most part, they were seen on sci-fi TV shows and movies. Back then, (and no, it wasn’t the Dark Ages) many early technologies we saw were a futuristic fantasy. And, yes, futuristic technologies held strong appeal for many of our generation. I don’t know whether it was the novelty or the potential applications that also excited us. After all, they were the sparkling new object of fascination, in similar ways that they are today. 

A Boomer Perspective on Technology

We boomers have been watching and participating in the evolution of modern technology for some time. We also experienced the early days of technology when it was introduced more slowly. For example, we experienced a world where airplanes evolved from propeller-driven aircraft to being propelled by jet engines; we experienced home entertainment evolve from small black-and-white TVs to widescreen color TVs; we experienced phone technology evolve from rotary dial telephones on “party lines,” to dedicated lines, to digital cordless technologies. And now we have a phone in our hands that travels with us – ok and sleeps with too many people! In many ways, we had the advantage of taking in technology slowly and hopefully, more thoughtfully. 

Some Key Differences in How We Saw Technology

  • Much of the technology we experienced evolved over a longer time frame. 
  • Many early technologies were not thrust on us as AI technology has been done today.
  • Many early technologies were something we would use and then put away. Unlike technologies of today, like computers and cell phones, we didn’t let these technologies take over our lives. They were seen what they were – tools, to be used and then put down and get on with our lives. 

Technology Companies Had (or appeared to have) A Different Perspective

In some ways, it felt like the technology companies had a different focus. They wanted the public to use their technologies such as TVs as it gave them increased access to the public. It felt like there was more caring about the end user and the end user’s needs. 

These days it seems like technology companies will do anything to get your information and sell you crap you don’t need. One only has to think of all the ways that companies like Google accumulate your personal information through their various platforms, from Android phones to YouTube. 

And what about all of the other nefarious players out there? This has led to massive rises in the number of online scammers. It has also resulted in a higher percentage of questionable content found online. 

For an additional perspective check out this video from CNBC HERE

Folks, the purpose of this article is to help you make more informed decisions about your utilization of technology, something that’s been missing over the last 20 years. Hopefully, it will cause you to bring your use of tech into your conscious thoughts.

Here are some things you should consider: (to take back your life)

Technologies Are Becoming an Appendage- Not a Tool

As I mentioned above, many technologies are becoming more and more invasive. For example, many people are now using their cell phones to pay their bills without factoring in where their information could be going and whether it is safe. As a Boomer, I find this is foolish and short-sighted.  

Technology Is Diluting Our Friendships and Our Relationships with Others

When I was younger, if I went out for a walk or met with a friend or acquaintance, our get-togethers were time to focus on each other. We didn’t have the technology distractions of today, which diluted our together time. We could focus our energy on the person we are with and the topic before us. Our attention was on the shared conversations, not looking at some piece of technology showing us some trivial crap that was very likely having no positive effects on our lives or our day.

Technologies Are Causing Us More Stress Not Less.

In many ways, we had more free time and fewer distractions giving our minds time to regroup. We didn’t have to worry about answering some likely meaningless text message or looking at popular shorts on our cell phones. We could focus on the beauty of the world around us and our experiences with our fellow man.

We didn’t have to factor in “information overload” or ponder questions like How Does Technology Affecting My Mind / Brain? (Something really important for older people)

Do you ever consider how this massive dump of technology is affecting you on the inside? How is this massive dump of information affecting your brain, how you process information etc? Or, how is this information dump affecting older people and their brains?

Most people don’t consider the mass of the influence of information and how it’s affecting their thinking and productivity. Never before in history have we been so overwhelmed with information as we are today.

We Are Wasting so Much of Our Lives on Technology 

There is much information online that is a waste of time. Too many people waste valuable time sitting in front of a computer or TV instead of seeing this amazing world around us. 

Video games would be a great example of time not well spent. Additionally, mindless entertainment, such as a video game, puts your mind into a state of hypnosis. In this state you can take on ideas and beliefs that can get installed into your subconscious mind? 

There are so many other things that you can do with your time that are better for you. You can get out and explore, invent something, walk the dog, spend time with loved ones, write a book, etc. 

How much time do you waste in front of a screen? Maybe its time to ask yourself, “What else can I do with this time? 

A Lot Of Information Online is Inaccurate!

Recent estimates indicate that 60% + of information online is inaccurate accurate or worse, deliberately misleading. It is estimated that 80 to 90% of people have been duped by fake information or fake news. 

Technologies Are More Addictive Than We Think They Are

I have read various articles where the writer claims that technologies like cell phones and computers aren’t addictive. I find this hard to believe. Maybe we need to rethink the definition of addiction. One only has to get on public transit and be overwhelmed by the number of people glued mindlessly to their cell phones. 

Sadly, the intrusion of cell phones happens even if the person sitting with a friend or family member. Or go to a family dinner and watch half of the participants (or more) be more interested in what’s on their cell phones than what’s happening in the life of the person beside them.

Inappropriate Use of Technology-Dangerous Driving

How about the number of people who have been injured by distracted drivers who are focusing on their cell phones as they drive 3000 pounds + vehicles at 60 miles an hour down a road? A recent Forbes article indicated that in 2023 9 People Die Every day From Distracted Driving in the United States.

Taking On Beliefs That Don’t Support You Or Maybe Aren’t Even True.

As listed above it’s estimated that 60%+ of information online is not even accurate. In today’s technological world, it’s not hard to find the “conspiracy of the week.” Many people are mindlessly buying into inaccurate information found online. Sadly, many people then take actions toward others based on inaccurate information. 

With our long history of finding quality information in places like libraries, it can be too easy to assume that the information online is accurate and can be relied upon. This process can cause many people to waste time and effort as they go down the rabbit hole of misinformation. 

Technology Companies Are Taking Too Much Of Our Information

With little oversight, modern technologies have given corporations way too much influence on our lives. A prime example is the business model of companies like Google and Amazon who likely know more about you than you do. They also use your information to sell us crap we don’t need.

Go online and search for something. You will then see what you searched for on your screen for the next two weeks (or more.) For some reason we allow third parties to leave “cookies” on our computer, in our own home! Im sorry, but why in the world are we doing this?

There is virtually no oversight over the tech companies as they search for new ways to get our information. Additionally, there appears to be little or no control over how our information is utilized

Are we Losing Spontaneity?

There used to be a great site called StumbleUpon that I loved to visit. Once on the site, you push a button and you are whisked to some random website, likely one that you have never heard of. It was so much fun to see something new and unique. This could be inspiring.

Today, what we see on our computers is based on something we looked at before. The tech companies and their desire to make money keep trying to sell us something so they can get their cut. Gone are the days when we would see novel websites or events. 

I have to say that I wonder if this funnel for our attention and our dollars is having a larger negative effect than we understand. 

Increased Levels of Crime

At about you but every day I get tons of text messages with some threat something that I never bought in the first place is about to be sent back. I probably get more “scam” messages than I do legitimate messages. We’ve given criminals this massive platform to rip people off with very few repercussions. My God, what were we thinking about? Want some more information on crime read below

two give you some statistics here’s a list you can start with:

Global Cyber Crime Statistics:

  • The UK had the highest number of cybercrime victims per million internet users at 4783 in 2022 – up 40% over 2020 figures.
  • The country with the next highest number of victims per million internet users in 2022 was the USA, with 1494, a 13% decrease over 2020.
  • 1 in 2 North American internet users had their accounts breached in 2021.
  • The UK and USA have disproportionately more victims of cybercrime per million internet users compared to other countries – the USA had 759% more victims in 2021 than the next-highest country, Canada.
  • The Netherlands has seen the greatest rise in victims – 50% more than in 2020.
  • Greece has seen the largest decrease in victims – down 75% over 2020.
  • In 2021, there were an average of 97 data breach victims every hour worldwide.
  • 2021 saw an average of $787,671 lost every hour due to data breaches.
  • The top country on the National Cyber Security Index (NCSI) in January 2023 is Greece, with a score of 96.10. The countries with the 5 highest scores on the NSCI are:
  • Greece (96.10)
  • Lithuania (93.51)
  • Belgium (93.51)
  • Estonia (93.51)

Your Own Brain: 

I want to ask you something: how are our modern technologies affecting your brain or the brains of children? How is it affecting your thinking processes? Have you noticed a change in your ability to stay focused? How is it affecting your ability to form critical thoughts? What beliefs are you taking about yourself, others, and the world based on information that you are getting from your cell phone or your computer -that might not even be true? Are you taking on new beliefs about the world or yourself that are affecting your quality of life? 

How is your connection with others diminished due to this thing you hold in your hands and random videos pop on yourself? Do you spend quality time with your family members and leave technology elsewhere anymore or are you glued to your technology even in traditional family bonding sessions like dinner? How is this affecting your family and families around the world and are very needed process of “connecting” with other human beings 

The Open Minds Of Small Children,

As a young child’s mind is basically in a state of hypnosis where it is wide open until about seven or eight years old, how is this digital download really affecting their mind? As such, our young children unknowingly create beliefs that are going to come back and haunt them in the future. The real key is we don’t know yet. There must’ve been a reason that people like Stephen Jobs and the founders at Google wouldn’t allow technology anywhere near their children. I guess they knew something! 

Closing thoughts: 

The purpose of this article is really to get you to wake up and think. Yes, technology has become a huge part of our lives. They are becoming more and more ingrained in virtually everything we do. But, please don’t accept it blindly! Understand what you’re getting into and what the long-term consequences are of which many are still unknown. Just because something is trendy doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Remember, we used to put mercury in our teeth!

Please be especially careful with young children around technology as we don’t know what it’s doing to their brains. What long-term beliefs does a child take on new shoots and kill thousands of people in the video game with no implications? How can this play out later in life? Remember that Steve Jobs and the guys at Google would not allow technology anywhere near their children until they were in their teens. That alone should be a wake-up call! 



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