Romance in the Digital Age

I can’t believe I’m writing a blog about romance. Hmm… this is going to be a new experience for me. However, I am going to stick with it, as this is bugging me.

When I logged into my account today I stumbled across a blog about speed-dating in Shanghai (Here’s the link if you are interested: https://wordpress.com/read/post/feed/22973954/879483979). As I was reading through it I found myself becoming more and more surprised by the culture surrounding these relationships. I can’t help but wonder how much of the “intensity” highlighted in this story is due to the technological world we live in.

Technology has this strange way of making relationships easier to form, but harder to maintain. On the one hand, we can find people all across the globe at the swipe of a finger. All it takes is the effort to open up a phone app. Yet, phones also create problems in the sense that constant communication can have its downsides. Relationships will sprout up in a surge of passion, yet dwindle away as that fire fades. Sure, this has been true for most generations, to an extent, yet this seems more common these days.

It’s interesting how people create whole new persona’s online. In many cases, the online personality is a complete 180′ from that real person. This can lead to a bunch of problems- do we love the Facebook profile, or the person?

Texting on a Friday
Seen in central London.

Unmodified picture from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/ 16666635654

Writing of Tomorrow

The other day I was having a conversation with one of my friends. Someway or another we found ourselves discussing the book she was working her way through, and she mentioned that she was reading about how computers were beginning to write journal articles.

I found myself unnerved by this idea. Sure, the concept of having computers being able to take data and assemble well written articles is a huge step for A.I. (artificial intelligence). However, once again we find ourselves in a situation where computers and automation are beginning to threaten human jobs. The replacement of humans in the workforce is always a dangerous prospect. Pretty soon we all may find ourselves “out of the job”. So what do we do? Do we stop trying to advance technology?

At the moment, these computerized journalists are only working on articles that otherwise wouldn’t be written. The vast majority of the “big league” writing still falls into the arms of flesh and blood people. Yet, how many times in the past has something started small, but eventually grew to uncontrollable proportions… *cough-cough* -smartphones- *cough-splutter-cough*. Do we have the capacity to say “no” to something that could potentially put us all out of the job in the long run? I guess we will find out.

Wouldn’t it be funny if I actually took the day off today and just let my computer back-up write for me today? Haha… yeah…

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*Unmodified picture from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gleonhard/ 12875607484

 

Fear and Technology

If you’ve ever sat in a room with Professor Best, you should be aware of the fact that he is going to ask questions that will frustrate you until you reach the brink of insanity. I think it was the first class/seminar that he asked us “What is the purpose of technology?”. At first glance, we all jump to conclusion that it exists to make our lives easier. But does it really? Technology has this nasty habit of making our lives simpler, and yet infinitely more complex. Are we really more connected to others through our phones? Do we really need a GPS built into our car? Why does this…17745488062_69de997c3b_o

… even exist?

The sad reality is that the purpose of technology isn’t as simple as many people would think. In my opinion I’ve always felt that technology is a byproduct of human fear. Technology is a way for humans to cope with that which scares us. It can be used to physically remove that which scares us (ie: lightbulbs to shine through darkness) or sometimes fear can be dealt with simply by having technology at our disposal. Feeling a bit worried? Distract yourself with your phone.

Sure, there are probably some holes in that theory, but I’m fully willing to listen to new IDEAS. Really bad joke. Maybe that’s the reason for technology; so I can expose y’all to really bad jokes.

This unmodified picture is from :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dachis/ 17745488062

 

Homestretch…ish.

The end of the semester is fast approaching, and I find myself contemplating my last few months here.¬† I can’t believe I’m almost done with my first semester. That only leaves seven more. AGGHH!! To some people seven may seem like a lot, but in terms of percentages, that’s 13% of college already down the drain. The very productive drain. There is that saying “Time flies when you’re having fun.” As clich√© as that may seem, it still rings true.

The thing about college is that you are always busy. Constantly. Classes may only take up 4-5 hours of your day, but work-studies, homework, and studying keep your thoughts constantly occupied. For example, yesterday I left for classes at 8:00 A.M. and didn’t get back to my dorm until 9:30 P.M., which is crazy. Because of this, You find yourself cherishing the little breaks you get even more that you used to. You’re also almost constantly interacting with people; nonstop. Even the bathrooms are communal. Literally (I think this is the first time in years that “literally” is actually being used properly), every moment of the day you are thinking about what you’re doing, or what you are going to do next. It’s this kind of mindset that makes time one of the most precious commodities on campus. It’s right up there with those heavenly blueberry muffins (BEST MUFFINS EVER).

Now look at this unmodified photo provided by Steven Jackson.

Blueberry muffins for breakfast

Mr. Jackson, this is amazing.

Anyway, as a old senile freshman my advice is as follows. Live college life up, because you only get so much of it.