Is technology destroying our imagination? Novelist Isabel Allende believes this is the case. She examines this question (among others) in a recent interview. In A Talk With Chilean Writer Isabel Allende Melodramatic Diva of Magical Feminism she make some fascinating points regarding love and literature.
Allende’s grandchildren are the inspiration for her latest novel Maya’s Notebook. She has concerns regarding the effect of technology on their imaginations. “Young people today they are texting while they are on a job interview. We all need time. Time to reflect, to be bored. In boredom creativity expands.”
I cannot imagine using a cell phone during an interview. Technology has come a long way since my childhood. I can still recall the Atari video game system I played during the 1980s. There is an appropriate time and place for everything. Some people are capable of making the appropriate adjustments. I am just unsure if the next generation can.
Allende’s comment regarding her grandchildren’s imagination is poignant. In retrospect, my addiction to television mirrors her concerns regarding technology. Although I read a lot more now, I still love my TV. Sometimes, I want to cut a hole in my head and put my brain on a pillow. After work, I just want to watch some sports. Besides, my brain cells are mush. There are days when I feel spent.
What are the effects of watching the idiot box? The ability to focus wavers. Some people (across the generations) have a ten second attention span. The ability to actively engage in any conversation is diluted. Is this what a life-time of television can do for you? Unfortunately, I notice these symptoms in the next generation.
The children today have a lot more technology options beyond the beautiful idiot box.The next generation is glued to their smartphones and tablets during social occasions. While dinning out, some families are hard pressed to have a conversation. How can this happened? Playing games and texting instead of talking are the alternative to family bonding. Is this how families maintain their sanity?
While I still have my doubts, there is still hope for the next generation. Teenagers do have other activities. There is still time to prove me wrong. Father time is turning me into a curmudgeon. Regardless, life provides a steep learning curve and no one knows that better than I.