Sometimes, I just wish it would stop. The “Technology Monster” won’t stop following me! I recently visited Southeast Asia and found this monster everywhere. It didn’t matter if it was the high-living, modern, extra-ordinary city of Hong Kong or the severe poverty of Cambodia and Borneo!
The high-rises of Hong Kong had laser murals on their faces, lit up every night. Some streets resembled the futuristic image of “Blade Runner*,” with every possible public surface having video screens and advertisements in almost psychedelically bright and moving colors.
The malls, both above and under-ground were assaults on the senses with video screens everywhere and technology for sale in almost every store.
I was on vacation. I wanted to be left alone! But, the allure of all these visuals in Hong Kong was almost intoxicating. The Technology Monster was following me and wanted to grab me, take my money, and then force me to learn yet another new device I really didn’t even think I wanted or needed.
In contrast, the poverty of Cambodia, Malaysia, and much of Vietnam was humbling and sobering in its pervasiveness. The Technology Monster was aggressively present in Saigon (aka Ho Chi Minh City) from the amazing high-rise in the middle of the city, with its protruding heli-pad 50 or so stories in the air, to even the outskirts of Vietnam which were strewn with shacks and undeniable poverty.
But, they had cell-phones. As these photos show, the ramshackliest building often had advertisements for cell-phones adorning its corrugated sheet metal structure.
Given the income level, the majority of travel was on small motorcycles and motor scooters. Up to four human beings would ride these 50cc to maybe a whopping 90cc 2-wheeled vehicles — their law allows two adults and two kids — but they all seemed to have cell-phones!
On a previous trip to Morocco, I was even more struck by the image of their “white flowers” throughout the dense and incredibly crowded and oddly beautiful city of Fez. On a hill overlooking this vast maze of homes and businesses, you would see hundreds, if not thousands, of their “white flowers.” What are they? Satellite dishes. Most had rust around their edges, some more so than others.
When I look at this photo of the rooftops of Fez, it almost looks like a graphic image/design one might see in choices of wallpaper. Just as laundry is hung out to dry everywhere throughout Southeast Asia and Northern African, so too are the “white flowers” of these satellite dishes ubiquitous. In Thailand, they were “red flowers.”
Now, granted, I have graduated from tech boob to tech website co-creator and maybe even become a bit tech savvy. But, I retain my reluctance and frustration with the pace of change imposed on us consumers. Yet, The Technology Monster cannot be stopped. And, resisting it is frankly foolish at this point, especially if you have children.
What is my point, you wisely ask? Simply that if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join ‘em. Too many of us boomers resist learning new technology, myself included, and it’s just like our parents resisting learning to use the first video-tape recorders, cable television, and cell-phones.
Take the plunge, buy that new tech thing, and learn how to use it. Boomer Tech Talk reviews include recent tech gizmos that you might like for yourself or you parents.
And, don’t diss Twitter when you may not even understand it. Same with Facebook, which I assert in my parenting-writer role is an essential thing to be part of if you have children on Facebook.
And, that my dear readers, is much the reason we created Boomer Tech Talk.
* The Director’s Cut Edition of “Blade Runner” is an astonishingly gorgeous and terrific movie – this opinion comes from my quarter century former career in showbiz, and a lifelong love of movies.