A Luddite Wanna Be?

 

For years that has been what I have been claiming.  I may need to rethink that statement.  Perhaps a little context . . .

Luddites were a loosely based organization of English textile workers in the 19th century who protested against the use of machines.  They were afraid of losing their jobs.  Sound familiar? Protests turned violent, property and people were destroyed.

As so often happens, the movement was co-opted decades later to serve another purpose.  People have used it as a rallying cry against all technology.  It is this cry that forecasts the evils of technology and the demise of modern society.  I beg to differ.

We live longer than we did in the 1800’s. We have cured diseases that once decimated entire communities. We have explored our world and beyond.  Life is good.  Or it could be.  We have unleashed rampart greed and cynicism.  We have generations of lazy users who only want more and someone else to pay for it.  People are dying from diseases we have cured simply because of apathy and avarice.

We are all connected because of technology but that same connectivity is forcing an isolation on us.  We would rather speak into a box than talk openly to a real person. We have lost so much.  Cyber-crimes are common place and picnics are not. The only place you seem to find a large group of people talking to each other is in protests which far too often turn violent.

I remember the days when I would go camping in the wilderness. There was no shower, no bathroom, no convenience store nearby. If you were cold, light a fire. If you wanted light, light a fire. If you were hungry, you guessed it, light a fire. There were no cell phones or Wi-Fi or big screen TVs. We carried snake bite kit’s, just in case. We did have battery operated flashlights for those midnight jaunts to relieve one’s bladder. You did not want to squat down without first checking that there was no poison oak nearby or a hungry rattlesnake out for snack. Yes, it was that kind of camping. And I loved it.

I also love flush toilets and heating and air conditioning and my computer. Well, I loved being in circumstances with no technology but I also recognized that I cannot live that way anymore. I need technology. But it also frightens me. We rely so much on it that we don’t think anymore. A quip I wrote a few years ago: “Kids today don’t have to think, there’s an app for that.” In some ways is not really that funny, it’s true.

I live in a technologically savvy world. I’m not savvy but I do require the technology. I will live with it but I will not forget that it is a tool. Tools need to be used responsibly and then put away. The real world is just outside your front door. No, I do not want to be a Luddite. However . . .

51 thoughts on “A Luddite Wanna Be?

  1. Dan Antion

    Without technology, I wouldn’t know you. That’s reason enough to not be a Luddite. The other reason would be the 42 years of food technology has let me put on the table. I may have to follow up on the post.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      You are right Dan! I wouldn’t have my wheelchair, my independence . . . the list is endless. But I think some of us (not all) would love to be able to turn it all off for a moment. That is what was so wonderful about wilderness camping: we could turn it all off. But even that was only possible because of technology.

      Liked by 4 people

      Reply
  2. delphini510

    Wonderful and clear post about changes of times.
    I so wish there would be a balance found as you can never replace a real pic-nic, meeting and talking face to face, togetherness with any electronic device.
    All have their place but we need to be part of reality. Feel the sun and wind, hug someone, dance with someone ….

    miriam

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Murphy's Law

    Pam, you took the words right out of my mouth, but presented them far more eloquently. When my son-in-law gave me his old iPad and said, “Have fun with it”, I was very resistant at first. Actually scared to touch this foreign object! But slowly I found email, and texting, and Pinterest, and taking/saving photos, and games and bloggers, like you, to follow.

    Technology has opened a door for me and enhanced my small world. But it hasn’t become my world, just a welcome piece of it. Maybe if people gave up their devices totally for short periods of time they might achieve a better balance. Kinda like short bursts of Lent! Sit down and WRITE a letter or a note in a card. Go VISIT someone. Go for a walk or a bike ride with your spouse and/or kids and TALK with each other.

    I think technology has a place in all of our lives, but it’s up to each of us to keep it in its place.

    And now you’ve opened the floodgates for Dan. I can hear the wheels churning as he’s running drafts for a post through his mind. And it won’t be a One Liner Wednesday post either!! LOL! I love how the blogging community supports each other.

    BTW, that’s a neat painting! Have a great day!
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      Thanks Ginger! Yes, I am expecting a knuckle rapping from Dan. Technology is a tool that, mostly, improves our lives but it is a double edged sword. Tools need to be put down occasionally.

      Like

      Reply
  4. Almost Iowa

    Keep in mind that cars were seen as the saviors of cities…because they eliminated all that horse poop clogging the streets, and think about this, that was during the era where women’s dresses dragged on the ground.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  5. scifihammy

    I do like the benefits of technology – eg. a well-made pair of glasses so that I can see clearly etc
    But I also love to be away from it all and out in the wilds of Nature.
    I think the worry is that at the moment technology is surging ahead and we are still basically Cavemen at heart!
    A thoughtful post Pam 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  6. Dan Antion

    Reblogged this on No Facilities and commented:
    I was going to leave a comment on Pam’s blog that would have been longer than her wonderful post. She has tossed a spark into a pile of draft blog posts that have begun to smolder in their respective folders.

    This will lead to something. Watch this space in the future, but enjoy Pam’s wit and wisdom today.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. LindaGHill

    I think what we all really need to do is constantly look for the balance between the use of certain modern conveniences and when to turn them off. Great post, Pamela. ❤
    P.S. Where did you go camping?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      Thanks! I did the Black River for a week, Algonquin Park several times and even a week long trip that allowed us several days on top of the Rocky Mountains on the way to Pincher Creek Alberta. Lots of weekends on Oblong Lake.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. LindaGHill

        I’ve been to Black River and Algonquin, though I’ve always stayed at the regular campsites. I wanted to hike the trails and rough it with a canoe, but I never got around to it. Camping in the Rockies must have been awesome!!
        Is Oblong Lake around here? I’ve never heard of it. I’d like to go to Sandbanks one of these years.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. quiall Post author

        Oblong Lake is in Haliburton, about 3hrs north of Mississauga. Most of my camping has been canoe and wilderness, no outhouses! Good memories.

        Like

  8. loisajay

    This might be the reason some companies (mostly in Europe, it seems) have mandated that employees do not take work calls/emails after they leave for the day. That’s the kind of shutdown I can handle.
    Oh, yes Pam, let Dan’s knuckle-rapping begin! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  9. John Hric

    Hmmm does electronic digital food for thought come sans utensils ? I do hope you have not gotten Dan started on a reformed church of the semi-digitally re-enabled Luddites However if he can weld on a cup holder it might not be so bad..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  10. joey

    I liked this post very much, as I see all your well-made points. We are dependent on the tech, as society as a whole depends on the tech. We can all survive without it, but wouldn’t want to. I do think most of us have the sense to look around and ask, assess — is this particular tech improving my life? Am I missing out? Is this worth the effort? Because the other thing we value so much is TIME.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  11. Mark Lanesbury

    What? There’s another world outside the front door? You’ve scared me now Pam, I thought all those images were just fantasy on my tv 😀
    And to actually talk to other people…face to face…man that’s right out there 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. sustainabilitea

    You’re spot on here. We have to live with technology but we really have to work at controlling it. Drives me crazy to see people sitting together at a coffee shop, all on their devices, or walking with a stroller while talking on the phone and not even looking around. I work hard at not letting technology rule my life and plan to keep at it. I also have concerns about the possibilities of devices spying on us, which unfortunately isn’t a conspiracy theory. Sigh.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  13. Manja Mexi Movie

    I did this kind of camping too, two weeks without electricity by the sea. I suppose we had battery-operated torches but I only remember the petroleum light and its smell. We made sea snail risotto. No rattlesnakes but dormice and a land turtle as a temporary pet. We did it a few years in a row and every time I returned, I realised anew what a cool invention the tab water was. And the fridge! The toilet came only third. Now the internet tops all that. I’m really curious if a sun storm will kill it (as some predict) and how we will survive. We were lucky, we’ve had both worlds. I thank Dan for leading me here.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. quiall Post author

      I am pleased you made it too! Ah the sea. The smell of the brine, the sound of the waves . . . I miss it. We humans are an adaptable people, I think we will survive in some form.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  14. Pingback: Are We All Luddites? – No Facilities

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