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Wednesday 9 March 2011

Why I Won't Be Visiting the New Milkshake Cafe

When I saw that a new milkshake and smoothie cafe was opening near me, I immediately resolved that I would have to drop in and see if they're any good.  As of yet, I still have ventured into the freshly painted pink and white paradise.  The reason?  Television. 

Inside they have a large television screen which can be seen from outside (though I've never looked at what film is playing).  The other thing I can usually see is anywhere between 3 and 10 teenage boys (alright, they're probably uni students but their dress is not doing them any favours) staring blankly at it.  Apparantly there is also a gaming console inside.

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong against watching a film or playing a game amongst friends.  But personally, if I'm going to a CAFE it's to chat to my friends.  I get that those boys I see probably think they are socialising but I've never actually seen them interacting with one another.  And this bothers me.  Are we so dependant on media and technological outputs that we can't even drink a milkshake without them?  I would hope that we weren't but unfortunately I have to assume the worst - everyone is 'plugged in' to phones, laptops, televisions so much of the time that it is easy to wonder how anyone managed to survive without them.  But my point is, people did survive without them.  And it's my belief that they were probably the better off for it (to an extent). 

We are all on hyperdrive all the time and it's no wonder that depression, stress, exhaustion are common among every age group (except, as far as I can tell, the elderly).  As I've said, I don't have anything against technology (hey, I'm writing a blog!) but I do think we need to remember how to function, for at least a small portion of time, without them.

So I won't be trying those smoothies or milkshakes any time soon, because I don't fancy having to compete with a film for a conversation with a friend.  It seems, for now, we will be continuing to chat over coffee instead.

What is your take on technology?  Do you think it's had a negative or positive impact on your life?


Deb said...

My sense is technology is a tool that can be used for negative and positive ends alike. I love that, thanks to technology, I'm able to keep in touch with friends I'd otherwise long ago have lost touch with. Sometimes, though, it does feel like a curse . . . like the times where I go to the milkshake bar and find myself thinking, "Maybe I should check my phone now. I'm sure something is happening somewhere, and I'm missing it!" I wish I could have all the good stuff, but leave that part behind. I'm trying to be more cognizant of these bad habits and to remind myself that folks for millenia made do just fine without these gadgets. Why shouldn't I be able to do the same, for thirty minutes, and revel in just listening to the sounds of real life around me?

My mom sent me and my sibs to computer-oriented schools in the late eighties. Despite that, she loathed technology to her dying day. :p
Thanks for this thought-provoking entry!

Unknown said...

Debs - I completely agree with you. I really appreciate the internet and the way it's helped me make and keep in contact with friends. But I do find that I am happier on days I only go online for an hour at the most and remember to turn my phone off to have some uninterrupted 'me time' - I feel so much more relaxed.