Glenn: Do electronics rule our life?

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On today’s radio show, Glenn told the audience that he has asked his family to take some pretty drastic measures: put away the cell phones, iPads, and video games at home! Five years ago this would have been a simple request, but today technology has become such an integral part of our lives that his family absolutely hates the idea. Why would they leave their phones at the door? How will people get in touch if there is an emergency? These are the concerns that have come up in a society where everyone is connected 24/7 – and Glenn thinks it’s time to make some changes.

” We have hit or we are so near the point of singularity that life is going to change as we know it at an increasingly rapid speed. This is not a Glenn Beck prediction. This is Ray Kurzweil. This is science. This is the point of singularity,” Glenn explained.

“IBM came out over the holiday and said that they are five years away from computers using ‑ try this on for size ‑ all five senses. How does a computer taste? How does a computer smell?” Glenn asked.

While the rapid advancement of technology is a huge concern, Glenn is much more interested in how technology has profoundly changed the way families interact and children behave.

“How many of our children can put the phone down? How many of our children have we watched sitting next to somebody texting? Them? Not even talking to them like a real person? Look at the person, they’re sitting next to you. They’re texting.”

“How many, how many people, me included, are so addicted, I don’t ‑‑ I don’t have my iPad probably more than 10 feet away from me at any time. I always have it with me. I carry it around in the house.”

“Do you walk around your house now with your iPad? Yes. You have connected. You have begun the process of merging with machines. It’s not a physical merge yet, but Ray Kurzweil says that’s ten years on the horizon. It’s not a physical merge yet.”

Glenn compared the addiction that people have to technology to alcohol or drugs and alcohol addictions. He said that if you ask them to stay off their smart phones or tablets, the excuses you hear would be: “I don’t have a problem.” “It’s you that has a problem with this.” “I don’t need to get rid of this.” “I can’t function without this.”

“You will absolutely get the reaction of an alcoholic. Trust me, I know because I’m an alcoholic. So I know the signs and I also suggest it to my family: No electronics in the house. And that did not go over well.”

So what is Glenn’s solution? He suggested putting a box by the front door where everyone would put their devices when they came into the house. “You come in with your device, you put it in the box. You put it right there by the front door.”

While Stu didn’t totally agree with Glenn on the issue, he did understand a lot of his points.

“I can’t live without text messaging. And it’s not because I don’t ‑‑ like I’m addicted to it. I just, it shortens my interaction with people,” Stu explained. “I cannot deal with someone sitting there texting. I mean, it happens all the time with friends of mine. They are sitting there texting, reading e‑mails while I’m in the middle of a sentence. And I know I’m boring.”

Thankfully for Glenn’s employees, he said today on radio that people don’t need to respond e-mails or phone calls that come in at eleven o’clock at night or even three in the morning.

“Whenever I have a thought, I e‑mail or I text. Boom. So it’s instant and never ending. Instead of writing it down and then talking at an appropriate time or whatever. And we think that we have to respond to that immediately. ‘Oh, they text messaged me. I’ve got to get…’ no, you don’t. No, you don’t. Because, A, we’re just doing it while we think about it. We have it on our mind, so we do it. And we think we have to respond to it right away, which we don’t. And it’s most likely not even that important because I guarantee you, shut down your text messaging and your e‑mail. Just do it for a couple of weeks and say, you’ve got to call me. If you have a problem with the e‑mails and the texts coming from your business all the time, you tell people to call you at home, I guarantee you half of them won’t. I guarantee you they will figure it out on their own because anybody who’s calling my house, I get text messages and e‑mails and I’m fine with it. I get them all the time from everybody in the company. Ask you a question, I just, ‘How about this, how about this,’ blah, blah‑blah. Not a problem. But if I said to them, ‘By the way, you have to call me. I don’t have text,’ no one will,” he said.

“It’s intruding on our time that is the most important time with our family. We’re at home.”

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    The electronics do rule, in part or whole, the lives of many. You can unplug yourself from the world of electronics to a degree, and not e-mail, text, etc. 

    I just got done talking to a neighbor who went for Christmas with her family, and described how they were ‘consumed by their phones and I-thingies (her word)” and basically ignored her for the time she was there.

    Technology in and of itself is neutral, it is how we choose to use it and allow it to be used upon us, in our lives that determines the good/evil of it in the end.

  • landofaahs

    Alex Jones brought this all out a long time ago.

  • http://youtu.be/ff8jDkOHp3U Sam Fisher

    When all else fails shoot it. 

  • http://mczwzthinks.blogspot.com/ MCzwz

    My husband and I decided over 15 years ago that electronics would NOT control our lives.  We have made small concessions: to phones, for example (we have a Tracfone, that we refill a couple of times a year with maybe 90 minutes at a time) though our primary phone is a landline, with voicemail only; a 3 year old DVD player (that we picked out for free as a company gift), a VCR and tapes we still watch; and Onstar in our car for safety’s sake.  Yup, we have a PC and a laptop, but we’re both computer geeks going back to DOS 6.0 (LOL).

    Other than that neither one of us even knows how to “text,” our phone has no internet capabilities, and we do not ever even look at the gadgets on sale!

    We have sworn there is no way on this loony earth that we are going to allow ourselves to be “taken over” by technology . . . just because it is out there.

    That’s all each one needs to do, just don’t plug in, don’t connect, don’t subscribe!  Geeze, how hard is that??

  • http://mczwzthinks.blogspot.com/ MCzwz

    My husband and I decided over 15 years ago that electronics would NOT control our lives.  We have made small concessions: to phones, for example (we have a Tracfone, that we refill a couple of times a year with maybe 90 minutes at a time) though our primary phone is a landline, with voicemail only; a 3 year old DVD player (that we picked out for free as a company gift), a VCR and tapes we still watch; and Onstar in our car for safety’s sake.  Yup, we have a PC and a laptop, but we’re both computer geeks going back to DOS 6.0 (LOL).

    Other than that neither one of us even knows how to “text,” our phone has no internet capabilities, and we do not ever even look at the gadgets on sale!

    We have sworn there is no way on this loony earth that we are going to allow ourselves to be “taken over” by technology . . . just because it is out there.

    That’s all each one needs to do, just don’t plug in, don’t connect, don’t subscribe!  Geeze, how hard is that??

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    i concur — i do hate the phone and am on it as little as possible…and so are my dinner companions.

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    yup.  the youth, generally, have not been taught how to NOT be rude, especially when you have adults behaving badly as their model.

    we still have the golden rule to keep teaching people.

  • Anonymous

    On one of the morning news shows, a commentator
    said America’s children are brain dead.  They need
    computers to do their math.  They won’t know how
    to do math if America goes down.

  • Anonymous

    I have already set up my old wooden 6 foot wide COE drafting table with the drafting arm and found my old 12 inch double log decitrig slide rule, so I’m ready.  I will probably keep my old CASIO FX-850P I bought in the mid ’80s as backup.  My old college engineering and math books from the ’60s and ’70s are at hand.  Lots of paper tablets and mechanical pencil lead are ready.  I will definitely survive. Now if I can just find my old pocket protector and my worn out 6 inch pocket size slide rule.  Regards, The Geezer mechanical engineer, Texas Tech U, 1973 and US Navy vet, 1966-1969.  p.s.: for those that are not “ripe”, COE – Corps Of Engineers (US Army).

  • http://www.DrBillToth.com/blog Dr Bill Toth

    Technology is not the problem. How we use it is the problem.  A hammer, knife, gun, pen or cell phone…all are inanimate objects that can be put t use for good or evil.  Live With Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog

  • Anonymous

    I would say screens do more specifically.
    Phone to TV to Pad to Pod to Computer… mix and repeat ad infinitum.
    We may think we’re being sociable but in fact we’re alone.

    And all this of course has us spying on ourselves on behalf of our governments and any corporation who wants to know. Our every move, opinion, purchase, transaction electronically traceable all your life. I’m sorry but if you use facebook you’re not clever. Not for the security reason, just ’cause you’re not clever. The technology is great and all that, but for every one fruitful use of a technology, the idiot human manages to come up with 99,999 well, idiot uses for it. (But hey, the porn’s great).

    I don’t think younger kids should have phones or computers of their own. For lots of very good reasons. But kids get whatever they want now.. so we’ll reap what we sow..

  • reality1518

    I think this largely contributes to many of today’s problems. We live in a world where everything is instant, so when we have to wait for something we become impatient and upset. Many classify it as adult ADD when really it’s impatience. When a marriage doesn’t work out right away we get and instant divorce and move on for something that is less work and will work faster and easier and when that becomes hard we do the same thing. I have recently gone from a smart phone back to the original v3m razer, and I plan to never own a smart phone again. Next time you go out leave your phone at home and leave your spouses phone there too and interact with each other. If they don’t like the idea, ask to see it and don’t give it back until the end of the night.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve never felt a need to be connected 24/7.  Many times for many hours I am unreachable and I love it.

  • Anonymous

    All this technological junk was sold as “freedom” : never miss this or never miss that.

    Just the opposite.  We were sold slavery.  They didn’t mention that people would insist that we carry the electronic ball and chain, that our jobs *required* it.

    Be wary of new “freedoms”.  True Freedom has always existed, slavery was invited by man.

  • maria

    my classmate’s step-sister makes $85 hourly on the computer. She has
    been out of work for 7 months but last month her check was $13148 just
    working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here http://www.bit90.com