A little over two weeks ago I read the blog post Miserable and loving it, written by one of my former college students and journalists, Brad Greenberg. I can’t remember a video clip that has made me laugh harder and simultaneously be convicted. I instantly showed my wife and “tweeted” about it a few times that weekend.
The comedian Louis C.K. says this about the bit:
This was my last time on Conan (ever, I guess, in the “Late Night” era). It went pretty viral back in October but NBC took it down off of Youtube because they are very very smart and they know that when people start spreading a clip around that raises awareness and popularity of their shows, that is a bad thing.
Anyway, some people put it back up and for some reason, the last few weeks, it has really blown up. It seems that Facebook was the main propellant.
You can read more of his thoughts on technology and the economy in the Vanity Fair piece, Starvation Can Be Character Building (warning: strong language).
If you haven’t seen this video yet, please watch it, and ask yourself: “Are you the person he is describing when it comes to technology? Why?”
There are a lot of reasons it resonated with me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it for sure. Probably because I didn’t like the idea that I’m that person who has become so impatient with technology and I have unrealistic expectations about how it should perform. And honestly, I don’t like that at times I demonstrate addictive behaviors around technology use. Way too often in fact. I think we are okay with our technological addictions, but if those addictions were in any other area of our life we would be super concerned or at least others would be.
One of my favorite bloggers on the intersection of technology and theology is John Dyer who blogs at Don’t Eat the Fruit. If you aren’t reading him, well then you are missing out. John wrote a post, Everything’s Amazing, Nobody’s Happy on this same video, in which he says, “His observations are a great example of Neil Postman’s idea that Technology Tends to Become Mythic – technology that was once new eventually becomes something we assume has always been around.”
If you haven’t read it yet, then read Brad Greenberg’s interview with Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian, Sling Shot, which created the Slingbox.
Q: Before starting Sling, you spent 15 years working in Silicon Valley. What have you learned about our relationships and habits regarding technology?
A: First off, if I could see technology just completely go away, I would probably root for that.
Q: Why would you root to get rid of technology?
A: At the end of the day, a lot of technology is abused. People start to lose sight of what is really important and spend more time in virtual worlds. Everyone always has said, ‘Oh, computers or e-mail or whatever are going to make your life easier. It’s going to give you more time to spend in leisure.’ Who are we kidding? There is nothing farther from the truth. It just means you can work harder, harder and faster, faster.