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Tech Zombies

January 11, 2013

Don’t be a tech zombie – keep your eyes and ears alert to dangers” by Mayo Advertiser

You didn’t realise it, but an MP3 player can kill you. The road safety office of Mayo County Council highlighted the dangers of what it calls “iPod oblivion/zombie alert,” which it describes as “a trance-like or zombie state entered by the fashion of some people using MP3 players, phones and electronic organisers on the move,” and which it believes is a contributory factor to many of the pedestrian/cyclist deaths in the Ireland each year.

Tales from a ‘tech zombie-free’ family road trip
By Susie Boyce, ksl.com Contributor – who writes as a mom:

my kids are in tech zombie mode, the fewer chances they have to make those human connections.

and for the family vacation:

declared our holiday road trip “tech zombie free,” banning all electronic devices. This included cellphones, although I did allow one for navigational purposes only (out of respect for the fact that GPS devices have saved my marriage on more than one occasion).

This already belies the mixed blessings of technology. And what she longs for is social connection but finds that some modern tech is dissociating. She concludes:

Was it a perfect trip? No. Was there more conflict than there would have been without the ban? Probably (“Don’t bite your brother’s shirt!” was a new one for me). But our interactions were also more meaningful

Because meaning comes from social interactions. But that’s not the technology’s fault, it’s the users.

On the way home, we played license plate alphabet bingo; this cannot be done while wearing earphones.

Imagine a version of the license plate game that requires users to log on and use the license plate letters to find facts on google and wikipedia – and then play a form of bullshit to guess on player’s reliability and the source data to practice media literacy and local landmarks. Or make it more #anonymous and try to d0x the car passengers and take pictures and email to them.

The data isn’t going away and like airplane pilots we need to walk around while taking it all in and not walking into things. As President Obama is said to have actually said in the White House: “walk and chew gum” (according to David Axelrod interviewed by Charlie Rose).

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