Thinking about iPhones
|by J. Clinton|
No, I won't be sitting in line waiting to purchase an iPhone today. But thousands of you have queued up to get the new pocket-sized product that combines an iPod, a cell phone, a web browser and a 3.5-inch touch-screen display. You will now be able to read your favorite blogs, like The Point, wherever you go.
Will this product launch a new age in mobile computing? There is a good chance it will. Is making another technology mobile a great thing?
Dr. Bruce Weinstein unpacks that question in a Business Week essay called "Ethics and the iPhone":
Our society has devolved into a mass of turned-on, tuned-out, and plugged-in technophiles. Whatever distinction used to exist between public and private life is all but gone ...
He's got a point. I chuckled as I imagined all of these people standing in line together waiting for their iPhones ... I picture everyone with an iPod on, tuning out the persons on either side of them ... and pausing to yap on a cell phone and pretend like the people standing next to them didn't exist. Remember the days when people talked to each other when queued up for a big event? There was community. I remember, for instance, the community of camping out for tickets for Duke basketball. The good old days.
In addition to concerns about the shallowness of modern community and the four hundred percent increase in likelihood of having a car accident because of mobile technology, Weinstein raises an interesting concern that we don't often think of.
When our brains are constantly stimulated by electronic data, they are, of necessity, precluded from taking anything else in, such as the random thoughts that can be the genesis of great ideas. The nonstop avalanche of images and sounds from electronic media (among other distractions) is a barrier, not a portal, to creativity.
Our minds need down time. Solitude. Peace. Time to daydream. Time to rest. And of course, time to think.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Something to think about ...