‘Men have become the tool of their tools’
Last weekend, when I was in Scottsbluff doing some shopping, I decided to go to a chain restaurant for a burger. While I was in there, I was looking around, and I saw something that struck a chord with me. It was a little kid, maybe three or four years old, playing a game on a touch screen monitor.
I watched him play a game of foosball, and in the middle of him shouting at the game, I was struck with a sense of dread. I don’t know why, but watching this kid play foosball got me thinking about a lot of things.
In this day in age, we live in a world purely centered on convenience. If you want something, you can get it dropped off to your house in a day or two. You don’t even need to go outside, because the delivery guy can just slide it in the door, and you can have whatever it is you wanted. Am I the only one who thinks that the rate at which we are advancing is frightening? I fear that one day, we will become so consumed in our own want, and we will cease to exemplify the once vibrant human spirit.
As I watched this young man play his game, I felt emotions I hadn’t felt in a long time, one of which being a sense of nostalgia. When I was a child, we didn’t have touch screen games at our disposal. We had ball pits and slides, and they were the high point of going out to eat with your parents. And now, that entire experience has been replaced with a poorly programmed simulation. It sickens me. It sickens me to know that we have forgotten what it’s like to not be so dependent on our devices, and it makes me sad.
As I pondered these philosophical questions, I recalled my dad telling me about Henry David Thoreau. When I was young, he tried to get me to read his essay, “Walden.” I know a little bit about it, but I still haven’t read it. However, I found a quote that sums up everything I have been talking about. “Men have become the tools of their tools.” This is coming from a guy who was living in a time where the idea of a television was completely unheard of. I’m sure if he were to visit our time period, he would hop right back in the time machine and tell the people of his day, “Hey guys, we screwed up somewhere along the line.”
I didn’t stay long enough to see how his little game ended. By the time I was finished with my meal, I had become too consumed in my own thoughts to care anymore. I rarely ever go off on a philosophical tangent, but when I do, it’s because I get genuinely concerned about the future. In this case, I’m more concerned about whether or not people as a whole have become too engrossed with the technology around us. Perhaps it’s about time I read that book.