dennis beard1 300OWENSBORO, Ky. (5/8/14) – I’m old enough, just barely, to remember a time when the idea of a computer in a house was considered a novelty and no one ever said words like “internet” or “Facebook” in their common, everyday speech.

Back then, we didn’t take photos with our phones (cell phones weren’t exactly on the radar, either), and when we did take photos, we had to wait days to see how they turned out – unless we were using my aunt’s Polaroid. When people called us, our phones weren’t programmed with individual ringtones so we would know who it is right away. It was a bell that rattled the same way for any caller, and even caller ID was years away from being invented when I was small.

Our dependence on technology today is so great that many of us would be in trouble if it failed, myself included. All my phone numbers for contacts – friends and associates alike – are stored in the contact list of my phone. I have a few really important numbers written down, and a few even more important ones memorized. For the most part, though, the loss of my phone would be a bit of crisis.

It’s not just my phone. I used to – and I know quite a few others who still do – use the iPad I got for Christmas to keep a calendar/date book for appointments and interviews. I stopped doing that back around November of last year, when the battery died and I couldn’t find the charger for almost a week. I’m a pen and paper man all the way now, at least when it comes to calendars. I treat the technology as a back-up reminder, but if it isn’t written down then I’m taking a risk I will not be able to access the information. It’s a little humorous that I know where that calendar is at all times but I can’t keep up with a charger adaptor quite so easily.

All of this to say that I believe we’ve become completely dependent upon technology as a society. The generation coming up behind us – starting with the people entering the workforce in their early 20s – never really knew a world without cell phones or the internet. The generation after them will most likely never know a world without social media. Stories about people who lost touch after high school as they went out to make their own way in the world will be rarities, stuff of legends. High school reunions, while still a great way to spend face time with old friends, lose a lot of their meaning when I can type in your name on Facebook and scroll through your wall to see what you’ve been up to.

So what does that mean when technology fails, or when someone is in a situation where technology is of no use? At a student assembly a few years ago, I listened as the speaker told the group of elementary and middle school age kids that they’d better still learn how to be sociable, because in any job interview, the finalist candidates will have to have at least one face-to-face conversation with someone somewhere. If you can’t talk to people in a one-on-one or small group setting, you might get passed over for job opportunities.

It was a great message, and a reminder that no matter how much technology takes over, we still have to brush up on our “people skills.” What’s more, relying too much on technology to manage our lives can be a set-up for failure when that technology fails. If you lose an important contact’s phone number, a document, or your daily schedule that was stored electronically, it’s definitely not something that will make your life easier.

My advice — write it down if you need it, and don’t let that notepad or calendar out of your sight.

Dennis Beard
SurfKY News

Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

3/13 - 16
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 7183

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 6325

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 6216

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6002

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 5913

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5737

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

February 28, 2015 2188

City's Parking Ordinances to be Strictly Enforced…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1572

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 27, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 27, 2015 1401

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
February 27, 2015 1305

Tim Thomas to Speak at Rescheduled Black History…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1257

AIRPLAY: Travis Dukes Makes Stop for Jam Session

in Top News For All Sites by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1099

Mustangs Fall to McLean County in Three Overtime…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Steve LeMaster
February 27, 2015 1096

Local Church Hosting Spring Campmeeting

in Top News For All Sites by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1075

How to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Home

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1063

Tips for Travelers Considering a Cruise

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
February 27, 2015 1050

Whitfield Presses Health Secretary on Obamacare…

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby