By: Leah Heilbrunn
The tech of today is cool, useful, and quickly becoming more intertwined with everyday life. According to surveyed millennials, wireless tech comes with us “almost everywhere” – but sometimes one has to wonder; has our tech use gone too far? More and more, technology is infringing on our surroundings and operations that existed long before wireless.
The weirdest development in this effect is a ‘selfie stick’ ban spreading through theme parks around the country. These sticks hold a phone or small camera about three feet out, and feeds a selfie obsession affecting many smartphone users. Before selfie sticks, we had to hold technology with our arms outstretched – the horrible weight of increasingly thin smartphones grew too much to bear. So in the quest for a perfect profile picture, these contraptions were bought in droves. But a multi-foot extension off an extended arm is a lot of space, which is where theme parks encountered a problem.
Park-goers began taking these things onto the rides at parks. Roller coasters and such are built to be safe to the extent of a riders arm (so nobody’s hands-in-the air fun is ruined by loss of limb). Most rides had signs restricting use of selfie sticks because of their extra length but, of course, these signs were ignored. The constant need for technology drives attendees to film themselves on the ride instead of, you know, enjoying the ride. This need runs so deep that people are more willing to risk injury than to be without a video of a roller coaster ride. Our reliance on tech went too far – no selfie stick for you. Also, I’d think that a lot of people get smacked in the face with these.
A more dangerous development in overstepping tech bounds is a huge increase in encounters between recreational drones and airplanes. Many of these drones are used for photography and video to get views from high in the sky, while some are just flown around or fun. Honestly, these things are really cool and many can now be controlled from a smartphone. They can maneuver like the coolest RC plane ever and go as high as a plane circling an airport; and therein lies the problem. Recreational drone users have decided that, in order to get a cool shot, they should get really close to airplanes. No matter how advanced the drone technology is, there is always room for operator error.
Birds have brought down airbuses, so a 30 pound piece of technology can, easily, have detrimental consequences if it collides with a plane. But for some reason, intrinsic needs to use technology to the umpteenth degree wipe away common sense.
I know we need our tech all of the time but if the obsession continues in this direction, even more consequences will arise. Rein it in, my people!