Tuesday, January 24, 2017 by Dianne Wiley
A driver in Nevada found that relying too much on so-called advantages of technology can leave you in a bind. Ryan Negri was driving his Tesla Model S, which promotes keyless entry and a smartphone app that allows you to unlock and start your car from your phone through either Apple or Android apps. To test this feature, Negri left his key fob at home and drove through the desert in Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas. All seemed to be going well until he needed to stop his car about 6 miles away from home, he found he was unable to start the car again due to a lack of cell service. With his phone being unable to communicate with Tesla’s servers, he couldn’t finish his trip and he was more than 2 miles away from the nearest cell service area.
Negri’s wife had to walk those two miles to call a friend to bring them the key fob. If they had been stranded further down the road, there is no telling how long they would have had to wait for assistance. This brings into focus the complete dependence we have developed to technology and it’s inherent dangers. We have become so reliant as a society on short-term fixes that we have failed to grasp the long term ramifications. The younger generations are becoming increasingly unable to function without technology, and even more frightening, unable to hold meaningful conversations with their peers without being distracted by the mobile computers that they hold in their hands. (RELATED: Stay informed about technology failures at GLITCH.news)
I personally recall the time before cell phones, when you would have to wait to call someone when they returned home from work. A time when a dictionary, a phone book, and a library card could answer any questions in a world before search engines. A time of printed maps and road trips without the stress of remembering chargers and being concerned about cell towers. In the event of a large scale long-term power outage, many people would be unable to carry on with their normal daily routine, simply because of the lack of technology available in that time.
The inability to go more than a few hours without checking the news, emails, social media, and other such sites causes many people anxiety and companies are cashing in on this. An increasing number of corporations are pandering to the digital age with applications for everything. Tesla is just one of millions of companies that are moving forward with the promise of easier days using their technology. The issues that are arising haven’t yet had solutions assigned to them, as Negri and his family discovered. They were so reliant on their phones to do everything for them that they were nearly stranded in the desert for who knows how long, because they trusted that the app would see them through and didn’t bring their physical keys with them. Technology is offering instant gratification at the loss of common sense.
With the advancement of technology and our continued dependence on it, we are losing the ability to think for ourselves, and many people are already moving to more off-the-grid lifestyles, not only to get back to nature, but to reduce our carbon footprint. We can only hope that more of the younger generation are willing to continue to take care of our world and not rely so entirely on a machine to do our work and thinking for us.