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August 25th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Is too much technology a bad thing?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Multitasking is a way of life for millions Americans... and to many, it seems like the more technology we can squeeze into every waking moment, the better.

Maybe not.

The New York Times reports that digital devices and distractions - from cell phones, to laptops, iPods, e-mail and mobile games - could deprive our brains of necessary downtime.

People use phones and other electronic devices to get work done almost anywhere these days - from the gym, to the grocery store checkout line, the bus stop or a stoplight. Many see it as a way to make even the smallest window of time productive - or entertaining.

But researchers say that downtime is essential - it's a way to let the brain go over experiences it's had and turn them into long-term memories. And you can't do that if your nose is always stuck in some electronic device.

Scientists also say that even though people like multi-tasking - they might in fact be taxing their brains and tiring themselves out. Some people say they feel stressed out by the pressure to constantly stay in contact.

Meanwhile, there's a new study out that shows teens are becoming addicted to texting - with the average teen sending 3,000 texts a month.

3,000.

Experts say the same part of the brain is stimulated with both texting and using drugs, like heroin. Signs of being addicted to texting include: losing track of time, not eating or sleeping, ignoring other people or lying because of texting and always needing to receive more texts.

Here’s my question to you: Is too much technology a bad thing?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Emerson in Los Angeles writes:
I believe too much technology isn't necessarily a bad thing, but how people USE that technology is. People at work look at me funny when I come knocking on their cubicle, rather than sending an e-mail. People get mad when I don't answer my cell phone at any given time of the day. People wonder why I don't constantly update where in my apartment I am, or what I'm doing with the cat, or what color laundry I'm folding at this instant.

Joe writes:
The technology explosion has accelerated greatly in the past 100 years. It has created a new environment to which we have not fully assimilated. However, your question is irrelevant. We do not have a choice of more or less technology. The future will bring more and the challenge is to utilize it constructively for the benefit of society.

Paul writes:
It sure can be. We all cry out for jobs, jobs, jobs, yet go download a digital book from an online seller. We're so quick to embrace new things as progress, but do we think about how acts like that contribute to killing entire industries and the jobs that go with them, yet replace only a fraction of the people in return? Business loves technology, it helps their bottom lines, that in and of itself should make us all stop and think.

Dennis in Minneapolis writes:
Depends what angle you're talking about. Too much quantity is bad. Too much T.V., computer games, sitting around, is bad. The level of sophistication is another matter. Technology always benefits us the more advanced it becomes.

Renee writes:
Just ask some texting kid to explain the phrase "Stop and smell the roses." When they ask what website or app is that on, you'll have your answer.

Bill in Atlanta writes:
Jack, The issue is not technology. The issue is mindless, inane, silly, goofy banter. But enough about cable news shows.

Mario writes:
Jack, Speaking as someone who has been a system architect for more than 25 years and close to retirement, I can say this: I will use my desktop computer as an anchor for my boat; I will take the heaviest hammer I own and smash my cell phone to bits; and I will get rid of cable and high-speed internet and spend the rest of my life reading books (yes, actual books), tying flies (my real passion is fly fishing) and taking a nap on my recliner after lunch.


Filed under: On Jack's radar • Technology
soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Dave, Orlando, FL

    There is nothing wrong with technology. It only becomes a problem when it is misused such as texting (pointless in itself) while driving etc. There is so much technology now that no one can have a handle on all of it. Besides, with all of this “productivity” I don’t see where things are that much better or faster. No reflection on present company, but you know, a Jack of all trades, but master of none. Maybe the Luddites are on to something here after all.

    August 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Sean in Michigan

    On more then one occasion I have seen teens texting each other while sitting right next to each other. I worry that with all the technology options we have now to keep in contact, we are at greater risk of losing the basic concepts of actual human interaction. If suddenly all this technology failed, would we even know how to say hello to each other?

    August 25, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  3. Mario

    Jack...Speaking as someone who has been a system architect for more than 25 years and close to retirement I can say this: I will use my desktop computer as an anchor for my boat; I will take the heaviest hammer I own and smash my cell phone to bits; and I will get rid of cable and high-speed internet and spend the rest of my life reading books (yes, actual books), tying flies (my real passion is fly fishing) and taking a nap on my recliner after lunch.

    August 25, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  4. Scott

    I work in IT and education and I can tell you that one of my great concerns is that we're learning how to use all these devices. But, we're not learning how to connect with each other as people. We're not learning how to engage each other in productive enterprise (most the IT that goes on in business is more a distraction from the business at hand than a help). Split second decisions are being made when well thought out, considered decisions would be better... cause I got to get that email out now!!! We're also not learning how to do things without the electronics. We're becoming more and more, helpless really. We're becoming like coma victims on life support.. .without our machines, we'd be in trouble.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  5. Emerson, Los Angeles

    I believe too much technology isn't necessarily a bad thing, but how people USE that technology is. People at work look at me funny when I come knocking on their cubicle, rather than sending an email. People get mad when I don't answer my cell phone at any given time of the day. People wonder why I don't constantly update where in my apartment I am, or what I'm doing with the cat, or what color laundry I'm folding at this instant.

    Just because the technology is there doesn't mean you must use it. I think the ability to constantly be in touch with people diminishes the experience; what will you talk about at the next BBQ, if you've been in each others' facebook page 24/7? Also, don't text while being "intimate," okay? That's just cheesy.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  6. Kathie

    Sure would like to go back to when I was growing up–no cell phones, texting, instant messaging, etc. That sure made for a more peaceful life. We don't need to live with a phone attached to our ears-I rarely see people out for a walk without appearing to be talking to themselves.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  7. Andrew Eden-Balfour- Regina, SK

    That's like asking if we've had too many calorie filled burgers. Scientifically speaking yes, but in reality; not a chance. Humanity will never have enough technology as we've come addicted to it like someone on crack, try to strip off some techno time; and for some it's like going through a severe withdrawl.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  8. Cal in Denver, CO

    Yes! I've worked in Technology now for 23 years and I have seen and personally experienced the "sucking in" factor associated to daily interaction with computers and other things technology.
    People need to take a break away from technology, turn their brains off and let the body take over. Go work out or go for a walk, do something other than sit on your duff and add to your waistline.

    Cal

    August 25, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  9. AGuest9

    Sorry, Jack, I was busy texting. What was the question?

    August 25, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  10. Ron in Indiana

    Technology takes the people attention away from the issues that they should be paying attention to.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Conor in Chicago

    I don't know Jack, what did all of the commericals on your TV station say today? They probably said no. They probably said that it's ok to buy another gadget. They probably said you need this new gadget. They probably said you must have this new gadget. So once again a study like this will fall on deaf ears because it will effect the bottom line.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  12. ZionMari

    No......... especially if one uses technology to become better informed and to learn something new each day.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  13. Scott Stodden

    I Wouldn't Say That To Much Technology Is A Bad Thing Depending On The Person Using It! I Have A Lap Top Computer And A Cell Phone And I Hardly Ever Text Unless Its Important And I Can't Absolutly Find The Person Im Looking For, To Many People Have Forgotten To Simply Pick Up The Phone And Have A Conversation!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    August 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  14. Ken New Baltimore

    When it breaks down relationships between people. For example, texting replaces face-to-face contact. Cell phones do the same. And ditto for email. The former two, replace total concentration while operating a vehicle, causing dire cnsequences. The old ad "Reach Out and Touch" doesn't really mean that you have to have a techno-appendage in or on your ear. Careless use of the above, breaks down the walls of privacy. Just because it's available, doesn't mean it should be used all the time. Now we have 3D TV. The unit is expensive and the programming extremely limited. So, why buy into it.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  15. greg spinz

    teens are becoming addicted to texting

    ya think?

    August 25, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  16. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Jack, anything done to the extreme is bad for you. Addiction is unhealthy and moderation is the key to many things in a healthy life.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  17. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Why? Just because we would freeze to death in the dark without it?

    August 25, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  18. Ed

    No man, if you forget something just google it.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  19. Anthony from NJ

    Jack, technology is , despite the conservative view, irreversible. That we're dwelling on the excesses of teenagers doesn't mean the advances have a negative effect. It's we adults, who have a more logical way to use it to it's most affective level, who reap the benefits.
    Any movement to slow down advances in this field is the end of America.
    Technology is our engine and our only option is to let China lead the world. This cat is out of the bag and we have no choice but to proceed, our teenagers be damned.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  20. Delia, Katy, TX

    Technology is definitely effecting every facet of our lives. I have had to, literally, turn my cell phone off to avoid text messages or calls in order to get some sleep!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  21. Greg

    From Atlanta – I believe it is a great thing, because technology has allowed work to become faster, more innovative, and enhanced through mobility. As an IT specialist with the federal government, I have been able to assist in bringing what we use to classify as "comfortable equipment" to something just shy of corporate-competitive. With the ability to advance through technology it requires many of us to maintain a keen level of education which encourages learning. Nowadays, without technology if you fail to learn, you'll fail to earn.... Then you retire with the rest of the outdated equipment.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  22. al scott

    If today's media was in place during the 'great depression' we would still be in. The media take bits of bad news and treat as the full and complete story, but it does provide for full employement for the media.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  23. frankie

    One hundred years ago, people all over the world were sending millions and millions of picture postcards every year to tell guests what time to arrive for dinner next week, to announce a birth or death in the family, not just to write home from a vacation. Postcards were the modern way for average people to communicate in 1910, and the U.S. mail was delivered twice a day. The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's just human nature!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  24. Susan from Idaho

    Jack the picture on the previous question looks like those kids are having more fun than our younger generation will ever know. I keep wishing I could have been there. My brother and I had flexies and our imagination. what a life.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  25. James

    Jack, I have been a high school teacher for 25 years. The use of cell phones by students (especially texting) is alarming. Kids ARE addicted. They use them to cheat on tests and to communicate with other students during class. The so-called 'smart phones' aren't creating smarter kids. Too much time on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, MY SPACE, and texting. Not enough time spent on the three R's.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  26. J. Carlton from Ortonville, Michigan

    Yes and no, Jack. With every new technological advance, there is a price to pay, monetary and otherwise. The internet was great, giving us libraries of information at our fingertips, until it brought pedophiles into our homes. Cell phones? Great for women driving alone with a flat, until some distracted drivers kill someone. Gaming devices? Fun and great currency for kids doing their chores, that is until junior gains 30 pounds in front of the TV. But unfortunately, many have that mentality that we have to keep up with the Jones or our kids futures will be at stake. So we keep on buying the next great technological invention while ignoring the mortgage payment.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  27. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes. The mind does need some peaceful and rest time. Go for a walk in nature and allow the mind to wander. Day dream. Staring at technological gadgets I'm sure is not healthy for the eyes or the soul.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  28. Cliff Glass - East Rockaway, NY

    Jack,
    Technology has the effect of dumbing down civilization. When was the last book report or thesis completed by actually reading through books for the needed information, the last interaction with a bank teller, or the last tax return hand written and calculated ? It's no wonder that when " the computers go down", everyone stops and waits. It makes me yearn for the days of the abacus.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  29. Brian - Illinois

    We have definitely become overdependent on technology. Although many of us were warned as far back as the 1950's I think it was largely dismissed as a futuristic pipedream. Much of today's society is married to the cell phone and not being in touch is as bad a withdrawal as an hour without a cigarette for a three-pack a day smoker. And while it has opened up venues such as this forum, at the same time it has created tremendous dependency which now can not be broken. One day we are going to have the same type of fallout which we now have from overdependence on the autombile, some equivalent of fossil fuels choking the atmosphere. Wouldn't be surprised to see some modern equivalent of the anti-technology Luddites spring up if they have not already done so.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  30. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Technology makes life easier. It makes tasks much simpler but it comes at a price. There is no technology on the market that does not cost you something to operate be it electricity or some time of connection to a service. Technology is many things to many people but the one thing that all technology has in common is that it will soon be obsolete.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  31. honest John in Vermont

    Of course it is a bad thing. I see far too many teenagers absolutely addicted to texting and sending 200 texts a day for them is just their normal way of being "connected". I know it is not doing them any good but nothing I can do about it. They are so "connected" none of them has a chance to think anymore. All they do is act and react to texting. Crazy.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  32. gordon

    No. No more than too much food or water or exercise or clothing or friends. Technology offers a variety of options. I spent forty years in the computer/networking field as technical specialist. What I know from that is this: tech professionals know how to use what they have effectively. You won't find them walking in the mall talking on a cell phone saying, "I'm here walking around. What are you dong?"

    Las Cruces, NM

    August 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  33. Bob, in Florida

    Technology is JUST LIKE a gun. The gun is an inanimate object that is completely beneign thing, JUST AS technology is not harmful, UNTIL someone uses it in ways that are harmful. Most people DO NOT think of the conseqences of what they do until it is too late. Techonolgy is A TOOL, how it is used determines it's danger.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  34. suzi

    I I don't think it is all bad, you just have to use some common sense with it.
    I am 72 and didn't want a computer or a cell phone. The kids got me a cell phone and a computer and I love them. I only call on the cell if necessary. I use the computer to send and receive email and to look up medical things etc. Occassionly I gripe back at you on it.

    August 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  35. Bill Gable..Gulf Shores, Ala

    I wanted to ask the lady who ran the red light while chatting on her cell phone the same question. I try'd , but she ran two more lights and I couldn't catch her!

    August 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  36. Joseph Leff

    It's interesting that the only way to respond to your question, Jack, is via e-mail. And don't forget to twitter and tweet at the end of the show.

    Joe in Delray Beach, Florida

    August 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  37. Jesse in CyberSpace

    While I see the merits of the points made in this blurb, I'd have to say 'No'. Shoot, I send 3,000 some texts a month – I also use only 30 minutes of talk time. It's my primary form of communication. With all the conflicting schedules of those in my life, such as my girlfriend, we would not be able to communicate as often. You can't be talking on the phone while at work, in school, entertaining a lunch guest, or whatever else but you can send a quick message. Maybe the question should be: Are our lives overly busy these days?

    August 25, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  38. Karl from SF, CA

    It not a bad thing, it’s an awful thing. I’m65 and have a computer and cell phone. I use the computer like a computer, not a game or amusement source or TV set. I was on Facebook and between my kids, grandkids, neighbors, friends and other relatives it was overwhelming. I dumped it after a month. I don’t want to know what everyone does 24/7. My cell phone is used like a normal telephone, not a constant companion. I can live without having someone talking to me every minute. What I see people doing to themselves is revolting at best. Does zombies ring a bell?

    August 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  39. elephantlovers

    Yes, – it's fattening. No one gets off their duff.

    Merry in Memphis, TN

    August 25, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  40. Miranda

    In my opinion, technology is meant to make life easier but not meant to take the 'life' out of life. Or replace it, if that makes more sense.
    Obviously, more than the mind is being affected 'cause you hear all about the effects technology has on the activity rate of anyone who has a cellphone or laptop. So, yeah, too much technology is bad but the entire country's already into it.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  41. Jim S

    Yes Jack because technology is increasing at such a rate that people don't know how to conttol it. For example, those who continue to text while driving are causing accidents at an alarming rate and there's no laws or means to deal with it in terms of enforcement. Video games are ruining many of our teens by causing them to sit around playing games all day instead of getting out and getting badly needed exercise. Parents are also failing to provide examples and discipline on this issue and also failing to provide examples on healthy food consumption. Obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure is soaring as a result. These are only two examples of many distractions and dangers technology has brought about.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  42. James Martin

    It brings us YOU doesn't it?!?!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  43. Tim W, Hershey Pa

    Too much of anything is bad, Jack.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  44. Deryck Ramey

    Jack, too much technology isn't the problem. The lack of reading books and enjoying the outdoors IS the bad thing.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  45. Annie, Atlanta

    I love technology, but wonder if we will eventually find ourselves unable to interact with each other socially. Time will tell.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  46. Miguel from San Leandro

    Only to those who get to the age where they are unwilling to learn and keep up.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  47. Ryan Y.

    To much of anything is a bad thing in my opinion. Moderation is the key.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  48. Dave in TX

    People said the same things about television in regards to teenagers. It comes down to the same thing...parents need to teach their kids the proper times and lengths of times to spend doing things like texting, tweeting, etc. And for themselves, adults need to take a step back and make sure they are getting a break from all the electronic leashes for their own personal health and happiness.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  49. Julia, Columbia, SC

    If we didn't have the ability to text, what else would I do in class?

    August 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  50. Douglas

    Sorry but I have heard this same rant for over forty years. First it was TV, then music, then D&D, then rap music (OK, maybe there's a point here), then cell phones, then the Internet, now texting. Maybe it's just young people doing something the oldsters can't understand.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  51. Fernando C

    I am a teenager myself and I've boycotted cellphones, I often see how my peers are obsessed with texting and can't seem to see anything else in the world other than their cellphone screens.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  52. Timothy Villar

    No never. Any one who says else obviously does NOT know how to control or discipline their children or even themselves. Too much of everything is too bad, so just targeting technology is idiotic. Technology is the future and shunning it will bring no advantage, if anything it'll push us back to the cave ages. You just need to know how much is too much, it's the same with anything really.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  53. jmorgan

    No too much technology is great...Without it we been living like the somalians.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  54. BobGee

    I suspect the same thing was asked when the printing press,the light bulb and the automobile came along. Isn't all the texting just another one of those things that starts out with a vengeance and then just levels out to a dull roar? I suspect it's a generational thing Jack. Our generation is still fascinated by the touchtone phone.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  55. Laura

    This is the stupidity of Americans: not understanding the concept of moderation. Too much of ANYTHING is a bad thing. The brain needs a balance of stimulation and relaxation, too much of either can become unhealthy.
    Laura
    Hollister, CA

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  56. Trevor

    I received my first computer in 1993 and at the age of 13. It subsequently ruined my life over the next 15 years and I was completely addicted. I used the thing all day and all night and was always a twitchy wreck. I made a resolution last year to eliminate as much technology as I can and get outside more. I cancelled my cell phone and am down to 30 minutes a week on the computer. Besides, your show I don't watch any television at all either.

    Trevor
    Toronto

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  57. Annick from Cambridge

    It is absolutely a bad thing. I don't know how many near-accidents I have had because of someone on a cell phone and not watching the roads (pedestrians, too.)

    I see these commercials where the family goes on vacation in their SUV. The kids watch videos and don't get to take in the sights and sounds around them, and the parents are busy talking or texting.

    It's sad.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  58. Mielke

    Jack,

    The benefits of advancements in technology are too many to call it a "bad thing". Since we're so technologically smart, why aren't we creating phones that are specifically designed for the pre-teen group? A device that allows the parent to install boundaries. Perhaps to not allow texting after a certain time or only allowing for certain access.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  59. Anthony Miraglia

    Dear Jack,

    It is not only bad, it is destructive and it is costing our children and the next generation dearly. Kids today spend more time texting than they do studying, doing chores and just getting outside. Too much of anything is a bad thing and too much technology will cause us to loose out place as the worlds leader.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  60. Mark in Arkansas

    Yes. As I type this answer on a techie-toy... Multitasking gives the the connotation that you are using these toys for work... tell me how tweeting and face-booking are anything close to work. Life was nice when you could "check out" for a few minutes. Remember those days Jack?

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  61. Bill

    We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  62. Jay Curtis

    Jack, you need to write your questions better. Is too much technology a bad thing? Dude, "too much" of anything is by nature TOO MUCH by definition. There is never too much technology, just too little sense for those who abuse or over use technology, like texting on the freeway, etc.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  63. Dan Howarth

    Life is what happens to you when you're busy typing and reading text messages. Everything in moderation!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  64. J Logan

    To much of anything can be a bad thing. Now let me stop texting and get into this technical engineering class...LOL

    August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  65. Don from Brooklyn, NY

    I am a 52-year-old high school teacher so I see the texting everyday in class and in the hall even though it is verboten. Although highly annoying at times, this is nothing alarming. In my day we passed notes and spent hours on the phone talking. I wager the amount of time doing this was just as much as the teenagers today spend texting, tweeting, and updating their status and pouring out their hearts on Facebook!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  66. Patrick in VA

    Jack,

    My 16 year old daughter averages more than 15,000 texts per month for more than 6 months. I believe our children are losing the ability to properly hold a conversation. Text speak is very different than verbal communication. Very impersonal. I believe technology has gone too far.
    We all need to escape work and our friends and family for down time. I have no understanding why people think they are so important that they need to facebook, twitter, myspace, etc every little move they make. Who really cares?
    Love your show

    August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  67. Dwight

    Teens texting nowdays is their way of communicating. Much like when I was a teenager camped out on our family's only phone line talking all night with my peers that I had seen all day that day, and would see all day the next day at school.

    It's just how they communicate with one another. 3,000 sounds like a lot, but it's often a bunch of back and forth "yeah", "ok, c u then...", etc.

    As for technology in general, I would love to see the day when my computer can keep up with me. It can perform repetitive or standard tasks at blazing speed on my command, but I sometimes find myself using multiple computers in the course of my work because my mind can issue commands faster than even robust computers can complete them. I think it would be fantastic to work at the speed of thought, or work with a computer system that is anticipatory, or can work in tandem with me.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  68. Jim Blevins

    To twist a slogan, it isn't the technology, it is the people. Technology allows new options, it is up to people to figure out how to use it to best advantage. Multi-tasking is on the opposite side of the coin with focus - one or the other or the proper balance is best for any given purpose/person.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    August 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  69. jean saben

    saw your piece on technology...like all things we should use it in moderation...as i believe it will be downfall to all human contact and communication eventually. we have replaced people with robots and relationships with machinery that interacts with us. I don't see many positives about technology to be quite honest. Only in the sense that it has given us the ability to get certain communications quickly...

    August 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  70. Dave Rose

    Technology in itself is not a bad thing, it's its uses that make the difference. Every time some new technology is introduced, it goes through a period of misunderstanding, misapplication, and instances of abuse before broad adoption and its benefits to society can be realized. Every time this cycle occurs, the "old guard" shouts about how damaging and bad this new technology is for humanity- and yet, we continue on into the future basking in the wonders of technology that was decried only years before. If you fear new technology and what it might do to the future, you are probably one of the old guard who doesn't fully understand it, and you should let the young savvy technologists lead the way.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  71. Lendale Fortenberry

    Hi Jack,
    Too much technology is not a bad thing unless you want to be considered obsolete by the rest of the World. The more technology that is introduce to our society, the more it causes American to better equip themselves for a future of do the impossible. We must reach for a better tomorrow.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  72. Anthony Miraglia

    Dear Jack,

    It is not only bad, it is destructive and it is costing our children and the next generation dearly. Kids today spend more time texting than they do studying, doing chores and just getting outside. Too much of anything is a bad thing and too much technology will cause us to loose our place as the leader of the free world.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  73. Dave Rose

    Technology in itself is not a bad thing, it's its uses that make the difference. Every time some new technology is introduced, it goes through a period of misunderstanding, misapplication, and instances of abuse before broad adoption and its benefits to society can be realized. Every time this cycle occurs, the "old guard" shouts about how damaging and bad this new technology is for humanity- and yet, we continue on into the future basking in the wonders of technology that was decried only years before. If you fear new technology and what it might do to the future, you are probably one of the old guard who doesn't fully understand it, and you should let the young savvy technologists lead the way.

    Dave, Bronx NY

    August 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  74. Mark Lutvak - San Jose, CA

    Multitasking as a way of life for millions Americans does NOT allow time to refresh and renew. It is like working constantly, even for some While SLEEPING.

    Get real youngsters – Take vacations of the Mind – You will find it rejuvenating! Try it – You will LIKE t!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  75. Seth from Long Beach

    Yes! Some of my fellow college students whined about they would do without their smart-phones, while my cell phone is the current equivalent of smoke signals. I don't mind unhooking from technology every once in a while, but it is hard when it is relied on as a key part of communication for school and work.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  76. Michel Noel

    Too much technology is a bad thing, and thats coming from a student who also works for a electronics retailer. I believe it's negatively changing the way our world and with that future generations interact with each other in bring a lack of communication and attention even when two people are in the same room.

    There are a lot of great advancements but like all things we need to learn when too much is too much, and when to take time, turning off iPhones, disconnecting from facebook, twitter, and tv and just relaxing.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  77. Ian

    Well I find this to be a bit of a dual edged sword because I my self as a high school student seeing my friends overloading themselves with texting tweeting and updating their facebook, wasting away. But we must also see that there is so much technology around us that it becomes difficult to see the "too much" mark

    August 25, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  78. Mark from Boston

    Jack,

    Have you bought anything that required "customer service" lately? The obese teen at Starbucks can't figure out how much change you're due. Another at Best Buy isn't sure of what products they carry. But, they can hold entire 'conversations' via text messages. How counterintuitive and absolutely asinine! But, technology is not the reason the American Empire will fall. Corporate greed influences everything from politics to child development. And, we have collectively and COMPLETELY sold out.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  79. Renee

    Just ask some texting kid to explain the phrase 'Stop and smell the roses'. When they ask what website or app is that on, you'll have your answer.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  80. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    Of course it is. Forget about the uncertain but unlikely onset of brain cancer. It is the lack of face to face communication and the attendant learning of compassion which is being undermined. Today's youth won't have any trouble pulling the plugs on we oldsters, or in kicking us out of our nursing homes into the street. Our plight will seem to them no different than killing a thug on one of their scary computer games. No way will 2 or 3 young people work hard just to pay for one of our pensions. We old people are toast, or should I say "soylent green".

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  81. Frank Cape Coral FL

    Jack I try really hard to use my mind to send you this message telepathically, I'll send you this in the case it didn't get through to you, I have to use technological device to let you know that if it weren't for my computer I would not be able to converse with you, so as for me I don't need to clue myself to technology but it does save time.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  82. Jean

    Yes, obviously. As a whole, society has become overly dependent on technology, and though it has its advantages, we are steadily allowing it to consume our minds and our lives. Even being a teenager myself, I recognize that texting, Tweeting, and similar activities are rotting our brains (I know, I've felt the detrimental effect of excessive texting firsthand). Americans need to learn to regulate and restrict their dependence on technology as much as possible; it's either that or we just dump all of our devices in the trash, but I doubt too many people will go for the second option.

    New York, NY

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  83. Justin Andrews

    Being a student and a kid, I think that as school continues to require more and more typed essays and internet research, technology, especially computers become more and more relevant in our everyday lives. Technology is so interactive and has so many benefits and I always thought that people used technology as a way to relax, especially when it came to texting, Facebooking and Tweeting. If school somehow offers us the same resources without the technology in the mix, it would benefit our brains, which would then benefit our lives.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  84. Jos Rochester, NY

    Without question our use of technology is morbidly immoderate and without a doubt we do not question the social and moral consequences of the proliferation of technologies. The problem is that we somehow associate it with progress and I fail to see any such thing. We have an absurd amount of ways of contacting each other and "being in touch" but we are more impersonal with our fellow human being's than ever. And if we think our accomplishments are great, think of this: it took innumerable minds to create the mouse but it only took one person to paint the Sistine chapel. Our creativity has diminished severely as a people and we will have nothing to show future generations from our so-called progress but dusty useless things that were quickly outdated by the next gadget.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  85. Ed's Kate

    Not really. New technology is a wonderful thing but not using it here in the USA is what is wrong. The problem is that the big wheels of so many companies want all the newest technology but prefer to offshore their business to other countries so they can pay "Cheap Labor" or take "Tax Breaks". By doing this they are filling their own "Coffers" and saying to the young folks of this country that they are "Not Worthy" of receiving good pay for a job well done. The company owners and they all know who they are, would rather pay sub-minimum wages to folks of other countries than give our folks the good paying wages they deserve. That is definitely the wrong thing to do to the people of this country who are well qualified to fill these new technology jobs.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  86. Rob Adams

    My dad used to tell me that too much of anything is a bad thing. I'm 61 years old and have found this to be true, at least for me.

    What is "too much"? It's whenever whatever it is starts to have negative or harmful effects on the person. However, it is often necessary for an independent observer to recognize the negative effects and bring them to the person's attention, because that person has likely become so involved in the activity that they have lost sight and objectivity of their own.

    I'm writing you from the Island of Kauai in Hawaii.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  87. Warren S. Levine, Bellingham, WA.

    The boom in technology has not surprisingly created people who are more comfortable communicating with other people on their electronic devices than interacting with them in person. It provides a measure of both attachment and detachment, but it is all centered around the device, which represents the catalyst in the change in relationships.

    On the other hand, technology's value in keeping TV a burning-hot medium is immeasurable. The ubiquity of camera phones and movie-cam phones allows for better coverage of the news as it's breaking, which has always been a challenge for the networks.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  88. TM

    Too much technology is definitely a bad thing. Problem is we past the point of a "bad thing" years ago. For those who havent noticed, U.S. paper currency used to be green, the country owes so much money to Asia the new paper currency is turning red! At this pace the nxt 100 dollar bill have the face of Bruce Lee. Considering most of this technology is rooted in Asia, dont be surprised if someone has his finger on the button to shut down what has become the American way of life, texting, twittering, gps'in, facebooking, and our cars telling us where and when to turn. How is a 17 yr old suppose to learn how to drive? There sits an Asian with his finger on the button waiting for a late payment. Too much technology under other country's control is definitely a bad thing.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  89. Diane

    I believe texting is out of control. Living in Sarasota, FL, in Sarasota county, the largest county with the oldest population in the country, I have closely monitored the effectiveness of digital communication. ( I direct a large social networking group for single Baby Boomers.)

    Many seniors are 'on-line' and tech savvy. The wisdom we have earned with life experiences, can lead us down a lonely road if we don't have human contact. Perhaps this is initiated by digital communication, however, it is used to develop friendships, networking connections, relationships with family, and even perhaps to find the love of your life.

    My communication for invitations to activities are all via email. I have robust attendance at all events. I promote social networking, face to face, the way it was meant to be.....and it works!

    Those without the wisdom and life experience will eventually figure it out....life is all about balance.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  90. Robin

    I am a teacher and I can guarantee my teenage students are addicted to texting. It is a daily battle between them texting and me trying to teach science. I lose that battle many days. Problem is that when I lose that battle my students don't get any smarter. Although they will know who their boyfriend was talking to last period. Bring on the standardized test for that!

    August 25, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  91. Ray

    Yes jack,
    The higher you go, there are more chance to get hurt when you fall. It is wise to stay in center to survive, not higher or lower either right or left.

    Ray
    San Diego.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  92. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    Most definitely. It's turning people into automatons, with very little human contact. Most young people don't know a thing about the art of conversation. Interaction with others is an extremely important part of life, & the more we interact, (with the widest variety of people), the more mentally healthy & tolerant we are. Is it any wonder there is such an increasingly high proportion ofangry, militant wierdos these days? They're starving themselves of the basic human needs, without even realizing that they ARE needs.They haven't a clue about how people are supposed to behave, & don't know or care that ignoring someone they're with, (by texting, having a phone conversation, watching TV, etc.), is extremely rude. They think that they don't need anyone, as long as they have their electronic devices.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  93. Overby from Melbourne

    A couple of weeks ago it was on the news that some celebrity surgeon, a mature and educated person, killed himself driving off a cliff while he was tweeting about his dog on a mountain road. Too much technology a bad thing??? Duh................

    August 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  94. Tara Wickenburg

    Hi Jack,

    Too much of anything is always a bad thing! Our children and even most of our adults are not learning the ART OF COMMUNICATION. This art is being lost in text messaging, e-mailing and instant messaging.

    People have discovered a way to hide behind a text message. We don't have to see the human expression or hear a tone in a human voice. These means of communication render us unaccountable for what we say to another. All we have to do is IGNORE a response or send the incomming caller who wants to respond to voice mail.

    I love your show and most of your opinions.

    Tara Wickenburg

    August 25, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  95. Layne Alleman

    Jack, I don't know about it being a "bad thing", but an awful lot of young people I meet these days don't seem to be very concerned about "reality", ie; what's going on around them. To me, anyway, it seems to be worse with those that are totally engrossed in these devises. Layne A. Antioch Il.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  96. Anthony P

    Of course it is Jack but that didn't stop me from writing to you!
    The technology present in the world today helps everyone accomplish more things in the day that they normally could not do but as with anything, it comes with a price. Instead of picking up the phone and calling we text. Instead of going to the store, we order online. Slowly but surely we are losing our connection with each other that technology can not replace.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  97. Kooky in CA

    I’m65 and have a computer and cell phone. I use the computer like a computer, not a game or amusement source or TV set. I was on Facebook and between my kids, grand-kids, neighbors, friends and other relatives it was overwhelming. I dumped it after a month. I don’t want to know what everyone does 24/7. The cell is for occasional talking only. Nothing else.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  98. Matthew Holthausen

    Technology is a double-edged blade; it brings the outside world to our fingertips, as it simultaneously makes our immediate world dissolve around us. "Everything in moderation," some say, though it is overwhelmingly apparent that American society is infatuated with technology. My biggest concern is for the newer generations that seemingly have no knowledge of life without electronics.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  99. A.B.

    No, Jack, more technology is not the problem. It is the misuse and abuse of technology that is the problem. People just need to moderate their use of technology in a more humane and intelligent way and this problem will be resolved. We just need to give our brains and senses a rest from technological gadgets. Instead of constantly talking to people on the phone, go meet and talk to them in person. We should renew the old custom of socializing with people and nurturing interpersonal relationships without using techological gadgets.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  100. Jim

    Jack,

    Depends on your point of view. But good or bad you might as well get used to it 'cause we ain't going back the "good old days."

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    August 25, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  101. lynnej in nc

    Yes too much is a bad thing.

    Why do you think our kids are poor in math? Duh, they use calculators instead of scribbling on paper like we did.

    Technology is good, but it is short changing our kids and ourselves.

    August 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  102. Kent

    Jack,

    In 1999 I published a book. The entire manuscript was hand-written. Page 13 reads: The original manuscript for this publication was written entirely by hand. Certain conviction, a better sense of purpose, and a deeper mening all flow with greater strength from one's brain, through his heart and on throuh the pen, as if the ink were part of his blood-pouring onto the pages- a part of his soul. Humanity is giving up a part of humanity to the machine...

    Kent

    August 25, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  103. Jean C.

    I remember when I was completing my college course in Computer Science back in 1985...waking up in the middle on many nights when discovering the answer to the final program we had to write. How many sleepless nights did I spent?

    10 years later I discovered CNN. It was news overdrive. How many sleepless nights did I had?

    In 2010, I don't see any minds in this world (young or old) to be capable to absorb the wealth of information via texting, unless they don't want to sleep.

    Ontario, Canada

    August 25, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  104. ~BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa~

    Learn WHAT, Miguel? Keep up with what? What are you talking about . . . or do you know? Please elaborate.

    Do you mean the only way one can "learn" or "keep up" is by becoming a social cripple?

    August 25, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  105. james johnson

    jack,
    is to much technology a bad thing. you think! this is a notion that has been ignored by many and continues to be. refueling your body via idle time isn't a nice thing to do...it is essential. amazing to me how we as humans ignore our build in body warnings mechanisms. self time is the best time for may of us.

    my daughter is addicted to texting (over 8000 per month) and your info proves it. i have trying to gauge what the avg amount of texting per month is to see how addicted my dau truly is. thanks for the gauge and info. my dau now hates you because of this info. LOL

    August 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm |