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January 3rd, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Technology replacing personal interactions at what cost?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"The year we stopped talking to one another."

That's what USA Today dubs 2010, in light of the unprecedented use of technology.

We are awash in technology. It's estimated that 93% of Americans now use cell phones or wireless devices. And one-third of those people are using so-called smartphones, which means the users can browse the Web and check e-mail on their phones.

According to an industry trade group, from June 2009 to June 2010, cell phone subscribers sent 1.8 trillion text messages. That was up 33% from the year before.

In other words, most of us spend our days walking around with our noses buried in our cell phones, BlackBerrys, iPhones, etc.

And while we're doing that, we're tuning out the people who are actually in the same room as us. We seem to have long ago crossed the line as to where doing this stuff is appropriate - people take calls while they're out to dinner, text or check e-mail while on a date, you name it.

Some experts say it's time to take a step back and reassess. They're reminding people that technology can be turned off, and that it's important to connect with people in person. They worry that kids won't know what it's like to share a story or actually look someone in the eyes. And that's sad.

But others point out the benefits of all this technology - staying in touch with friends and family, efficiently using time once spent doing nothing and being able to check in from anywhere.

Here’s my question to you: At what cost has technology replaced personal interactions?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: On Jack's radar • Technology
January 3rd, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Most important issue facing country in 2011?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the new Congress gets down to business this week, there's no shortage of issues waiting to be addressed.

House Republicans say they will fulfill a campaign promise and vote to repeal President Obama's health care law before he delivers his State of the Union address.

Seems like a pretty futile exercise - even if such a repeal were to pass the house, it's unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate since the Democrats still hold a slim majority there. Plus, President Obama could veto it.

Also, by focusing on health care - when much of the country is still worried about jobs - Republicans risk making the same mistake Democrats did when they plowed ahead with health care in the first place.

The GOP also has its eye on other legislation passed by the Democratic congress - like new limits on greenhouse gas emissions and the reach of entitlement programs. Some are calling for various investigations into the Obama administration...

Just what we need, tying up the Congress with investigations at a time when there are other huge issues out there - like the economy, immigration and the skyrocketing deficit. Republicans have vowed to tackle government spending, but they'll soon have to decide whether they want to raise the debt ceiling, once again, from $14.3 trillion.

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans are optimistic about the new year. A new Gallup poll shows 58 percent say 2011 will be better than 2010. 20 percent say it will be worse and 21 percent say it will be the same.

The poll suggests Democrats and young Americans are more positive than Independents, Republicans and older Americans about the coming year.

Here’s my question to you: What's the most important issue facing the country in 2011?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: United States