It was 15 years ago but I can clearly remember it like it only happened yesterday. I was standing in the middle of our family room listening to the voices that came out of this unfamiliar device. The voices sounded friendly and loving to me and they were mentioning my name and my brother’s name. I then came to realize that these were the voices of my cousins and my grandparents. At that time, they were living in Lebanon, and having come out of the civil war, there were no reliable phone system, which made communication difficult.
This was frustrating because we value having a strong family bond that needs to stay in touch especially if we are far apart from each other. My grandparents also needed to know that their daughter, my mother, who lives thousands of miles away in the United States with her family is doing well. I was sitting on the floor while my brother was laying on his stomach looking at my mother who was listening intently with tears in her eyes to the cassette player playing my grandmother’s tape. The tape was brought by a traveler who just came from Lebanon and was kind enough to hand it to us.
All of our relatives talked about their lives including how my grandparents are taking care of their farm, who among my aunts and cousins have gotten married, and where my other cousins were going to school. Technology has always had a significant impact on the way people communicate and socialize. Today’s technologies have, in many cases, become so integrated within our daily lives, that they play a part in constructing our existence and understanding of reality. Cassette tapes have come a long way and has been replaced by a variety of innovations including compact discs or portable mp3 players.
Mobile phones and the Internet have also made communication very easy nowadays. Fifteen years ago, which was the first time I encountered the cassette tape, nobody knew or even imagined that such tools would ever take the place of the cassette tape simply because it was one of the best innovations at that time. While it seems that technological advancements make our lives easier and more comfortable, it is also fair to say that it has its own disadvantages. These advancements have saved lived but they have taken them as well. We have scorched our earth with chemical wastes and pollution but we have made it a better place to live as well.
We have also made great strides in our future and people are living longer and stronger lives than ever before. We were able to invent life-saving machines and devices, and these machines have added days and even years to the lives of people with terminal diseases, people who are anchors of love and pillars of support to their families [Telescoping]. This new era has brought about a drastic change to the whole world in terms of the numerous inventions that men had come up with and introduced to the public because what was formerly believed impossible became possible.
It is obvious that there is a rush toward modern technology when it comes to communication because more and more people find better opportunities outside their home countries and they find the need to communicate with their loved ones. People not only made storage of recordings better by having compact discs or mp3s in flash disks but they also improved communication by way of wireless long distance calls and emails and chats, which are faster than sending cassette tapes overseas. Technology is facilitating our life that is full of complexity, which has to be navigated safely and swiftly [Telescoping].
The telephone, computer, and Internet, or technology as a whole, facilitates, expedites, enhances, life but do not be fooled by its help, get trapped in the deceitfulness of impostors, entangled in the trickery of make belief characters in network sites, believe in scammers at auction sites, loose, waste time in its black hole ‘entertainment’, empty space of lifeless, soulless, mindless work of modern technology that sucks our energy and make robots of us [Freighting]. This is simply because not everything and everyone can be trusted with technology, especially on the Internet.
There are a lot of people who choose to abuse technologies and the power it gives them to the point of harming other people. As Anwar Accawi in The Telephone states, “I am still looking for that better life. ” To answer Accawi’s quotation, if every human being uses the technological tools appropriately, safely, and only as a means to enhance our bond, love and care with our loved ones, we would have covered the entire world with warm, pleasant, fulfilling and loving hearts. A fifty year old technology, the cassette tape player, was able to convey love to people separated by thousands of miles and civil war.