Then there was surgeon Anthony Atala in 2011; the first man to 3D-print a human kidney using living cells. I encourage you to watch his TED talk below, it’s only 17 minutes long and it will blow your mind.
The times we are living in are flipping class, though I do find myself in an awkward position; we are able to do far more now than we ever were able to, but in some aspects I feel that we will be doing far less than we ever have done. This is where I begin to sound like an O.A.P but hear me out.
Have you ever been out for food and witnessed a couple waiting for their meal, and instead of actually talking to each other they’re staring down at their phones, finger-swiping their lives away? Little or no human interaction in this kind of situation is a common occurrence these days, and one that we now seem to have blindly accepted.
And when did keeping the kids occupied go from taking picnics or playing a board game together to handing them the iPad to play Candy Crush?
When I was younger (now I really do sound like one of the blue rinse brigade) you called for your friends, you played outside until the street lamps came on and you only went home when you could hear your mum hollering up the street. Being grounded meant you weren’t allowed to go outside with friends; now it’s being barred from the iPad or the laptop. Making new friends and potential boyfriends or girlfriends meant you went out and physically met people; at the coffee shop, waiting on the bus, on a night out, getting your friends to give ‘that guy’ your number while you hid around the corner at Christmas parties and weddings. We used to be such social butterflies, asking friends round to hear their news. Now a group text will suffice.
I am guilty of all the above too, we all are, and we can all relate to it.
Don't get me wrong; people have always ignored each other. You'd see a couple in a coffee shop, one of them sipping their tea and staring off into space while the other has their head in a book or the newspaper, completely oblivious. But that was quite a rare occurrence; it's an epidemic now. EVERYONE does it. Kids are being raised to think that ignoring people is normal behaviour.
If you haven’t heard of ‘Look Up’ by Gary Turk, this video will highlight pretty much everything I’ve just mentioned. Take 5 minutes and watch this.
It is a little contradictory that this guy is asking you to stop looking at screens, but you’re watching his video telling you to stop looking at screens. Anyhoo, I guarantee you felt a little emotional, a little guilty, a little of ‘that is so true’ and ‘I see this all the time’. Well, that’s because it’s a mirror that reflects us and we can all see a little of ourselves in this video. We don’t go over to friends' houses as much and talk all night, we’re more likely to go home after work and sit on Facebook instead of doing something with a friend.
As I mentioned, technology is obviously amazing, and I think we can find a healthy balance between the two. I don’t think this will make people put their phone down for the rest of their days, but it will hopefully make you more aware of your activity. If you’re having dinner then leave your phone in the living room, and if you’re out for coffee by all means keep your phone on you in case someone should call in an emergency, but just keep it in you pocket or your bag. I heard a good tip about a group of friends; when they would go out for dinner or even coffee, the first one to look at their phone had to pay the bill!
Introducing kids to technology at a young age is a good thing too, after all we live in a high-tech environment which is only going to become more advanced, and shunning technology now will lead to a skill deficit in the future, especially when it comes to looking for jobs in engineering and sciences. And obviously some educational games can help children's development, but it doesn’t mean you have to replace their toys with flat screens.
How about this week, instead of group messages and ‘likes’, make a surprise visit to a friend, write them a note and post it, or phone them even!
Connect with your fellow humans instead of your wifi.