No. 893



Here is a question that I would like for you to think with me about for a few minutes today. I might add that this question has far reaching consequences for our nation in the years to come.
Here is the question – “Could he be right?” In this case, the “he” is Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921. Dr. Einstein developed the theory of relativity and is considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century. He became a United States citizen in 1940 and died on April 18, 1955, in Princeton, N.J. He is quoted as saying, which meant it had to be before 1955, and we had limited technology, “I fear the day that technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
Again my question, “Could he be right?” If Albert Einstein were alive today, I wonder if he would say that day has come. If he could see the massive advertising, and billions of dollars spent, for all the high-tech products that have been developed in recent years, and the complete lunacy that takes place on Black Friday, I believe he would say that day has come. From a personal standpoint, I never like to refer to other human beings as idiots, but I believe a high percentage of Americans are not using their minds in this regard in a positive way. Further, and you can write this down somewhere, there is going to be a backlash when the American people finally wake up to what the tech companies and retailers are doing to them.
Now, please do not misunderstand what I am saying. I don’t blame the tech companies and the retailers for flooding the market with irresistible products, because they are in business to earn a profit. It really comes down to the individual consumer, who is free to make his or her own choices in the marketplace. It is a slippery slope, and when the consumer crosses the line they are not only doing themselves a disservice but our nation as well. It’s really a matter of whether we are using high-tech products for our own benefit or allowing the tech companies and retailers to use us. The real question is, how much is enough?
Here are just a few of the things we are losing and giving up. 1. Quality conversation and family time. Families, especially young children, suffer when everyone is sitting around texting someone else who will not be there for them when there is a crisis. A recent survey revealed that most people would give up most anything before being willing to give up their cell phone. 2. The use of our language. We are losing the ability to write, to spell, to think critically, and to learn important information that will help us become successful and productive. Reading skills and comprehension are also causalities in this area. Make no mistake, our children will suffer in the years to come because they are consumed by things that are high tech.
3. Another important consideration is the financial costs of having to always have the latest in an industry that makes the latest happen two or three times a year. It is hard to go in debt and save for the future at the same time. Fortunately, I still have my money because I have not fallen victim to the technology revolution. All I have, in addition to a computer, fax and telephone, is a plain cell-phone so I can stay in touch with my wife when I am away from home.
While it’s an individual choice that quote by Albert Einstein should give all of us something to think about: “I fear the day that technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)