Costa Rica Howler INTERNATIONAL Magazine - July 2021

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s our advancements in technology accrue, are we sacrificing the regional cultures of the world?

I remember when visiting Mexico years ago, you would rarely see cell phones used by the locals. However every shanty shack had a satellite hookup for television. The next year on my yearly trek, all of a sudden everyone had cell phones. The cultures of Latin America run deep in its indigious tribes, art, food and dance. Today you see the young people with their faces in their cell phones and they hardly look up to see if there is traffic when crossing a street. This is not just a case in Latin America, it is worldwide. The fear of the new generation not embracing the culture and heritage that built their society is real. Technology, while improving our lives, also ruins the base that we are founded upon. The social nature of people is being lost. We are relying more and more on the gadgets that are supposedly making our lives easier. Have you ever sat in a restaurant and seen everyone at the table texting or doing searches with their phones? It’s sad that communication has evolved to our gadgets, rather than a smile, hello and good conversation.

The art of just simple chatting is being lost. Social media is anything but social. The brag factor of where you are, what you are eating or buying has taken control. Influencers! How do we gain control of our social lives again? Can you even leave a cell phone without picking it up every few minutes? Do a test and see how long you can go without picking up your cell phone to see if someone has liked your comment or texted you. Is it really that important that you spend half your day with noses stuck in a phone or an electronic device? We have been locked down for over a year, and out of necessity resorted to Zoom meetings not only for work purposes but also for personal contact. How do we pull ourselves out of the shutdown and begin engaging people once again? I made the statement early in the shutdown that it would be hard to get people out of the new comfort level that they have within their own environment. We have to start getting out and making the world move once again with normality.

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