Does technology limit or expand new experiences?

Technology allows us to do more in less time. It lets us choose what, when, and how we want to read and hear. We can select the TV shows we want to watch. We customize our newsreaders so we get only the content we’re interested in. I read a great article from the Washington Post’s website, which contains a small blurb about how the iPod limits our exposure to new music:

He had buds in his ear. He was listening to his iPod.

For many of us, the explosion in technology has perversely limited, not expanded, our exposure to new experiences. Increasingly, we get our news from sources that think as we already do. And with iPods, we hear what we already know; we program our own playlists.

The song that Calvin Myint was listening to was “Just Like Heaven,” by the British rock band The Cure. It’s a terrific song, actually. The meaning is a little opaque, and the Web is filled with earnest efforts to deconstruct it. Many are far-fetched, but some are right on point: It’s about a tragic emotional disconnect. A man has found the woman of his dreams but can’t express the depth of his feeling for her until she’s gone. It’s about failing to see the beauty of what’s plainly in front of your eyes.

from the Washington Post

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