“IT was the summer of 2012. I was headed to the US for my Master’s. I didn’t plan much before I came to the US. Also, I didn’t have any contacts in the town where I was going (Pullman,WA). I had paid a deposit for an apartment that I found on craigslist, while I was in India, and hoped to find a few fellow students nearby if I needed any help.
The day I came to the US, after a massive cultural shock that took some time for me to absorb, I realized what a terrible place I was living in. It was a private home in a typical American residential neighborhood, and the place was literally empty. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the fact how would some one live in such isolation, without any shops/stores nearby or any public transportation (I hadn’t figured out the car culture yet). I just stood there in front of the house, staring back at the empty street behind me. Fortunately, my room mate let me in, and left soon after. I decided to call my parents and my girlfriend to let them know I finally came home. That’s when I realized that my phone and laptop were dead and I forgot to bring US wall adapters to charge them with. I was shit scared. I thought, lets just explore the place, maybe I’ll find an “Electronics shop” nearby.
How wrong was I! I literally walked all around the neighborhood, and forgets shops, didn’t see a single living soul. As I was headed back to my place, I caught a glimpse of a deer crossing my path. Overly excited of watching an actual deer in the middle of the town, I decided to follow a deer. The deer led me to a private property, where an old woman was watering her plants. As I approached her, she asked me “How are you doing?”. As I literally was unaware of this phrase at the time, I replied “Not good actually, I am looking for some shops nearby but can’t find any”Advertising
She: Oh, we have a Walmart on X street. Maybe you could go there?
Me: I’m sorry, this is my first day in the US. I needed an adapter to charge my phone and laptop. I’m not sure where Walmart is.
She: Wait, let me go get my husband.Advertising
After about 2 mins, an elderly gentleman comes out into the yard.
Husband: How are you doing son? Lets go to Walmart.
They literally took me to Walmart, and I bought the things that I needed. It took me some time to search (20 mins), while they waited for me. When I was done:Advertising
ME: Thank you so much. Do you know where I could buy a SIM card here? I really need one, as I need to talk to my parents.
Husband: Lets go to the neighboring town, they have an AT&T store over there. Maybe they can help you out.
I was speechless at this point. The neighboring town was at least 10 miles away, and I heard the lady talking about something cooking in their oven. I literally didn’t have words to express how thankful I was to them. This was literally my first day in the US and these strangers went out of their way to help a guy they saw trespassing into their property.Advertising
We eventually went to the neighboring town, and I got what I was looking for. They even drove through the university campus that I was supposed to go to a few days later. It’s difficult perhaps to fully comprehend how kind they were. I hope they live fulfilling lives.”
If you’ve ever traveled alone, you know how scary it is. Sometimes you don’t even know where to begin or where to what to do. When someone that you’ve never met extends their hand to help, it can make all those fears disappear immediately. It’s incredibly powerful.
If you ever meet someone who is alone in a new place, be sure to ask if they need any information or help. Maybe they just need someone to talk to for a few minutes. That can change everything, and make their life a lot better.
10 Harsh But True Illustrations that Show Our Changed Society
Let’s face it. We are living in a digital age, and there is absolutely no turning back. One of the biggest influences on society these days is social media. It affects us both positively and negatively. Social media was originally designed for people to share interesting facets of their lives with their friends, but it has become so much more than what it intended to be. It is now a medium for information to pass around the globe. In many cases, people first learn about current events through Twitter or Facebook before hearing about them from conventional news sources.
We also rely on technology for nearly everything we do. People these days seem as if they can’t go anywhere or do anything without their smartphones, tablets, or laptops. They need to be in constant contact with others via electronic devices.
However, there is also a downside to be too connected to social media and electronic devices. We are too dependent on them, which make us oblivious to what we are doing to ourselves. Being too connected can have a negative effect on our lives and the society as a whole. Here are 10 true illustrations that show how our society is negatively impacted because of the use of technology.
1. Facebook is eating away at your time.
How much time do you usually spend each day on Facebook or other social networking sites? Is it hindering your productivity? Do you find yourself wasting time to a point where you don’t even know where it goes? If the answer is yes, Facebook might have eaten away at your time.
2. We’ve become “Likeaholics.”
When you are posting something on Facebook, are you doing it just to see how many of your friends will give it the proverbial thumbs up? This illustration shows that some people are treating “Likes” on Facebook as if it was a drug they needed to inject into their bloodstreams.
3. Our electronics have priority over our lives.
Given a choice between your dying phone battery or you dying, which will you choose? In this case, the man in this illustration chose to charge his phone over to sustain his own life. As a society, we need to be more careful of our priorities.
4. Our devices are ruining intimacy.
Have you and your loved one ever spent time together where each of you is on your phone instead of communicating face-to-face with each other? Has society reached the point where we can’t even be intimate with each other without being on our phones at the same time?
5. Families aren’t spending quality time together.
Here is a mother making holiday cookies, but what are the kids doing? They are not making cookies with their mother. Instead, every one of them has their faces buried in their own electronic devices. Television used to be what parents use to babysit their kids. Now, it’s a tablet, phone, laptop or video game that does the job.
6. We’d rather record someone than help them.
A lot is happening in this illustration. A black man is drowning and asking for help. One person has a gun pointed at him. The other person has their iPhone pointed at him and is recording the scene, but is not interested to help this man.
7. Society is sleeping, it’s sleeping its life away.
Time is money. After we have wasted the long period of time on social media, we are losing the most valuable currency we have – our time in this world.
8. Despite all the technology we have, we still want what someone else has.
There’s an old saying that goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” This illustration shows that despite all that we have, we are still not satisfied with our lives.
9. Sensationalism still sells.
With the information overload that exists today, the media still looks for sensationalism. Here’s a woman who feels she has something important to say, but the media only cares about her because she is naked. Would the news media still have microphones in front of her if she wasn’t standing there topless?
10. In the end, with all of this, we are still killing the planet.
This last illustration argues that despite all of our technological gains, we are still polluting the earth as if we have a virtual gun pointed at Mother Nature. As we build bigger cities and higher technology, how much more damages can we continue to do before putting our lives at risk?
Featured photo credit: Michael Summers via flickr.com