Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Vitiate – Wordplay Wednesday™ 06/27/18

Nothing is simple anymore … 

Those who grew up in the country, oh so many years ago, perhaps enjoy an advantage to have known a “simpler life” than today’s all-encompassing hustle and bustle. As an ideal, simple no longer exists, and there is no one to blame but ourselves …

VITIATE (vishʹē āt’) vt. – 1) to make imperfect, faulty, or impure, spoil, corrupt; 2) to weaken morally, debase, pervert; 3) to make (a contract, or other legal instrument) ineffective, invalidate. [WW #170]
That essentially describes what “advanced technology” (plus the politicians of the world) has done to our lives. I know every elder generation says this, but seriously, “When I was a kid …” life wasn’t perfect, but we didn’t fear retaliation for voicing an opinion or making an offhand comment. Supposedly, everyone is entitled to an opinion.

For all our “freedoms” and rights, though, today, we sure can’t open our mouths without someone slamming a foot in it. Literally and virtually. Apparently, freedom of speech exists only in law, not in practice, as our neighbors, friends, and online idiots we don’t know or care to know, wait with bated breath to vitiate our opinions—in or out of context.

That is what technology has brought us to … vitiating each other and venting in the most vicious terms. Why? Because we can, and it feeds our fragile egos—until you’re on the wrong side of it—and the sides can flip in a millisecond.

Nor can we enjoy what used to be the simple pleasures in life, like reading, congregating without fear, a picnic in a public venue, or a walk in the park (again, without fear). Technology brought us the means to feed the fear while innocently touting this device or that program which claims to give us something better to do with our time.

Do I use technology? Yes and no. (Obviously, since you're reading this.) I employ what makes my life better. As each new gadget has arrived claiming we can’t live without it, I exercise my right to do just that if I determine it will vitiate that which I hold venerable in my life.

Ah, naysayers however, will say it is not technology but ourselves to blame for how we use it. “We don't want to believe it's us though because that would suggest we did something wrong. So, instead we blame the Internet and the gadgets that have made it a ubiquitous part of our lives,” says a 2012* The Atlantic article. Yes, consider though, that most of us are sheep who reach insatiably for shiny new gadgets …

"We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious.” We are Gollum. (The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.)

An ill-fated majority blindly follow technology trends and shrug their shoulders at the risks. That ignorance is taking us all down (some like me, kicking and screaming) into an abyss that makes retail tech companies rub their hands together in financial glee.

Technology has NOT made our lives simpler, easier, cheaper, or healthier. It has vitiated our lives; unfortunately, only those of us who lived “before” know the loss. Time is more precious than money, emeralds, reputation, or your smarphone. 

Afraid of hackers destroying our grids and grinding us to a halt? Don’t fear that apocalypse … embrace it.

Word Challenge: VITIATE. It’s time we THINK about our daily lives—what’s in them? What technology do we use that can be eliminated for better quality of life with those we care about? Make technology work for you, not the other way around, as you fit vitiate into your week of reflective writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost simple joy. Do you feel that way too? Share your comments below, about Wordplay Wednesday or learning in general. What’s your inspiration?

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 


LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books (of three) in her Blast from Your Past series, available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon, … The Psychedelic Seventies!


*Author Note: While researching links and information to augment this article, I noted that most results which were specific to my searches dated from 2015 and previous. And none, in several revised searches, would have anything bad to say about upcoming tech trends … Have we become complacent in the past few years and not questioning the negative effects of technology today? Bad move.

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