Whilst driving around today in our car on a sunny day, I saw a man on foot crossing the road and envied his freedom. It felt like we drivers (and passengers I guess) were caged up in our steel prisons on wheels. I really miss my road bike and the exhilaration of getting around under my own power, sweating up the hills and loving the rush of wind on those downhills. Of course every day I could have been hit by a careless driver, but somehow I felt more alive.
It got me to wondering what other cages we inhabit, cages which on the face of it offer protection but in fact steal our freedom. Many technological aids come to mind with their promise to liberate us from the mundane. In so many cases they rob us slowly of our faculties and shackle us, stripping us of the ability to spell, change a battery, calculate on paper or in our head, form a coherent sentence, navigate our world, converse face-to-face, even make up our own mind.
I'm not a technophobe, recognising the stunning power of technology to empower, educate, connect, reveal. However, it does come with strings attached, and every transaction is a trade.