"The things that you own end up owning you." It's a great quote from a favorite movie of mine; Fight Club. While Tyler Durden might have been talking about the material possessions in your life such as clothing, furniture, and cars, I believe it perfectly describes the way technological devices influence your life. Freedom is a word thrown around a lot when discussing advancing technology. Many people would say things such as a cell phone and wireless internet have given them a greater amount of freedom than what they had before. According to the Encarta dictionary, freedom is: a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any undue restrictions. In regards to the first part of that definition, I would say that many people believe that these technological advances live up to that freedom. A person no longer has to sit at home to wait for important calls, rather they have a cell phone that allows them to go almost anywhere and still be connected. The internet used to be only accessible through wired connections that limited the locations where you could access vast amounts of information. Now with Wi-Fi capabilities and wireless data networks through your cell phone provider, restrictions to the web are now greatly reduced.
However, it must be noted that while these technologies empower us with a sense of freedom, it comes at a cost. Those devices capable of allowing information retrieval and instant communication whenever and wherever we want, also binds it to us. Have you ever lost your cell phone? Has your laptop or ipod ever been out of Wi-Fi range? For some people, this would cause a sense of anxiety. In our attempts to escape the undue restrictions of our phone lines and Ethernet cables, other more powerful restrictions have manifested in the social network. The need to be connected, and for us to connect at all times has led to social bonds that are hard to break free from. The question is whether this technology infringes on our freedoms, or simply is another step in the evolutionary process of human interaction.