New fridge crosses hi-tech line

Having used a touchscreen to vote on Tuesday, many Floridians would agree high-tech gadgets are inevitably part of the future. But technology seems to cross the line between helpful and absurd a little too often.

The newest gadget to cross over is a refrigerator equipped with a 15.1″ screen and hookups for the Internet and cable TV and the ability to play music, store a cookbook and leave audio or video messages for family members.

While this refrigerator has a long way to go before being a cost-effective alternative to a Frigidaire, its very existence should raise eyebrows.

A refrigerator that can surf the Web seems like an awesome idea … at first.

But it is another proliferation of the Internet encroaching on every aspect of people’s lives.

While more than half of America uses such high-tech shortcuts as instant messaging and e-mail, the widespread effect of these tools has caused an inhuman aspect to personal communication to become apparent.

The fridge of the future is meant to make people’s lives easier. But what kind of lives are people living if all communication comes down to is gigabytes and black-and-white messages?

What ever happened to another revolutionary invention called the telephone? Or, instead of surfing the Web while getting a late-night snack or turning on the TV over morning coffee, talking to family members as they start or end their day?

Revolutionary ideas, it would seem. As revolutionary as a computer in a fridge.

Whether a refrigerator equipped with a computer will have a detrimental impact on the family unit remains to be seen.

As an article in The Wall Street Journal noted, the fridge is really just a toy for the ultra-rich, retailing at about $8,000.

But it seems that allowing technology to enter into the realm of the kitchen is a step too far.

The milk should watch its back.