Professor Kelly Helm
November 10th, 2014
Technology Gone Wrong As technology advances humans become more accustomed to it and depend on technology on an everyday basis. Technology has made our lives less complicated. We are able to communicate with people across the world within seconds, and have unlimited resources available to us on the Internet. This may sound beneficial but in modern day humans are actually blinded by technology. Not only technology is overused, but it also makes the least important things in life valuable. When you walk down a crowded street, a majority of the pedestrians are either talking on their phones or using their handheld devices. They are less aware of their surroundings. As Paul Goldberger stated, “When you walk along the street and talk on a cell phone, you are not on the street sharing the communal experience of urban life. You are in some place-someplace at the other end of your phone conversation. You are there, but you are not there. It reminds me of the tittle of Lillian Ross’s memoir of her life with William Shawn, Here But Not Here” People are not living in the moment, they are missing out on their surroundings because they escape into a virtual world when they are on their phones or other devices. In the essay Community Kills by Cyrus Sanai it is said “Identitiless teens play “Doom” on the PC, then try it out in the enhanced 3-D perspective of real life”.
Although simply walking the street is not that important, it does carry an experience of urban life. Before cellphones people would greet each other in the street and communicate. In other words, people that walk the same paths everyday probably have passed each other many times but have never communicated because their faces are glued to their phones. For example, students on campus try to avoid eye contact so they can avoid a conversation with someone new. By walking through the facilities at the University you can see the numerous amount of students on their phone while walking, on the phone talking, or simply listening to music avoid any kind of contact with each other. For many people this might seem rude, but for others such as the students themselves, this is an everyday thing and almost a habit. In addition to that people are so used to communicating through text messages that when it comes down to communicating with a stranger in person, conversations are often awkward and not easy going. When text messaging is used, there is time to respond but in reality, the need to respond right away is a demand. Many people find themselves with a lack of communication skills because they’ve become so accustomed to phone usage that cannot keep the conversation going. Goldberger stated “You no longer feel that being in one place cuts you off from other places.” This may seem as a positive thing but for the most part it is damaging. People who are at work, instead of being fully concentrated on their tasks they are distracted by technology. For example they might be talking to a relative in another country, which means that they are not completely focused on their surroundings or simply playing games on their computer. This also applies to students; instead of concentrating in class they escape to another place through phone usage and use social media as a distraction from paying attention in class. In addition, to that when research is done, students look for direct answers from the Internet. This limits them to useful outside sources such as people with personal knowledge, or books. Overall Goldberger proves a strong point that technology can be very distracting and allows us to undervalue important aspects of life.
Learning has changed as well since technology was created. Kindergarten kids do not draw, paint, decorate, or make anything with their hands; everything is done on smart devices that their parents pay for. This might be useful, but there are people in the world that will not be