Looking Past Technology

Natalie - Canton, Michigan
Entered on June 14, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

Technology is an amazing growing concept. The technological advances in this world make life easier and more convenient than anyone could have ever imagined. The Internet is one of the most brilliant tools we have available today, and while I am a proud user and contributor to my technological world, I have a fear that the Internet is slowly but surely removing people from areas of human interaction.

Computers seem to run the world today. I know personally as a college student that computers are the main machines that presently run the education system. While I have nothing against them, we can’t forget that life and education existed before computers.

We are currently in the technological age, and I am reminded of that fact every time a picture is taken, because before anything else, I hear, “make sure you tag me in that picture on Facebook!” I can find an excuse to use the Internet for just about anything these days, and it wasn’t until recently that I became aware how reliant I am on it. I use the Internet to find phone numbers, directions, and for shopping and communication purposes, among many other things.

While I personally would be lost without computers and the Internet, I have lately been trying to wean myself off little by little, because as helpful as it can be, I find that more than anything, it is a time-warp. When something in my day leads me to searching on the Internet, I find myself continuing my usage long after I found the information I needed in the first place, and before long, an hour or more has passed. It can really be a scary thing.

Another problem I have been having is that I sometimes rely more on cyber-communication than any other form. I find the excuse to write an email or send a message instead of making a phone call or stopping by to see someone, because it is quicker and more convenient, but I forget that it is much less personal and far less rewarding.

Other than the unavoidable uses, such as school and finances, I have really been trying to rely on outside sources, because if something were to happen to my precious Internet, I don’t want to be completely helpless in the world today. I have to keep reminding myself that other tools exist, such as phone books, atlases and people.

The last point I would like to make is this: the Internet is not a babysitter. It should not be a child’s best friend in any way. Excessive computer use can easily lead to isolation, eye problems (among other physical damages), along with an obvious lack of exercise and physical activity. As a future teacher, I am going to try to help stress the ideas that computers are not the only tools we have in this world.

I’m not in any way saying that people should no longer rely on the Internet and computers, but I am saying that everyone should give themselves a time limit. There is no need to be on the computer for hours upon hours, although certain situations provide no other option. To those of us who have grown to rely on the Internet daily, I raise this idea: try to imagine your life for a solid year without the Internet or any computer for personal use. I’m not talking about how the world would be affected, but just you. How well would you manage? Would you be able to take a trip across the country and find your way? Would you be able to find a friend from your past? How much of your life is really based on the convenience of computers? Think about it.