This I Believe

Kira - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: science
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I believe that technology is making people less intelligent. With everything we need at our fingertips, the American population is becoming increasingly lazy. Text messaging is a terrible phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. With every “OMG” and “LOL”, the grammar that has been stressed through so many years of schooling is going down the drain. Encyclopedias and dictionaries have become obsolete with the invention of the Internet and spell check, making the skill of looking up facts useless. Face to face communication has also taken a turn for the worse. With the convenience of a quick e-mail or text, there is seemingly no need to call or meet up with someone to talk. The timeless coffee shop chats have taken a backseat to two friends never having to leave the comfort of their home to drop a friendly line here and there. I have personally witnessed what can result if technology revolts against the user. While waiting in line to pay for a few groceries, the electronic cash register decided to quit work early. The cashier looked panicked while the customer ahead of me was waiting for his change. Instead of simple mental math or taking out a sheet of scratch paper, the cashier had to wait until someone brought her a calculator to complete the transaction. The skills taught in second grade left the cashier’s brain in order to make room for how to operate various technological tools. I had a laugh at this; an everyday example on how heavily this generation relies on technology to perform even the simplest tasks, in this case, a task even a ten year old could complete without a problem. The over-use of technology is not only making this generation lazier and less intelligent, but it is negatively effecting our environment. The dependence on cars to get everywhere is taking its toll on Mother Earth and polluting the once clean air. If more people walked to nearby places or even used public transportation, our planet would not be in nearly as much danger.

I know for a fact I rely too heavily on the Internet. It is a great step forward for the world bringing the far corners of the earth together, but it is also bringing the people in close proximity farther apart. When used in moderation, technology can supply useful knowledge, but if used to the extreme, the way in which it is so often used, it can become a necessary crutch. I believe technology is slowly but surely shrinking the minds of the American population.