Today in class, the discussion of technology disturbed me quite a bit.  The class as a whole seemed to be mostly against the advancement of technology.  People claimed that technology is a bad influence on children, students, and of course society as a whole.  Now, I understand the idea and where it comes from.  It can seem sometimes that we rely too much on technology for everything and it may even seem at times that we are helpless with out it.  However, I have to point out that every single student in that class room has a cell phone and a computer.  Its easy for people who have these luxuries to complain about them but I doubt anyone would be willing to give up all of their technology.  So if anyone thinks that technology, the source for all of our convenience and most of our connections with others, is a bad thing then I have a experiment for you.

Turn off your cell phone and if you have a home phone, unplug it.  You now will communicate with people verbally in person or by writing a physical letter.  Then shut down your laptop and or desktop computer, from now on you can no longer use it for entertainment or assignments. Assignments must be hand written and hand submitted, if your professor doesn’t allow that then you have to go to the library and use their computer to write or submit your work.  Lastly, turn of your TV, XBox, PS3, ect.  You can not use any of these for any reason.  People have done this experiment including myself and it is very difficult and you will very quickly appreciate what you have and how useful it is when you it is taken away from you.

Travis Piser


2 thoughts on ““Technology”

  1. I don’t think anyone in the class was necessarily outing technology as the villain here. It has more to do with the habits that are formed from parenting and schooling as a “cop out” or endgame to get children to behave. If not that, then it’s the ultimate dependency that you’re referring to is the issue. Technology shouldn’t be painted as the bad guy in a society and culture like the one we’re in. We are far too dependent on it to have it stripped away suddenly. A better way to show an opposite directive to what we’re dealing with is to almost plateau our advancements. Americans have to have things bigger, better, faster and more (sometimes smaller when referring to technology) and we need to take a breather. It took families years to include TVs and radios at first but then they became household commodities. More “traditional” styles of parenting were more prevalent and life was different back then, so children could enjoy these things but within reason. There’s really too much to discuss in a reply on where I could go, but I just wanted to say that the enemy isn’t technology- it’s the dependency and way children are introduced that are the problem.

  2. Let me start by saying that I have enjoyed following the class posts so far and hope to learn more from you all as the semester goes on. I realize that I am not fully privy to your class discussion, so I hope that my comments here are relevant.

    I also talk with my classes about technology and tend to focus more on the dark side of what has happened to personal communication in the last generation or so. However, I think that there is a fine line between advocating for responsible use and advocating for throwing all technology away.

    My husband and I live a rather quiet life, technologically. We have cell phones, but we do not have smart phones or data plans. We do not have texting plans, so we pay by the message. We find that talking with people or e-mailing with them tends to work just fine for most things. We do not sleep with our phones unless we need them as alarm clocks.

    We do not have cable, and have not had it for years. We watch what little TV we choose to see though the internet. And it is very little TV that we find time for.

    We do have the internet. I am a full-time professor and my husband has gone back to school. We would not be able to grade, complete assignments, prepare for class the next day, communicate with clients, etc. without the internet. However, a lack of i-anything devices in our home means that we have to be at our computers to do work or communicate with people. That means that when we are together, we are actually communicating with each other.

    Our son is 1 and does not watch TV. He does not have a Facebook page or an i-anything. (I mention this because these things are becoming more normal within my peer group.) We don’t plan to get him a cell phone until he has a way to pay for his phone usage. We don’t plan to get him an i-anything until he is old enough to pay for at least part of it and old enough to be responsible for it.

    Let me also add that we are not hermits. We function quite well socially and in the workplace.

    By taking your comments so far to the extreme as to tell people to get rid of all technology, you perhaps have missed the point of responsible usage as well as the very real changes that have occurred with human communication in the last generation. Yes, technology is here to stay. Yes, it can be used to our benefit. But when people become unable to communicate in face-to-face situations; when children lose their ability to empathize because they are all so busy texting and playing on-line that they don’t see who is in front of them; and when college graduates have to learn interpersonal skills just to function in the workplace (lots of employers now complain about this), then perhaps our reliance on, dependence on, and use of technology has gone too far in the wrong direction.

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