The Effect of Technology

By: Joel

In our world today technology has for the most part taken over almost every aspect of it. Whether it be manufacturing a car, reading the news, remembering important dates or communicating with a person; technology does it all for us now days.  While this has simplified life immensely, does the dependence we have placed on electronics and technology hinder our strength to grow mentally and socially as past humans did?  Or does is it simply just make everyday life a little easier?  This had been a large area of debate since the explosion of technology in the late 80’s and early 90’s but is one that until recently hasn’t been investigated much.  Today almost every student owns at least three electronics that essentially run—and in my opinion slowly destroy—their lives, a cell phone, iPod and computer.

While a cell phone has made a parents job of keeping track of their kids, it has slowly turned kids eyes from their teachers to the cell phone in their palms under their desks.  Because of this not only are students losing the ability to pay attention in school but also to simply focus on homework, which has had a direct correlation on plummeting grades even in the smartest of students.  In a recent article on NY Times titled “Growing up Digital, Wired for Distraction” the authors Erik Olsen & Matt Richtel go to Woodside High School in Redwood City, California.  At this high school students and cell phones became such a problem that the principal had to find new ways to deal with the up rise of technology use.  One student here Ashley Miller even admitted to the fact that she sends roughly 27,000 text messages a month, almost 900 a day!  Another thing this usual straight A student admits is that the three B’s on her last report card were directly effected by her cell phone habits saying, “I’ll be reading a book for homework and I’ll get a text message and pause my reading and put down the book, pick up the phone to reply to the text message, and then 20 minutes later realize, ‘Oh, I forgot to do my homework.’ ”  If something as simple as a cell phone could drop a students grades, you could imagine how a personal computer could give a student grief and possibly even make them fail out.

Also attending Woodside High is a student named Vishal Singh.  As you can see in the photo taken of him below he is transfixed by the ominous glare of his computer and the programs it has to offer.  Vishal who was labeled as one of the smartest students in his grade at one time has now earned an overall GPA of 2.3, which he attributes to the programs on his computer and the path of career he has chosen to pursue.  Because his career choice is to make movies one day, he spends a majority of his day on his computer, which gives him ample time to become distracted by the vast array of things one could do on the computer.

While technology has both been a great success in simplifying our everyday lives, the need for self-discipline is necessary.  As a student I catch myself distracted all the time by my computer and I think that if everyone else and I tried a little harder to push the phone and Facebook way a little bit, everyone would be way more successful.  The results are in the technology is hindering our abilities to be socially capable, learn, and focus on the tasks at hand. It just needs to be recognized as a problem and fixed before it is to late and we are numbed humans drooling on our keyboards.

 

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