Plug In or Unplug?
December 17, 2015
The Future is Here. Don’t Get Left Behind
There is no doubt about it, technology makes us smarter as a society. The access to an unlimited number of sources for any topic imaginable, ability to share creativity, and communication aspects of technology today give people amazing potential for intelligence. The incredible power of technology, combined with the never ending ways in which it is inserted into everyday life, make information accessible to more people every day.
With new inventions such as the Apple Watch, it is even easier than before to not only access information, but to communicate with people you know. The ability to stay connected wherever you go allows workers and students to be more productive with their time can focus their extra time on thinking of new solutions to problems.
Technology is beneficial and also very distracting, but the benefits outweigh the distractions.”
— Whitney Reek
Technology has changed the way students learn. Before the internet, if a student didn’t understand the material the way their teacher or textbook presented it they would be thought of as incapable of learning and unintelligent. As a result of technology, teachers anywhere in the world are able to share their methods of teaching the same material for a student to access. This means that if students are confused by a subject, they are able to access it in a way that they can understand it and meet their full potential. This doesn’t only apply to students, even people who aren’t in school have access to online courses and the internet in general which allows them to educate themselves as well. Technology allows each person the opportunity to learn in a way that they can maximize their potential therefore increasing the overall intelligence of society and our future.
The ability to share ideas gives anyone the opportunity to be heard. The collaborative aspect of the internet allows people to see different viewpoints then they would have thought of on their own. This allows people to become more knowledgeable about the problems facing the world. Say you were interested in learning more about the conflict in Israel, you would be able to find multiple credible sources supporting different sides of the conflict. This is much better than asking just one person such as a parent or friend. Sure, your parent or friend may have accurate information, but are they going to be able to give you an unbiased and complete assessment of the situation? Most likely not.
The ability to connect us to a collection of knowledge and information larger than any library imaginable and be able to use it to communicate and learn is something only technology can offer and that is why it continues to make us smarter every day.
A Text a Day Takes the Words Away
It is amazing how many different forms of communication and language there are in the world. Even when we don’t speak the same language we can still find a way to communicate. In school we are required to take English every year to develop a stronger vocabulary and become educated in using proper grammar. I know most of us hate vocabulary and grammar, but it is an important skill to have in everyday life. With the continuing advancement of technology, it seems that our language is becoming somewhat lost.
As high schoolers, we have become absorbed in the world within our phones where we can Google anything at any time, be on social media all day and abbreviate what we want to say in our text messages. We live in a world where we can’t imagine what our lives would be like without our phones. They are very convenient and useful tools to have, but the fact that our generation is losing valuable communication and language skills is concerning.
We abbreviate phrases, change the spelling of words to make them shorter and use very basic vocabulary and grammar to be “more efficient.” I hear new slang words and see new abbreviations for phrases all the time. Usually I don’t even know what they mean. Even things as simple as “lol” are showing up in everyday speech, not just in text messages. There isn’t really a point to abbreviating things when we talk, so why do it? Maybe it has become habitual. IDK, but I don’t see the point. I understand the use of them to make texting easier, and I also understand that texting is a great way to talk with others. I just find face-to-face conversations to be much more valuable.
Technology can benefit us if people are responsible and don’t get distracted by social media in class.”
— Lydia Shields
Rather than talking to someone in person, we would rather text them to discuss something or make plans. Most people would say that texting is an easier form of communication, which is all fine and dandy. Though, it is a lot easier to misunderstand a text message than a face to face conversation, or phone call. In text messages tones can be misinterpreted and language can be misunderstood. In these cases it feels like more conflict is created through the use of texting.
By taking time away from our phones and communicating in person, we could build a bigger, better vocabulary, eliminate conflicts that evolve from misinterpretation and be able to better enjoy the world around us. Spend some time smelling actual roses, not Googling a picture of them. Take a day to put the phone away.