Friday, April 27, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Technology

So on my morning run I was thinking about technology and whether I am glad or not that I grew up without Facebook (this stemmed from a friend yesterday telling me she is glad she didn't) and other forms of social networking. I find it easier sometimes to work with pros and cons list (although, I have never actually written one so I do not know why I said that), so here is my pros and cons list for technology.

Pros:

1.It's great for long distance relationships. Those that know me well would know that I'm in one. Without Skype, mobile phones, and Facebook it would be near impossible to keep up. Sure, she writes me lots of letters and posts them (which I love), but I am much less organised, and even if I wrote a letter I doubt I'd remember to post it. I remember when I was in year 8 I fell for a boy at a holiday place. When I got back home I wrote some long tragic poem about long distance keeping us apart. We lived twenty minutes away from each other. Such a tragic love story it was, we ended up not talking because house phones were the only form of contact. Now, imagine if today I had have met that thirteen year old (implying that I am too thirteen). We could have lived happily ever after. Well, except that he's a male. My year 8's write journals and one boy wrote a big entry about a girl he is in love with, but it's hard because she lives twenty minutes away. Maybe it isn't so easy now-a-days after all. I wanted to write back "try living interstate then come talk to me".

2. Accessing information. I honestly think one of the most used statements these days is "I'll Google it". You can Google anything, and usually it will give you an answer. It did not give me the answer though when I Googled (apparently 'Googled' isn't a word. If someone can tell me the past tense of Google I'd love to know) the other week if having sex with an animal the same gender as you makes you homosexual. People keep telling me that's not the main issue with that, which of course I understand, but I'm still intrigued to know. Anyway, accessing information is great. Watching YouTube clips all day long of people getting sex changes will always interest me. It is a one click encyclopaedia (poor Britannia must be bankrupt these days). It has allowed you to read this. What a huge pro.

3. And all the obvious ones. Keeps you in touch with friends (because we are so lazy these days and do not know how to interact outside of technology).

4.Entertains you (because we all have an attention span of about 0.3 seconds). Games are only one click away, so are videos and music. Score!

5.Gives you directions (no cons to this). Navman is the greatest invention of all time.

I understand I added some cons in with the pros, but I only tend to go well with stream of consciousness writing, so that's just how it must be.

Cons:

1. Although accessing information is great, it can allow for a few problems. The first, which I have been guilty to do, is cause medical self diagnosis. Any time I have the slightest headache I will Google it, and decide that I have some life threatening disorder. I have done tests for every psychological disorder, and according to the Internet, I have every illness in the DSM. I should be in a straight jacket, locked up, and given shock therapy. We need to be careful how much we access, and how much we believe in what we access. Do not believe everything you read. Trust me! Therefore, you may not have to believe what I have written. Once again, trust me. I am never wrong.

2. As a teacher technology can be a huge pain in the backside for the following reasons: kids copy and paste the Internet for their work. Kids do not think for themselves and get off their butt and look in a book for something. Fighting constantly with iPhone's and laptops for attention is GRRR!! I know myself as a student that I would have done the same thing, bringing my phone to class, but as a teacher it is a pain.

3. This one is a bit more of a serious one. Kids today get no time out from social pressures that come along at school. It is a huge cause for bullying, and they simply don't get a break anymore like I used to. People simply say 'don't use Facebook then', or 'delete the person causing problems'. Think back to when you were a teenager (or if you are a teenager, just think). Fitting in and being accepted is very important. If you are not in the click it can be torturous (trust me, I know as I was never really a cool kid). Not using something that goes along with being cool, excludes you from so much. I don't envy kids these days in that regard.

4. Break ups - Try a break up these days with technology. You can't just stop going around to the person's house and not call them at home. NO! You have to block them on Facebook, change your status (along with all the comments that goes along with this), delete the friends you know via them (this is if you really want to just move on), delete them off Instagram, Words with friends, Scramble with friends (everything else with friends), delete them off Skype. Some people may have to go so far as to change their email. Then you have the mobile phone issue. This is even worse when you are out drunk and you just want to send that one text. Imagine back in the 80's in this sito. "Oh, I loveeee them soooooooo much. I just needaaa go ta fijnndd a phonee booth and calll them. Anyone gott 40 centts??" It would have been much more difficult to do. Before phones would have been even more difficult. Who really wants to write a letter, or ride a bike to someone's house when they are plastered? That was rhetorical. You don't have to answer it.

5.  We lack communication skills these days due to technology. It is so much easier now to just send a text, that I fear one day all humans will be mute as they do not know how to verbalise their wants and needs.

6. It has shortened our attention spans. I am not one to really talk about this, as mine is ridiculously short to start off with. Try an experiment for me though. Remove all technology for a day, and then see what you end up doing. Read a book? I did. With less distractions it becomes much easier to sit and focus on other things.

Uh oh, cons has won. (I probably did this intentionally because Converse if my favourite shoe)  I also am aware that there is plenty more pros and cons to technology, but I didn't want to write all day. I am a busy gal, I got things to do. Feel free to add more in the comments.

Here is a song that I find appropriate for this blog. I may add more pros and cons later, but for now I gotta fly because my housemate is about to fly. Seriously, I am driving him to the airport.


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