If Technology Didn’t Exist

If Technology Didn’t Exist

Who knows where we may be?
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Today most people can't go five minutes without looking at their phone. People couldn't remember their grocery list, find directions to get somewhere or even wake up at the right time in the morning without their phones. Technology has had an enormous impact on everyday life over the last century.

If technology didn't exist, who knows where we may be? Life would be simpler; there would be no YouTube, no google, not even TV. No nuclear weapons, no hackers, there might not even be airplanes!

How would we communicate? Would we send letters? What about travel? Would there still be cars? Maybe kids would play outside, kick around a soccer ball for fun or play tag. Maybe kids would play board games and card games. Maybe teenagers would talk to their friends, laugh and have fun together. Maybe they would get off their phones, stop texting and scrolling through Instagram.

How would adults do their jobs? What about authors? Would they hand-write their books? Would there be typewriters? Maybe they would have to write each copy that they wanted to sell by hand. How about salesmen? How would they ring up someone's purchase, would they not have computers? Does that mean there wouldn't be credit cards? What about construction workers? With no cars there would be no construction vehicles. Would they build and dig and lift by hand?

Scientists can't make up their minds on whether technology is good or bad. There are many theories about how technology has made us antisocial and how it makes us dumber. Intelligence Squared discussed the pros and cons of advanced technology in a recent article. “Smart technology creates dependency on devices, narrows our world to echo chambers, and impairs cognitive skills through shortcuts and distraction,” they said, explaining technology’s negative effects.

However, technology is also extremely useful and convenient. A pro-technology website claims technology “basically refers to bringing together tools that ease creation, use and exchange of information, [and] has a major goal of making tasks easier to execute as well as solving many mankind’s problems.”

Technology can lead to people becoming uneducated and antisocial, it can be a lifesaver and helpful tool in communication and education or a go-to thing to do when you're bored. No matter what it is, life would be a whole lot different without it. So who knows what it would be like if technology didn't exist?

Cover Image Credit: Robert W Mills

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I Was Accidentally Charged $700, Had My Picture Published As Someone Else And Only Embraced Internet Security Afterwards

Pay attention to where you information is on the Internet because it could be misused without you ever knowing.
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Bing. Email.

"You sent a payment of $663 to Facebook."

Bing. Text.

"Hey, this is your picture in this magazine. I didn't know you were a doctoral student conducting research with your professors."

Sadly, both of those scenarios were me, all in a span of three months. Let me explain:

Last semester, I took a class that required to learn and execute Facebook Ads. Obviously, a credit card was linked so students were not using their own money. Well, somehow my PayPal got linked to the student account (my fault, and I'm not ashamed to share that). It charged me once at $30 and got it reversed on my own, so I didn't tell anyone.

Then it happened again, double that amount.

So, I told my professor (good idea, Rebecca). We had quite the banter back and forth with Facebook, and they ended up taking even more from my account instead of giving it back to me. Well, they fixed that, but I still didn't have the funds back from the second time. Let's just say we settled the second time around - I got about half back, but I'm not mad because I thought I wouldn't get anything back.

Fast forward to this semester. I got an email last Wednesday informing me Facebook had charged me almost $700 for Facebook Ads. To be really honest, I flipped out. I thought this was over with, and I was afraid I wouldn't get the money back. Long story short, there was a mistake and my card was never removed from the class that had access to these funds.

My point here is, know exactly where your information is going on the Internet, whether it be Facebook Ads and PayPal or Facebook and those games that you get annoying notifications for. Thankfully, I am getting a total refund.

Last year, I was in an intern for CollegeFashionista.

Basically, I took photos of fashion and wrote blog posts about it, and I had a profile picture just like any other communication medium. For some reason, whenever I googled my name, this photo of me would pop up - none from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc..

About a year later, my roommate's grandma texted her, "Hey isn't this your roommate?"

The photo I mentioned earlier had been mistakenly placed in a magazine, wrongly attributing me as a doctoral communication student.

Now, that sounds fancy, but it is still my photo in a magazine, with no permission to use.

I had mistakenly gotten into a slew of emails, and the reporter had googled my name instead of the correct Rebecca. Apparently, he used the first photo that popped up.

What if that wasn't even the correct Rebecca?

Pay attention! Pay attention where your photos are, whether it be on a blog, social media, etc. If you have to, put a Google Alert for your name. I would have never found out about it, and the magazine probably would have never mentioned it to me.

You know how annoying it is when you try to make an easy password, but you didn't put a special character in? Just do it. Protect your stuff, and know where your information goes.

Cover Image Credit: Rebecca Calloway

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What I Learned From My Broken Computer

Don't rely on a fragile device.
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July and August of 2016 were exciting months. I began drafting my first novel (still unfinished), got my first smartphone, took a trip down the Oregon and California coasts, got my first computer, and started college. Yay!

As you see, I've only had my own personal computer for about 20 months. In that time, I've used it extensively for schoolwork, writing, and, yes, social media. Without realizing it, I quickly became attached to the sleek silver clamshell. Much of what was important to me was done through my computer.

It was great.

Let me emphasize "was". Just a couple weeks ago, my keyboard and trackpad more or less stopped working, and I haven't been able to get it fixed yet. I can kind of do stuff with an external keyboard plugged in, but the trackpad is stuck on right-click, which is a challenge. None of this is conducive to working on homework (or anything else) efficiently.

I never knew how much I relied on my computer until I couldn't use it anymore. I was so used to having my own computer that I took it for granted. Now, I must be intentional about my computer usage, since I either borrow my mom's computer or use the computer labs at school. I can't just casually flip it open and poke through Facebook.

A while ago, I deleted Facebook from my phone because I realized that it was too much of a temptation for wasting time. Surely I wouldn't spend as much time on social media if I was only logged in on my computer. I was wrong, of course.

The internet is unequivocally a major distraction. It's so easy to say I'm just going to check if there's any important communication, but that quickly turns into a half hour of mindlessly wandering Facebook, Twitter, and DeviantArt. When it wasn't social media, I'd be looking up news about upcoming Star Wars and Avengers movies, or browsing through old pictures in my library.

Let me make something clear: I did not throw all of my wasted time to entirely brainless pursuits. My computer had pseudo-productive ways for me to fritter away the hours. I would get worldbuilding ideas for a potential and spend a while typing and researching, or maybe work on updating my campus bird list. While these things are not wrong in and of themselves, they are a problem when they interfere with my responsibilities.

Now that my access to computers is more limited, I am forced to be much more careful with how I spend my time on the computer. A much greater proportion of my computer time these days is actually productive, compared to when I freely opened my computer whenever I wanted to. Overall, I'm also spending less time on the computer.

The results have been mostly positive, I think. The reduced screen time is great for my eyes. I rediscovered the joy of writing stories by hand, and I've had more time to read. Except for when I have urgent assignments, I'm not on the computer late at night, which is good for helping me fall asleep. And as I already said, I'm becoming more efficient with my computer.

Unfortunately, I still procrastinate like nobody's business. It just takes different forms now. For example, I spent an hour and a half reading a novel when I should have been showering, studying, and getting ready for bed. I play games with my sister. Again, these things are wonderful, but only when I'm not putting off responsibility.

Time management is a completely different issue from computer attachment, which has finally sunk in. Okay, I know not to rely on computers so much anymore. That's a good thing. The habit of procrastination will take longer to break, since it's been with me for as long as I can recall, plus my prefrontal cortex isn't fully developed yet.

But hey, I'm making progress. With God's grace, I will continue to mature and learn how to handle my inclination to laziness. Breaking my attachment to my computer was a strong first step.

Cover Image Credit: montillon.a (via Flickr)

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