As I hoist my backpack onto my back, I’m immediately surprised by its lack of weight. Although my shoulders thank me for the relief, my mind whirls, trying to remember what books I’ve forgotten. But that’s just it, I haven’t forgotten any. Taking part in the over-tech-ing of our society, my school has decided to replace my books with “iBooks,” my pencil with a stylus, my conversations with blog posts.
First period, as I walk into Spanish, I’m greeted with “Hola, vamos a utilizar una nueva aplicación en el iPad!” After fishing out the slab of metal, I struggle to add accents to my essay and shudder as the notes I’m writing with my pointer finger are barely legible. Across the hall to Statistics, my teacher furiously writes notes on the board, while everyone snaps pictures instead of copying them down with pencil and paper. It’s already third period, and I’ve not had a single face-to-face discussion with a peer or teacher.
Don’t get me wrong, I think innovation is wonderful. I’m all for the revolutionary improvements that technology brings to our world in medicine, in politics, in engineering. But as my classes become more about my connection with my screen than my connection with actual people, I’ve started to question the overuse of technology. How much is too much?
Perhaps we need to think about technology as the brownies we want to eat. If we indulge in too many in one sitting, our bellies will hurt, and if we chow down on trays of blondies week after week, we’ll awaken to find we’re burdened by fifteen extra pounds.
Right now, Twitter has created an environment for people to bash others without taking responsibility, and blogging anonymously has replaced real-time discussion with an audience whose feelings sit right before you. We’re developing a generation of kids and adults so tied to their screens that they cannot communicate without them –– who easily dismiss the emotions of those on the receiving end of their comments. Yes, it’s a cold, easy dependence.
So I’m currently stuck between two worlds--one on paper and one on a screen. What worries me? Waking up one day and realizing that going to a coffee shop, pulling out my tattered "Pride and Prejudice" and discussing it with friends might become a thing of the past –– and that’s something I'm not willing to accept without a fight.