Technology This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     One Thanksgiving, I was asked a questionby my grandfather, who always seems to have some deep moral hidden inhis questions. He asked if I even knew what technology was in a worldthat itself is a technology. Usually when asked these types ofquestions, I think about them for a while and then forget them. For somereason this question, however, is different. I am constantly reminded ofit because, I suppose, everything around me is technology. I havecontemplated this question for more than a year now and so far, here isthe best answer I have come up with.

Every day something new isinvented to make life easier. What I find strange, though, is that asthe world becomes easier to live in, it seems to need more. People findsolutions for problems that barely exist.

Do I really need thatMP3 player when I can just burn a CD? Or do I even need that CD burnerwhen I can go out and buy the CD? Or do I really need that CD when I canread a book instead? This progression - or regression - could go onforever. For every invention, a new and better one willfollow.

The more I look at the world and technology, the more Ithink about myself. Without even realizing it, my life has beenaffected by technology and its never-ending advances. While Ihave spent days writing endless emails and watching DVDs, I neverstopped to think about the technology behind these devices.

Insixth grade, I learned in history that the biggest advance of theMesolithic Age was the fish hook. A fish hook! The little object thatthose who fish attach to a line and cast out, as they sit for hours andhours reading novels and eating. They wait patiently, their novel halfread and their bag of chips fully digested, waiting to catch a fish thatwill probably require all their strength to haul from thewater.

I thought about this because I found it ironic that anadvance so enormous that it meant the survival of a community couldlater become a pleasurable pastime, its sole purpose now just to catchthe biggest fish. I wonder if fishermen ever think about the skill ittook to create that fish hook, or realize that it was the most importantinvention of a whole age.

I worry that I do not understand thegenius behind technology. I have turned on lamps countless times withoutreally appreciating Thomas Edison’s invention. Talking on thetelephone, I forget to thank Alexander Graham Bell for this miracle ofcommunication.

Even after thinking and writing about technology,I still do not think I have fully answered the question my grandfatherasked me. I believe the answer is no - I do not really know whattechnology is, because everything around me is technology. I supposetechnology is anything from the invention of a fish hook to the abilityto clone sheep. Technology is inevitable.

Through necessity weinvent, and through invention we need more. This never-ending circle oftechnology has brought the world this far. How much more can the worldpossibly need?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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