July 27, 2008
By Brittany Carmack SILVER, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Brittany Carmack SILVER, Lawrenceville, Georgia
6 articles 0 photos 0 comments

“idk, my bff, Jill?” This instant messaging lingo line ends the popular Cingular commercial that promotes family share plans and texting deals. And while this commercial presents the cell phone world in a witty and humorous way, it also reveals a growing problem in the next generation. With advancements in technology steadily growing, reliance on these new inventions has started creating socially deficient, unappreciative, and lazy students.

With the introduction of instant messaging, text messaging, and facebook or myspace, a face-to-face conversation is no longer the only option for having a conversation with someone. Two-dimensional conversations give students the opportunity to say something they may not feel comfortable saying in person. This often leads to more aggressive discussion where words may be said that are offensive, rude, and unnecessary. The ability to hold a face-to-face, three-dimensional dialogue with another person is an important skill to have, and losing could cause even greater problems in society.
While hindering the next generation’s capability to have a normal conversation with someone else, technology has also made people unappreciative of what they have. Technology distracts from the simple beauty of nature, and few people today take the time to stop and admire the beauty around them. During the time that Henry David Thoreau lived by Walden Pond, he had no technological distractions and was able to marvel at the “hollow and lichen-covered apple trees, gnawed by rabbits, showing what kind of neighbors he should have”. He rid himself of worldly “necessities” and allowed himself to truly live a simple life, realizing that “money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul…”. The most important qualities and possessions in life cannot be bought, sold, or made of machinery metal. Video games consume many teenage boys’ lives, and leave them no time to interact with their friends and families. Thoreau revealed the danger in being consumed by technology through his quote: “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us…”. Thoreau recognized the negative effects of technology, and tried to warn his readers about them, though it appears society today chooses to ignore him.
When technology makes life easier, students see no reason to do work themselves. When asked, numerous high school students at Peachtree Ridge High School admitted they have become calculator dependent and require their TI-90 PLUS Gold Edition just to divide 51 by 3. (Which equals 17.) Their simple math memory loss demands that they whip out their calculators every time a problem arises instead of working out the problem in their heads. Ralph Waldo Emerson would be disgusted with the work ethic of students today. Emerson declared, “A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best”. He does not say a man is happy when a machine does his work for him. He does not say a man is happy when he takes the easy and fast way out. No. Emerson states a man is happy when he puts his heart into the work. Technology has created lazy people that want to put no effort into achieving their goals.
Though technology has its advantages and has provided us with electricity and other useful inventions, it can also have damaging consequences when over-used. Overuse leads to lacking communication skills, no appreciation for nature, and lazy work ethics. Not to say that you should not use technology; technology was even used to put this article together. Simply follow Thoreau’s and Emerson’s advice and monitor technology use. Well, I g2g. ttyl.

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