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Technology: Reliable or Just Convenient

My parents have an odd sense of humor. At least, in comparison to me and the people I hang out with. Any time I find something funny, my parents think I’m weird. While they, in my opinion, think that the randomest things are funny. And if my parents find something funny, they will squeeze the living daylight out of it. Every single time we sit down for dinner, they will find a way to work their favorite joke or funny instance into the conversation. This will go on until they find something else that they think is even funnier. The joke that they currently are on is actually from a commercial for insurance. I know, ridiculous, right? And I’ve been hearing the same line for at least a month now. I guess all parents have their quirks. Mine’s just happen to be to continually repeat stupid jokes they hear in commercials. At least that’s one of them. In my opinion, the fact that State Farm is trying to cover up any rumors said about them on the Internet with mindless humor in their commercials is funnier than the actual joke. Anyways, the story behind the commercial, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is that a woman is talking to her friend, and she says she has a date with a French model she met on the Internet. An overweight ‘computer geek’ with a fanny pack that obviously does not fit that description shows up and says “Bonjour”, and she leaves with him. This is State Farm’s poor attempt to send the message that everything you read on the Internet isn’t true. My parents find this commercial hilarious, whereas I find it painfully accurate.
In all honesty, I believe I am growing up in the last generation that will know what an encyclopedia is and how to use one. We are the last people to know how to use books, actual, paper books, and several of them, to do research. We are the last people to be just a little skeptical of the information given to us through the Internet. Why is that? Because we are the last people who learned anything different. The speed at which society has adapted to using technology as their number one resource is impeccable, almost to the point where it doesn’t seem worth arguing its legitimacy. But how can we not? It just all seems too...easy. It still blows my mind. For example, just last night while watching a Disney movie, I wondered who voiced one of the characters because he sounded familiar. I didn’t even have to get off of the couch to find out. I whipped out my iPod touch, went to IMDB and found out the actors’ name almost instantly. And, let’s face it, where else is a fact like that recorded other than the Internet? Encyclopedias are pretty much extinct, and, if the movie is new enough, there aren’t likely to be many books out about the actual screenplay. We have become reliant on the information on the Internet, a resource so fragile that an entire country can lose all connections overnight.
My point is, what if that happens? In the near future, no one will question the Internet’s reliability because there will be nothing else to reference. Not only that, but the whole idea of handwriting your own ideas will also become nonexistent if we continue on at the pace we are going in the advancements of technology. Our faces will become forever glued to the glowing screen, our backs forever hunched over in the position that is comfortable to see the screen at but uncomfortable as soon as you stand up. And is that okay?
I don’t think so. Because of how fragile Internet connections truly are, we need to know how to use paper resources, how to write down notes and ideas on paper, how to use a pencil for goodness sakes! And, not only is the Internet fragile, but it is also wasteful. According to an article from the New York Times entitles Power, Pollution, and the Internet, there are tens of thousands of data centers located all over the world that actually contain and support the digital information that makes up the Internet. These data bases consume vast amounts of energy in a wasteful manner. Not only that, but they also rely on generators that emit diesel exhaust that pollutes the air. As more and more social media programs and websites are created, more energy is eaten up and spewed out as harmful gases by these data centers. Of course, the opposing side would say that cutting down trees to make paper is wasteful as well, but we can regrow trees. We cannot get back the non polluted air and expensive, used up energy.
Just the fact that anyone with Internet connection can access and change any and every piece of information you find on the Internet should be enough encouragement to understand how to use other resources. Sure computers, laptops, and smart phones are faster, easier, and more convenient. But is speed and convenience really more important than reliability and the environment? Just think, people like the fanny pack guy from the State Farm commercial are posting lies on the Internet all the time, and we believe them! All we are doing is giving insurance companies commercial ideas for my parents to laugh about.




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