In 1953, the notable author of dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury, feared and predicted that the creation of television would take away from the interest in reading literature. Bradbury was in fact one of the first individuals to recognize the television media as ‘fake news’, when he said, “They stuff you with so much useless information, you feel full.” He felt this belief deep within his core, but unfortunately one person could not prevent America from becoming the society that we are today. The American people have evolved into tech zombies because of new but unnecessary products like hover boards and the modernization of too many iPhones that lure the wants of children, teens, and adults. This continuous cycle of improved devices have caused a technological addiction for many resulting in the waste of valuable time. Technology has consumed every facet of our lives making today’s agenda postpone to tomorrow’s. Our American population needs to value the beauty of our authentic culture instead of abusing our access to Wi-Fi.
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as the Internet. Nearly before the nineteenth century drew to a close, Americans from all over the country embraced the modernized leisure activities available to them at the time, while enjoying the great outdoors. Amusement parks welcomed enthusiastic crowds of people onto their roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Baseball became an enjoyable spectator sport and emerged into American culture, as novelist Mark Twain defined the sport as, “The very symbol and visible expression of the drive and push and rush and struggle of the raging, tearing, booming nineteenth century.” In addition to this light, the easy-to-use Kodak camera innovated by George Eastman ushered the field of photojournalism. Even amateur photographers glorified their silly photographs, meanwhile our generation today struggles to appreciate the nature of our country due to the fact that we give all of our attention to our phones, as some have grown an emotional attachment to them.
A new, disconcerting study conducted by the University of Washington’s Injury Prevention Center confirmed that one in three Americans use their phones while crossing busy streets. We are in fact obsessed with our screens. Indeed, Ray Bradbury’s fear came to life, and his original predictions were spot on as he wrote that, “Radio has contributed to our growing lack of attention”, and our lack of awareness to our surroundings has definitely worsened because of the cell phone. According to CNN News, “52% of teens feel that they spend way too much time on their mobile devices” (Wallace). If this is the case, we need to end the 21st century addiction with the substitution of literature, and the aforementioned author would undoubtedly agree. Books expose readers to all sorts of issues with real information and insight, all in order to provoke thoughts and stimulate discussion about hidden problems. After finishing the tales, we grow thicker in wisdom and apply this deep realization to our own lives. There are issues floating around in our breathing air, and this fruitful, learning experience helps us to discover and confront the root of a problem by sugarcoating alarming but crucial truths. We cannot let that book sit upon our bedside tables for another night. Let’s put our phones to rest, and instead value life as it is and show that we have the power to excel and overachieve.