Dear Technology

20 Nov

Dear Technology,

I have a lot of things to thank you about. For instance today you made it possible for me to fix my car without direct help from anybody. Through my cell phone I was able to take a picture of my battery, send it to my dad, and speak to him on speaker phone while I figured out how to boost my car and get it to start. This is something I was not comfortable doing, and was able to because of my phone. I also was able to use my phone to call CAA who came to help me, but after I had already started my car.

But the question I have for you, technology, is why I couldn’t fix my car on my own. Today I learned I don’t have very many life skills when it comes to my car. I can only now boost my car, I can’t change my oil, I can’t change a flat tire. I have absolutely no clue. Why? CAA is just a call away, and I am the most used CAA member in my family. Maybe I should take the time and learn how to properly use and take care of my car?

This little incident sparked my interest in you, technology, today, and I have been thinking about you ever since. The reason to blog? Are We Digital Dummies

With all my love,
Samantha Douglas

I have always thought of myself as a multi tasker, and I would be lying to say that I don’t text, or go on facebook constantly throughout the day. It is habit. Watching this documentary has changed a lot of my views on my own technology use. I spend too much time on the computer and I spend way too much time texting.

This should probably change, but it is an addiction I am just not ready to give up, but at least I am aware of it. I am especially aware of my cellphone addiction now because I just did the Crackberry Quiz mentioned in the video that told me I have a painful addiction at a 20 points.

Enough about me, lets talk about society, especially as an educator. What am I going to do when I have a class full of students who don’t listen to a word I am saying? How am I going to teach kids to be functioning members of society, which is separate from the technological contributions they might make? How am I going to adjust my teaching to suite technology? It scares me!

There is too much reliance on technology. Watching this video has reminded me of a very powerful story called The Feeling Of Power By Isaac Asimov. When I took ECMP 355 it was something I was reminded about, and blogged about then, but originally I read this short story in grade 10. This story really emphasizes how technology, when relied upon too heavily and not taught in a proper way, takes away the importance of our ability to think.

The society we live in is full of people wanting to go faster, get things done quicker, and expand as quickly and competently as possible. Is this necessarily a good thing? What happens when we expand too much, and the world can’t support us anymore? David Suzuki talks about Exponential Growth, and the effects that it has on our society. Technology is only aiding to how quickly our world is growing.

A part in the documentary that really affected me was the part about the destruction of family life. I know that my texting upsets my family members, and I always just assume that it is because they don’t have cell phones and they don’t understand, but that is far from it being okay to do. It’s rude, and disrespectful, and I know this and do it anyways because it is a part of my daily routine, whereas spending time with my family is not. This aspect of technology reminded me of another short story The Veldt by Ray Bradbury, which I have also blogged about in ECMP 355. Although I am not thinking of having children any time soon, I do think about what it would be like to be a mother, and I am overwhelmed with the thought of having to constrict time with technology for my kids.

It is very easy to talk about the benefits of technology, every day a new one springs up. Technology as a whole is constantly growing, making itself better, more accessible and easier to use, we need to make sure we learn how to use it effectively. Also, because of this fact, it is really easy to not think of the negative sides of the issue.

My goal before the end of the year is to go a week using the minimal amount of technology possible, just to see what it would feel like. That means no cellphone, no facebook, no twitter, no internet, no computer, no tv, basically no anything. I’m not ready to do it right at this moment, but it is going to happen.

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2 Responses to “Dear Technology”

  1. Dean Shareski November 20, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    Great reflection. This is going to continue to be an important conversation. It’s actually simple economics. Any time you have an abundance…information and technology, you have a scarcity in other areas…attention. This is a concern as well as the etiquette.

    However after watching the documentary, it certainly paints a one sided picture. The generalizations that students aren’t reading or the examples of internet addiction are dangerous examples to show. There are as many students to suggest the opposite.

    The power and appeal of technology is huge. We are going to have to figure things out and as teachers, we’ll need to be doing it more and more.

  2. samanthadouglas November 20, 2010 at 6:24 am #

    I have been finding it has been so easy finding the appeal of technology that I forget about what negative sides there could be. It’s not like technology is going anywhere.

    I have been having lots of arguments with people about cell phones, and they are clearly more and more common so there has to be a way to create a balance. I have also been told I couldn’t go a day without my phone so I almost want to just see if I could do it, just to see what the difference would be.

    I don’t think I would prefer not having technology around me, but I guess I never actually have. Maybe I could find a good balance

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