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It Depends On You

As you can see from this picture, how technology is viewed and used depends on the person viewing and using the technology. The picture above is a screen shot of the laptop I got for college. As a business major, any laptop would have sufficed, but this one is particularly interesting because it is my first indows computer. At the time that I purchased it, I did not !now e"actly how beneficial it would be as far as the technology aspect goes. I soon got a taste of what that meant when I entered the #irst Year riting program here at De$aul %niversity. &aving this laptop has showed me how much I depend on technology. I am actually re'uired to bring it to my writing class every time we have a session. This was and still is shoc!ing to me because in my high

school laptops, and other electronic devices, were prohibited unless you had illegible handwriting. (ow I carry my laptop everywhere because I never !now when I)m going to have to loo! something up or even when I)m bored and need a game to play. I can admit that I have been to the campus library once to actually wor! on a project. I mostly use the library as a place to meet with a friend or classmate. In class we often discussed how technology is different for different people. *y instructor showed the class videos and assigned class readings to help tie+in our ongoing discussion about the effects of technology in the classroom as well as in our social lives and across generations. In addition to that, my professor also re'uired me to conduct interviews with people outside the class on the subject. One of the authors we engaged with during the class readings was (icholas ,arr, a writer on the social, business, and economic implications of technology. ,arr says that the internet has affected his ability to concentrate. In response to this, -ohn (aughton, author of .The Internet/ Is It ,hanging the ay e thin!01, incorporates the opinions and viewpoints of people from all types of professions into his article. Included in these professions are those in Academia such as professors, writers, and novelists and those who wor! in the field of science such as psychiatrists, neurobiologists, and cognitive neuroscientists. 2arah ,hurchwell, a writer included in (aughton)s article, states ....what I can attest to is that the internet is changing our habits of thin!ing, which isn)t the same thing as changing our brains.1 On the other hand, a novelist named (aomi Alderman stated in the same article, .2o of course the internet changes our brains. &ow could it not01 &ow can a person tell which one is right and which is wrong0 There may not necessarily be a .right1 or .wrong1 answer. It all depends on who you)re as!ing. This brings me to the interviews we had to conduct in order to get different viewpoints about technology and its impact across generations, hopefully to gain perspectives that can be compared to my own life and also to the readings. The interviews served as a way to view the opinions on technology from those of older and3or younger generations than myself. I chose to interview my sister Ale"is because she)s very in tune to what the people of her generation are feeling as it pertains to technology.

In her interview she said that she)d . go to a partner)s home to use the computer to wor! on a project instead of going to the library.1 I thought this was interesting because she agrees with my view on school wor! or other projects. There is more of a convenience of wor!ing at home than at the library. I have access to the same resources the library has, maybe even more. ,arr)s personal .struggle1 with concentration ties in to the more general concern that technology is ta!ing over our brains when it comes to being critically engaged in deep academic reading. It might be safe to assume that this is why *ar! 4auerlein, author of .The Dumbest 5eneration1, said that he feels that .the digital age stupefies young Americans.1 4auerlein believes that because students no longer go to the history museums or chec! out boo!s from the library as much as in his youth that we are becoming unable to obtain !nowledge. I did find this offensive because I)m a part of the generation he thin!s has become so disengaged. *y sister is part of this generation as well. I feel that he has generali6ed a generation that

he does not understand because he is not a part of it. hat)s more, my professor was a student of 4auerlein)s. 2he informed us of how he often used the internet to pull up videos and other resources. 2he believes that, if anything, it helped her ma!e deeper connections to the value of traditional literature in comparison to a modern perspective. 4auerlein had to use the internet more than he cared to reflect on. (ot only were his students re'uired to use the internet, he also had to use it in order to understand and engage his students. *y mother, as seen in photo below, would be from 4auerlein)s generation. I chose to interview her because of the generational differences I thought she may have had. hen as!ed how she would react if she wo!e up to a world without smart+phones in her interview, she said that she .would be lost, everyone would be.1 This came as a total shoc! to me. I thought that because of the age difference that her attitude toward technology would be more resistant.

This shows that even those of an older generation have become engulfed in technology)s grasp. 4y no means am I discrediting 4auerlein, but I am in fact saying that he has generali6ed his viewpoint on people and the way they use technology. 4auerlein)s claims are that the actual intelligence of people in my generation are affected because of the internet. ,arr, author of .Is 5oogle *a!ing %s 2tupid01, said .Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. (ow I 6ip along the surface li!e a guy on a -et 2!i.1 ,arr is e"hibiting the same effects as someone in my generation which further reveals how 4auerlein made

generali6ations. The ability to concentrate is affected not the actual intelligence of a person. I do thin! that technology can be good and bad. 7very day on campus, I see people wal!ing with their heads down in their phones and not being aware of their environment. This is obviously a problem with technology. 7ven I)ve been as!ed by someone of an older generation why all the young people wal!ing with their heads down all the time. I could do nothing but laugh because he was right in as!ing that. Although there has been a social .unawareness1 that has manifested from technology, there have been advancements in education because of technology. (onetheless these advancements have been critici6ed just as how the social aspect of technology has been critici6ed. Ta!e the $ower$oint program for instance. -ulia 8eller, journalist for the ,hicago Tribune, compares $ower$oint to cocaine in her essay called .Is $ower$oint the Devil01 2he believes that $ower$oint promotes narrow thin!ing and understanding comple" material. 2he believes that bullet points are too constraining. I wouldn)t go so far as to say that. $ower$oint has made it easier to teach information to students so that they get the main points and ideas when a teacher is covering a topic. *y own teachers use $ower$oint from time to time and I find them very helpful. The bullets ma!e it easier to understand as well as retain the main points that I need to !now about the material.

2teven $in!er, a psychology professor at &arvard %niversity, says in his article ,.*ind Over *ass *edia1, .far from ma!ing us stupid, technologies are the only things that will !eep us smart.1 Technology has many aspects that can be both beneficial and detrimental to those who use it. #or some, technology help ma!e things more convenient, as in the case of my mother and sister. #or others, technology limits our ability to be innovative, as in the case of 8eller and 4auerlein. (o matter the generation, technology will only continue to advance as the generations go on. e don)t !now whether that)s all good or all bad right now but I)m choosing to do something different with my life. I)m going to delve bac! into my long+lost favorite past time/ reading. It has been a while since I read a boo! for fun so that)s what I)m going to try to do more often. hether they will be electronic or print is yet to be !nown. I guess it depends on me.