8 May 2014
Modern Technology: For Better or Worse?
When it comes to the topic of the impact of digital devices or modern technology on society, most of us will readily agree that technology has positive and negative effects on our social and personal life. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of does technology control us? Whereas some are convinced that we need to embrace the technology, others maintain that we are living too much in the virtual. While still others are concerned about how we lose sight of the reality because of technology’s capability to make it happen. Andrew Lam, a Vietnamese journalist and a short story writer makes a point in his article "I Tweet, Therefore I am" about how technology is drastically changing the way we look and react in our society. One of the examples he uses to clarify his point is about the professor who collapsed while preparing to give a lecture. Lam said, "Instead of helping him, many students in the audience took out their cell phones, snapped photos, texted and tweeted" (Lam 1). The students wanted to be the first one to spread the news so that they could gain popularity or feel proud of themselves for having the power of recording the extraordinary event that just happened. As we try to be the first one to tell the news, we don't realize that we are losing our empathy. The students sure did feel badly for their professor, but their first reaction was that they have to record it instead of giving a hand or calling an ambulance. I understand why the students reacted by taking pictures or videos of their professors, because I also had those times where I witnessed some unusual happenings and the first reaction I felt is that I have to take pictures of it and share it with my friends by posting the pictures/videos in social networks I am using. I also understand why Lam is concerned about this, but this is a reality that automatically happens as we immerse in the generation of technology. This is not good because we are letting the influence of technology forget one of the most important aspects of socializing, showing respect and care to someone. We are changing in order to fit in to the digital media and social world. Lam mentions, "Generations have been raised on video games, spent the bulk of their lives in chat rooms and on YouTube, on cellphones and iPods. They have been conditioned to invest the bulk of their emotional life in the virtual space" (Lam 5). I agree that most of us, in this generation, isolate ourselves in our own place inside the technology. It makes us busy in not such a productive way because we can sit in a chair or lie in bed just focusing on our phones, computers or tablets and not realize that we’ve just wasted hours or worse, our whole day. I could stay in my bedroom facing my laptop, chatting my friends for three hours. When I am done with chatting, I close my laptop and start texting. When I don't text I watch funny and interesting videos on my iPod. Therefore, I would say that my daily routine is occupied with technology and mobile devices, whether it is good or not, technology is a part of every single day of my life. As we get benefits in the use of technology, we also need to accept the consequence that comes with it. Lam also makes a strong point when he said his view about the social media and its effects in on our personal lives, "We do not fully exist without some sort of electronic imprint in the virtual world, a digital projection of ourselves" (Lam 25). I agree with that because as I see it, we are now in a generation where people use technology, our life revolves around it, and we introduce ourselves to others using technology. We are then starting to care less and less about our personal lives. We are now posting what we feel on a Facebook status, we tweet our thoughts in Twitter, we even write what we are doing and where we are in our personal blogs. Instead of just...
Cited: Lam, Andrew. "I Tweet, Therefore I Am". Reading Culture: Contexts for Critical Reading and Writing. Ed. Diana George and John Trimbur. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc., 2012 Print.
Turkle, Sherry. "How Computers Change The Way We Think". The Writer 's Presence. Ed.
Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St.Martin 's, 2012. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document