Technology: Help or Hinder Our Community?
Technology is a wonderful thing for so many different reasons. I personally like it so much because it makes talking with my family and friends all the way back home in Massachusetts that much easier and faster. It helps when I’m feeling homesick, and I can just get on the phone or get on Skype and talk with my loved ones. Technology is great because it puts so many resources at our feet; so many ways to connect, to share, and to learn through technology.
There is, of course, a bad side to technology. I think that we tend to take it too far with technology. What I mean by that is that I think a lot of us, especially in our American society, are addicted to our technology; our smartphones, iPhones, all kinds of apple products, videos games, even movies.
I honestly think that we have become a lazier society since we’ve become more advanced with technology. Instead of going out outside and exploring, or reading a book, or playing a board game, we instead choose to sit ourselves in front of a screen, whether it be a computer screen, tv/movie screen, video game screen, phone screen, etc. I think because of this, we’ve lost some of our creativity.
One of the biggest problems I have with technology is that because of it, we’ve lost the value of face-to-face interaction. Today’s teenagers and young children tend to hide behind their technology; even instead of calling a person, we text them, so there’s not even any voice interaction. I worked at a Christian summer camp this past summer, and one of the rules of being on staff was that phones were only allowed in the cabins during work hours and that we could only get on the internet in the dining hall. This allowed for conversation and community building within the cabins and within those on staff. One of the rules of being a camper is that you aren’t allowed your phone, iPod, computer, etc. at all, and if you are caught with them, they will be taken away until you leave to go back home at the end of the week. This way, campers can connect with their counselor, the other kids in their cabin, the speaker, the band, the staff, etc. without being distracted by the outside world and their technology. Technology can connect us in so many ways, but it can also tear us apart.
Another problem that has been growing the past couple of years is the way that bullies attack their victims. Though there’s still physical & verbal bullying in schools or somewhere outside of school, kids nowadays prefer bullying through the internet and different kinds of social media. I have seen countless formspring accounts where kids have left anonymous comments about how much they don’t like that person or different insults and slurs to bring that person down. The internet has given way to so many new forms of bullying, and like formspring, you are able to remain anonymous if you wish to.
So, where does that leave us? Is technology good or is it bad when it comes to our community? Technology has done so many good things for our community and it doesn’t feel right to call it bad, but it does hinder our community in many ways.