What kind of person am I becoming as a result of all this stuff?
--Howard Rheignold's "Look Who's Talking" in Writing Material
I've found myself asking this question a lot more frequently over the past few years. I can honestly say that my iPhone changed my life. I can't imagine life without it--forget other cell phones all together. The iPhone gives me a different sense of being "connected" with the outside world.
Like Maddie, I often wonder what it would be like to go a day without using my cell phone. Aside from Christmas cards, I never get any full-fledged letters in the mail from my friends or family. In fact, if it werent' for my cell phone, I wouldn't be in contact with very many people at all.
I still haven't decided whether all this new technology is for the greater good or not. Sure Facebook is a great way to stay connected with friends from high school and college, but so is picking up the phone and calling people. There are plenty of people on Facebook who I'm "friends" with, but never actually hung out with outside of classes.
What about all those E-Harmony and other dating website commercials we see online? Do you really mean to tell me that you can't meet anyone you might be compatible with without using an online dating service? Don't you people go out? Shopping? Dinner? Nothing?
As much as I love my iPhone, it's harming in more ways than I'd like to admit. When I'm in a public setting, if I'm uncomfortable or don't know a lot of people, I'll often turn to my phone to search the web, play games or text some of my friends. It's like a little virtual security blanket for me. I'd rather talk to my friends on that little phone than meet new people.
And what about texting? My parents always make comments about the fact that I send close to 5000 text messages every month. "How hard is it to pick up a phone and call someone?" My dad always asks.
My answer: It's not hard at all...its just not as convenient. What if the person I call is at work or in class and can't pick up the phone? Sure they shouldn't be answering my texts if they're at work or in class either but at least I can get ahold of them someway.
I've been saying for ages that technology has spoiled my generation. When the article mentioned that the internet will probably never be accepted in the Amish community because of fear that it would be used for reasons outside of work, I had to laugh a little. Sure my laptop's primary purpose is for me to do homework and write papers for school, but do I use it for fun too? Absolutely, and probably more frequently than I do to write papers or do my homework. Technology's definitely giving us a lot of opportunities that past generations will never experience, but I'm still not convinced that there are no negative side effects.
**UPDATE** Ironic as it may be, I thought I'd share with my readers that yesterday while I was eating lunch in Chic-fil-a, two full-fledged Amish people walked in and purchased food. I immediately thought about the article we read for class and started mentally debating whether or not they were of the Old or New Order. And, I found myself telling my boyfriend all about how the Amish are slowly modernizing in some ways, including the usage of cellphones and the like. I was completely astonished.