Trying to Disconnect in a Technological World
Call me old fashioned, but I would much rather read a physical paper book than a book on my iPad. I would rather flip the pages of a paper magazine than read it on a screen. Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPad and use my computer quite often, but sometimes it gets to be a little too much. We watch TV shows and movies on a screen, text and tweet on a screen, shop online looking at a screen, and pretty much live our whole lives through technology, and now you want me to read books/magazines with it too? Sometimes I just want to unplug and live a moment free from technology. Staring at screens all day gives me a headache and makes me feel yucky. Besides, there is something about flipping the pages of a book or magazine that is so much more appealing than reading words on a screen. I feel like you have more control with a physical paper book and you can see the whole picture at once without having to zoom in/out or scroll about. Even though tablets and e-readers are small and easy to travel with, I sometimes feel more comfortable with a book. For one, no one is going to steal it, if I drop it or spill something it really isn’t a big deal, and the outside light doesn’t make a book hard to read.
Besides books, I feel that college courses could eventually end up being fully online. As convenient as that may be, I still have to say that I feel online courses don’t teach us as much as physical classes do. Most online classes require you to basically teach yourself and then take a test about that material. And while you are taking the test you can look up answers in your textbook or notes while taking it or even ask a friend for help, that doesn’t happen in physical classes. It seems like the easy way out, but it ends up being harder because you have to study more since you don’t have someone to lecture about it or ask questions to and you probably won’t retain as much of the information. I find that hearing the stories teachers use to illustrate their points is what helps me understand the material. Plus, when you get to know someone in the class, they can help you with your homework whereas you don’t really get to know anyone in an online class. I admit, I took 3 or 4 online classes in college because it was more convenient for me, but in all honesty I don’t really feel I learned as much as I could have in those classes. But whether or not you take a course online or in a physical class, if you don’t have a good teacher, you may not learn much no matter what setting it is. And if you are not a motivated student, you aren’t going to learn either.
As much as I love technology and the wonderful things it has enabled us to do, I still feel that it is a good idea to disconnect from time to time. Using technology and being hooked to a screen all day is just too much. Right now my job requires me to be on a computer most of the day and it drives me slightly crazy. Ideally, I would love to find a job that requires me to be more active and not so sedentary. I am still not sure what I wish to do with my life career-wise, but I guess knowing what I don’t want is a step in the right direction.
Some quotes relevant to this topic:
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man”
“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”
“The point is not how we use a tool, but how it uses us.”