By Tamara Girardi
Last week, Annette posted a discomforting tale of driving through a family community to see no souls outside enjoying the weather. To be fair, it's hot out there. Yet, she has a good point. In fact, as an online college instructor, I find myself debating the interference of technology in our personal voices often.
Outside the world of legitimate techies, I guess you could say I'm somewhat of a techie. I don't program. I don't know the inner workings of my computer, but I relish and often champion technology. In my PhD classes at IUP, I have written papers arguing for the use of technologies such as Twitter in the classroom. Here's an instance of how it was done, and done well:
I love technology. It allows me to do last minute research for papers before submitting them. It allows me to check my APA via online style manuals, spell check and fact check, and access articles that I can't imagine students struggling to find twenty or thirty years ago. It allows me to spend the week up at school and return home to all of my television shows preserved in a brilliant little box (DVR) that I control with another brilliant little box (remote control).
Yes, technology is my friend.
But I'm here to tell you, I'm more than a little fried. After more than two months sitting in the air-conditioned library, typing at one keyboard after another, printing document after document, checking my email briefly and ineffectively on my BlackBerry, and who knows what else - I. Am. Fried.
But I'm terrified to pop my technology bubble. It's dangerous out there without technology. Or is it? Have we been programmed to be so reliant on technology that we can't see life without it? I must admit I have been. I'm not naive enough to even consider boycotting technology. It sounds romantic, but is it possible?
Um, I'm using it right now.
Um, you're using it right now.
See what I mean?
How far would I get in one day without technology? There's my alarm clock. My BlackBerry, which is usually checked before I even roll out of bed. My battery-powered toothbrush. The fridge that holds my breakfast. The TV that entertains me while I eat my breakfast. Wow. I can't get through five minutes.
So is it possible to boycott technology for a day? An hour? And where do we draw the line? If we cut off TV, does that mean we can't watch our favorite shows online? Or DVR them for later?
What, if anything, are you willing to cut? For how long and to what benefit?