What's The Real Cost of a Connected World?

Sep 9, 2017

Flowers. Trees. Rocks. Dirt. This is nature at its finest. Even in the winter, when the blanket of snow suffocates the scene, it’s gorgeous. No communication. No connection to the outside world through technology. Yes, of course it’s beautiful, but is it practical?

No, not really.

Think of your phone for a moment. Most of you have one. What would you do without it? Would you have as many friends? Would you know as much about the world? But how much trouble is it causing?

These days, it seems like there’s an ever growing war between this generation and the last over technology. Our parents argue we’re growing dumber by the day and we retort that without internet, where would we be? Society is at impasse with tension growing by the day. 

On the one hand, there are our parents. They base their fight on the grounds that the internet is compromising our intelligence. We don’t bother to think for ourselves, wonder, or focus on learning. We ignore teachings, thinking that if we need that bit of intelligence later, we can just Google it and, voila, the answer. 

There is truth to their argument. We are becoming so caught up in technology that we aren’t caring as much for the things around us. The facts support that. In the last generation, SAT scores have dropped from 1,026 to 1,002 out of 1600 throughout high schools. However, the amount of A's given out has gone up noticeably. How is it that grades and SAT scores are going in such opposite directions?

Maybe it’s not just this generation out there that’s becoming lazy or distracted. Adults are not immune to the pull of the future. Teachers are growing indolent. Students grades affect their job; it’s a reflection of the work that they have put into teaching them, but they don’t want to put in the effort themselves. By becoming more reliant on the fascinating world of the internet, we have grown lazy and disinterested with the things around us. 

On the other hand, the constant modernization of tech has improved progression made in science. Now, with machinery being constantly upgraded, we are able to do experiments easier than before because of accessibility to smaller and better innovations of technology. 

The internet has also immensely advanced communication in the world. Before, people had to physically travel messages from place to place. I mean, think of the poor Greeks, they had to send professional runners like Phidippides to run messages long distances. Nowadays we can just text people from even farther away. We send information about everything, from transportation plans to ordering food. We’ve made great progress. 

Overall, the evolution made with technology is astounding. People are constantly making new and creative ways to fit these innovations in our everyday lives. We are discovering the beauty of freedom to express ourselves in the world.  

With the internet, the good outweighs the bad. People are abusing it and are relying on it more than is healthy, but I believe technology has brought people together and built communities in a positive way. Society has become a better place, but with everything, there will always be something dreadful going on. But I hope we can work through these difficulties and push forward.

Maggie Collins is a student at Hampden Academy. She produced this piece as part of the 2017 Raise Your Voice Workshop in Orono sponsored by Maine Public and the Maine Writing Project.

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