Column – Technology an incredible tool

Column from student Elena Plotnikoff from June 3, 2014 Gazette.

There have been many videos and articles going around lately spread by the very thing that they are criticizing: technology. They all centre on the basic idea that the value of face to face communication has been lost to the inhuman ways of technology. While the practices of texting, tweeting and instant messaging has increased, the fundamental aspects of communication have not been eroded, just expanded.Those who lived before the creation of the Internet and cell phones are most often the first to denounce them. This has happened with every generation bred with the convenience of some sort of technology: Internet, television, radio, even the printing press in the 1400s. They knew life before these inventions and see the necessity that others place on them to be foolish. The vehement condemnation of the advances is rooted in the fear of change. Without these progressions, however, the world we live in would be unable to expand.Technology greatly expands who we communicate with, where we communicate, and how we do so. It does not need to take place in the same spot, with the same people, or in the same way. Those critical of messaging via the Internet or their phones insist that if you do not look up from your screen you will miss out on the possibilities to meet certain people or experience certain things. What they do not seem to realize are all of the opportunities available within these electronic devices. The great speed and reach that the Internet provides allows one to talk with people from all over the world. People can discuss areas of interest with others who share the same enthusiasm. One does not even have to travel in order to obtain knowledge from a diverse group of people with differing cultures. The network for trading ideas has expanded, providing the chance for growth in individuals regardless of where they are.While in-person communication remains a large aspect of our lives, and likely always will, it is not the end all be all. Functions of society have been changing to adapt the growing presence of technology. School projects are done with computer programs, conferences take place through Skype, and important information is passed by email. The available formats improve efficiency and therefore have become a standard amongst institutions. The benefits of technological functions have been utilized by those wishing to spread their information in manners otherwise unavailable to them.To strictly limit our communication to people face to face would be an unfortunate waste of the great opportunities we now have. Technology is an incredible tool that allows us to talk to a greater audience than ever before. To write off entire aspects of it due to a lack of understanding only closes many doors. This revolution will only continue to advance and efforts to ignore it will leave people behind in the dark.

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