Technology is something we use every day, but are we using it too much? This weeks debate was about whether or not we should unplug, and it got me questioning whether I should take a step back from technology. The debate topic was:
We have become too dependent on technology and what we really need to do is unplug: Agree or disagree?
Morgan raised some great point in her argument saying that we need to unplug because technology is affecting our social lives. She provided us with a Ted Talk by Sherry Turkle who mentions that technology is becoming too prominent in our lives and that as a result we are feeling more lonely. A quote from her Ted Talk is, “being alone feels like a problem that needs to be solved” which goes to show that whenever we are alone, we feel like we need to fix it, and to fix it we rely on technology. This got me thinking of how much I rely on technology when I am alone. If I am in a mall and I am alone, instead of walking around and looking at people, and I look down at my phone so it doesn’t appear that I am actually alone – which is crazy. It’s like I think that my phone is helping me be less lonely, which is not true and it’s actually resulting in me being more lonely. Turkle also discussed that when she sees her daughter with her friends, they’re on their phones communicating with the outside world, instead of communicating with each other.
In the other article Morgan provided it asks the question, “At what point do students stop thinking for themselves because a computer thinks for them?”. This is something that always worries me when using technology in the classroom, because what if she students constantly rely on technology to solve things for them, then they can’t solve it themselves. I am guilty of relying on technology to solve problems for me, especially in my upper level university math courses, but even if I use technology, I still go to my profs office hours and double check with him to make sure I’m on the right track. This article discusses that some students relied so much on using calculators, that they can’t perform basic math calculations without a calculator. I understand that in our day and age, you will always have a calculator on you, but I still think it’s important to be able to do the calculations without a calculator.
On the other side, Noah presented several articles that argued that we shouldn’t unplug from technology because technology helps us in so many aspects of our life. The article Can’t get away from it all discusses the different types of unplugging. Some people shut their phone off and go on a hiking trip to unplug, but still use a GPS to track where they are. Others might think that because they are using a GPS they aren’t truly unplugged. Others might say that to truly unplug you need to unplug from everything, such as driving a vehicle, using a tent to camp in, etc. There are so many different ways to define unplug, that we will never be able to truly unplug from everything. This article also mentioned that when you are out camping, you might not rely on your cellphone as much, but having it with you can also be beneficial. There is an app that when you point it at the sky it shows you which constellations are above you, which is awesome. I taught a lesson on space in my Science 9 class, and I explained this app to my students and they were so excited about it. They were able to use technology for educational purposes, such as looking up constellations, instead of just using it for social media.
Noah also provided us an article explaining the benefits of technology and how it helps us live in our day to day lives. One of the benefits that the article states is that it helps with medicine. At first I was unsure of this argument, because whenever I Google my symptoms online I end up having cancer or I’m dying. Jordyn, a classmate, explained how her dad uses technology to have his doctor appointments, and they are able to view each other face to face, but through a webcam. Especially when you are in remote areas where doctors aren’t always available, this becomes a huge perk of having technology. This article provided so many reasons why technology is important.
Overall, I still think unplugging is something nice to do every once in a while, but staying unplugged your entire life doesn’t provide you the benefits you would get if you were using technology. During the summer I always spend a couple weeks out at the lake where there is no service, unless you walk 5 miles up a hill. During these couple weeks of not having technology I have time to reflect on my life and take a break, but there is still that part of me wanting to use technology. Although technology is something that I believe I probably cannot live without, and that I don’t want to unplug from, I still think it’s important to take time out of your day for yourself – whether be playing outside, reading a book, or having a nap.