Literature and Composition Honors
19 April 2013
Dumbing Down of Society Caused by Technology
What would a perfect world be like? Could a perfect world be achieved? How would technology play a role in a Utopian society and how would it affect people socially? Technology plays a crucial role in our society today in economic and social ways. It allows people to easily access email and quickly return phone calls. Virtually all businesses today use some form of technology to more efficiently produce their services or products. Even social networks have been created to allow people to post events in their lives and talk to others online. Texting permits people to communicate without out actually talking to each other. Although texting, social networking sites, and smart phones improve our communication, as a result, many Americans become less social. In Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury argues that the development of technology is “dumbing down” people in the Utopian society, ultimately warping the perfect world into a dystopian society. Ray Bradbury’s imperfect society in Fahrenheit 451 partially depicts our present day American culture as we struggle to find the balance between technology and social relationships.
One of the major impacts on American society in the last few decades is the television. In Fahrenheit 451, the parlours are a necessity where they are the center of people’s lives. Mildred, who is Montag’s wife, constantly watches sitcoms and other shows on her three-walled parlour, and she even wants a fourth. While Montag is concerned about providing for his family, Mildred only wishes to increase her access to technology. “Will you turn the parlour off? He asked. ‘That’s my family.’ Will you turn it off for a sick man? ‘I’ll turn it down.’ (Bradbury 46). Mildred believes that watching shows on their parlour is more important than Montag. Although several of Mildred’s actions are extreme, they are still present in...