October 5, 2008
Response Essay Number One – Walden
Modern society has denoted that in order to succeed, one must be technologically literate. Compared to the telegraph and telephone from the past century, we now live in the era of the fiber optic wire and the infamous Internet. Computers and the World Wide Web have bridged the gap between both ends of the earth, allowing mass amounts of information to reach any who search for it. China has become the new backyard of the United States, and anyone from business executives to teenager, can video conference each other all over the world. Besides computers, cellular devices have brainwashed our generation into believing that mobile communication is a necessity, instead of a commodity. According to Henry David Thoreau in the “Economy” chapter of his book, Walden, technology is a waste of time when people create and use it for pointless purposes – like using a cellular phone to text message a friend about how boring school is. Despite such advances, has technology taken command of all aspects of our lives? Towards the end of “Economy”, Thoreau says, “our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things” (Thoreau 44). Essentially, Thoreau believes that man simply invents to show off, to distract his comrades -– if not he himself -– from the simpler things in life. His statement is evident throughout our lives: how many hours can one lose while surfing the internet, or chatting with others about inconsequential and trivial topics? Long lost are the days when adolescents are eager to play outside with their friends after school; instead, children and teenagers starting at even three years old go home from school to chat online, watch television, and play video games. FaceBook, MySpace, AOL Instant Messenger, and World of WarCraft are all examples of how we lose our time and our minds in wasteful endeavors. Such activities distract...