3 May 2011
Technology: Ruining our Future Generations?
When the computer made its first appearance in America, it was about the size of a room and not many people had access or any knowledge on how it is used. Today, technology has advanced to the point that everything can be accessed by a cell phone the size of a deck of cards, or even smaller. Technology has become an amazing way to connect to information and people that would otherwise be unavailable, but has it taken over? If technology comes to an abrupt stop and crashes will the nation know what to do? Have they become too used to the aspect of having the world at such an easy grasp that they’ve forgotten how to live without it? Kids are inside delving into fantasy worlds by means of video games, and online networking cites such as Facebook instead of going outside and enjoying sports and adventuring with friends. Technology is allowing society to lose sight of reality, and although the means of receiving technology are now smaller than ever, technology itself has become a giant that needs to be stopped.
Technological advances are evident while looking around anywhere in the world today. Cars now have the ability to parallel park themselves, cell phones can pinpoint exact locations, robots are starting to be used to assist in surgeries, and more advances like this are made on a day to day basis. Technological advances make work easier and quicker for a lot of occupations, and it allows for endless possibilities in the medical and health care system. These advances have allowed humans to reach a height of intelligence that otherwise would’ve been impossible. It has allowed for discoveries, innovations, and changes that are positive. Those positive changes and innovations are going to continue to amaze the world, but with all these advances it’s hard to imagine a life without technology that, not too long ago, was a reality.
Technology rose to new heights with the first computers and cell phones, and has very quickly transformed adding things like internet, media, iPods, laptops, smart phones, and robots. Many children growing up with all these technological advances have never experienced a world without them, and probably wouldn’t know what to do if the time came that technology disappeared. Just a decade ago, children used to be outside at parks playing sports, adventuring, and using their imagination to delve into the world for the first time. Today 80 percent of children are obese and spend their time in front of their computers and xbox, delving into a world that’s not real. They see themselves in video games doing things that they could never do in reality. Besides opening up their eyes to intense violence, video games have replaced the need for children to get out of their house and join activities. Internet and networking cites have allowed children and adults alike to become the self that they could never actually be. If they can be all they’ve dreamed about in a virtual reality, why would they want to actually go outside and join a society that is a lot less accepting then their virtual world?
In 2012 a video game for the xbox Kinect is being introduced called Project Milo. The xbox Kinect is the latest technological advance for video games, and has a full body sensor that picks up the player’s body movements and can transfer them to the screen. Essentially, the player becomes the controller. Milo is a virtual friend that can recognize the player and their emotions, and he has a vocabulary that allows him to actually understand and have intelligent conversations with the player. The player can walk in place in front of the screen and go for a walk with Milo to a lake, where they can view their own reflection. Milo tells the player about his day, and the player shares information about theirs. Milo has the potential to be very destructive to any child who is picked on, and has troubles or fears about meeting new friends. With a video game like Milo, these children don’t have to face their fears of going and meeting friends when they can just go home and hang out with their buddy Milo. If these basic steps like facing fears and learning how to talk and connect with actual people aren’t reached during development, where will that lead our future generations? Besides being obese, a majority of adolescence who decide to play this game will lose their ability to function in a real society. Most children have also been around technology for their whole lives and don’t know a life without it. Children are our future, and they need to be taught how the world works when it’s a little more difficult than clicking a button to get the answers they’re striving for.
In 2000 the world was up in arms when they thought computers were going to crash as the millennium turned, this event was referred to as the Y2K. Panic arose and people were locking themselves in their houses with food stocked up, riots happened in the streets, and many people were sincerely scared at the thought that all technology was going to crash. Luckily, 2000 came and went with no major Y2K event, and technology has continued to advance. Just because the Y2K didn’t happen in 2000, doesn’t mean that there won’t be a time when computers do crash. Whether its weather, war, or simply electricity overloads, the threat of technology suddenly disappearing is too real to ignore. Children who have never lived in a world without technology will soon be adults, and they need a reality check that an event like this could happen any day.
To help lower the risk associated with technological advances, students should be taught what to do in if a situation like this occurs- they are our future. There should be more programs that don’t just give the option, but require students to go outside and broaden their imagination with sports, arts and crafts, music, and all the activities that technology is slowly taking away from the youth. Kinect, although an amazing advance for video games, should not put out something like a virtual friend- there is no need for it. Technological advances are great in medicine, media, and work environments everywhere but that doesn’t mean it should take the place of actual human contact and relationships. If it’s allowed to do that, there will be a dim future to look forward to, or in this case, look down upon.