Good Example Of Essay On The Downsides Of Technology
Technology has always had a large impact on human society, and today is no different. This is currently the age of information, where facts and data are just fingertips away on the internet. Mobile devices encourage this, and have altered the way communication is viewed, with inventions like text messaging, Facebook. As a result, many kids today are rarely seen without a technological device in hand. They are constantly connected to the world, but research is starting to show that this is a superficial connection at best. According to articles written by Claudia Wallis and Sherry Turkle, this dependence on technological devices has actually caused several problems for young people. These two articles present similar concepts on the negative affects technology has had on society as a whole.
In the article “The Multitasking Generation,” Wallis highlights the impact of technology on deep thinking, learning, and communication, as well as describing the physiological aspects of multitasking. Wallis explains that multitasking, or focusing on several different stimuli at a time, is not the best way to be going about things. When people try to multitask, Wallis notes that doing the two tasks actually takes much longer and the chances for errors increase. Therefore, not much time is actually saved. Multitasking also can be a drain on the body’s resources, as it needs downtime. Many teenagers today are constantly filling every second of the day looking at some sort of device or image, and this can gradually lead to a decline in concentration (Wallis 388). Wallis makes an interesting point here that multitasking actually accomplishes the opposite of its intention. While it is used to get more things done efficiently, it actually takes longer to do simple tasks.
This decline in concentration is where Wallis shows the impacts of technology on learning and personal communication. Wallis notes that students today often try to multitask in the classroom, which decreases retention. Furthermore, they are less able to grasp complex topics or ambiguous ideas. Wallis writes that “students are less tolerant of ambiguity today than in the past and have an ‘aversion to complexity (Wallis 391).’” The impact of multitasking has made current students good at responding to images and gathering data, but when it comes to more complex critical thinking skills, students are struggling. This critical thinking is what Wallis refers to a “deep thinking” and it is an effect of technology and multitasking. Wallis also cites the lack of rules and restraint most teenagers are given in terms of their devises, which is why it also hard for them to carry a real face-to-face conversation.
While Wallis describes the negative effects of technology related to multitasking and the classroom, Turkle, in the article “The Flight from Conversation,” describes in more detail, the effects related to interpersonal communication. Turkle describes that there is a certain fear about having to have a face-to-face conversation with somebody today. She describes the attitude at the work place, where people are constantly on their phones, and how school libraries are full of students being in the own individualized world. Turkle believes the reasons for this are that technology allows people to control the message and present the person they want others to see them as. In actual human relationships, things can get messy, and technology has provided away to get around this, although with a loss of quality and increase in superficial relationships (Turkle 337). Turkle’s evidence is solid in presenting these facts, and it appears that there is considerably less face to face communication than previously. It has even not gotten to the point where many people do not like to even call people anymore, preferring only to text, which is even less human interaction.
Some of Turkle’s most convincing evidence is when she cites the example of artificial intelligence. Turkle describes how many people see technology almost as a friend. Facebook and Twitter can create the perception that people are listening, and this explains why personable robots are currently being developed. Turkle describes how she is told many hope “Siri,” the Apple iPhone assistant, will become more developed and act as a best friend. However, all of this is just use to avoid confronting the real problem. Turkle writes “We think constant connection will make us feel less lonely. The opposite is true (Turkle 336).” This constant connection with people and devices has created an inability to be alone with oneself and leads to not fully experiencing others. These are superficial relationships and do not grasp the full extent that humans have to offer.
These two articles dealing with technology and communication both take slightly different angles regarding technology. Wallis is more concerned with multitasking and deep thinking, whereas Turkle describes artificial intelligence and a lack of interpersonal skills. The examples used within the articles are different, because the specific focus is not the same. However, these articles still have a lot in common. In fact, Turkle is even cited in Wallis’ article. The most striking similarity is at the end of the articles, where both authors reach the same conclusion on how to start fixing the problem of technology and communication. Wallis suggests that more rules be placed on young people to limit exposure to their devices, and references family dinners as being a time for a ban on technology. Turkle offers nearly the same exact conclusion. Turkle wants to create certain spaces or times in houses that is technology free, where people can actually converse with each other.
In conclusion, these two articles are actually very similar in their attitudes towards technology and the proposed solutions. While they each focus on slightly different aspects of the effects of technology, they still are remarkably similar in their research and proposed solutions. Technology, while intended to aid human communication and learning, has actually been overused and resulted in superficial relationships and thinking processes. These two articles propose useful solutions to help combat these issues. While it should be noted, technology is not all bad, as it has helped achieve many wonderful things in society, the tendency to abuse it is easy. Therefore, the authors conclusions of setting time out of every day to go “technology free” is a good suggestion and should help solve this problem of human interaction.
Turkle, Sherry. "The Flight from Conversation". Reading Critically, Writing Well. Ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner. 10th ed. New York: Bedford St. Martin's, 2013. 344-337. Print.
Wallis, Claudia. "The Multitasking Generation". Reading Critically, Writing Well. Ed. Rise B. Axelrod, Charles R. Cooper, and Alison M. Warriner. 10th ed. New York: Bedford St. Martin's, 2013. 385-396. Print.