Who can remember the days when you had to go to the library to do research for a research paper, had to pick up the morning newspaper to get the latest news, or had to buy a stamp and put a check in an envelope to pay a bill? In the last 50 years technology has undergone an amazing transformation. But with the emergence of the Internet, is our ability to access technology on a daily basis a good thing or a bad thing?
Most people would admit that they love the benefits that the Internet offers. After all, who wants to wait for the mail to come or actually go to the grocery store for milk?
On the Orion, Kelly Chandler writes, “Quite frankly, I don’t even have a reason to get out of bed, since the whole world is readily available to me right under my fingertips, and because I never shut off my phone, I’m always connected.” Being always connected is certainly a plus. But the Internet also comes with many negative aspects, including not having to get out of bed.
The downside to the Internet is that it literally makes us lazy. The best example of our laziness is inability to communicate face-to-face. The norm typically involves social networking web sites like myspace or facebook. Not only are people obsessed with the number of friends they have, but these sites create huge distractions. Chandler states, “These sites have become distractions to our everyday lives. They keep people from doing what they’re supposed to do and have ultimately replaced face-to-face socializing.” Not having face-to-face interaction is a huge loss for our social skills.
As Chandler stated, staying connected through the Internet can be very positive. After all, it does allow us to stay on top of important news without having to wait for the newspaper or the evening news. While this is certainly something to applaud, it also has its negative impacts. Newspapers are in a crisis right now because people are more interested in getting their news online. Many papers are going out of business. In Denver, Colorado one of the nation’s most recognized newspapers, the Rocky Mountain News, went out of business only a few weeks ago.
The loss of the Rocky affects its employees (two hundred people are now out of work in a worsening economy), its readers, and the business that had the opportunity to advertise their products to the demographic that the Rocky reached. The demise of newspapers like the Rocky is a huge negative affect of the Internet, even though it is more convenient to go online for up-to-date news.
Modern technology has both good and bad consequences. We won’t know what the results will be for quite some time, but it will be interesting to see what will come from technology like the Internet. In another 50 years will we still be considered a lazy society?