The Communicator

Too Much Tech

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I sat down the other day to watch a movie with my cousins and younger brother. They had their minds set on watching the sixth Harry Potter movie despite how atrocious of a film it is; sadly, OnDemand disappointed them (it didn’t have the sixth film, just the first five). After flipping through the possible selections for another 5 minutes or so, they finally decided on “Grown Ups” a movie that had received similar reviews to the terror that is the second Sex and the City movie.

Despite not wanting to watch the movie, I curled up on the couch with my phone, rapidly texting away, and just a few minutes in, one of the scenes affected me. The five main characters, now middle aged, were sitting on the front lawn of a cabin by a lake, enjoying the beautiful weather and pleasant view – their children were inside playing video games. Is this what our generation has come to?

I peered down at the cell phone, which, as if on cue, vibrated my sternum. I must have already sent a couple thousand texts that much that, give or take a few, I could have easily lived without. Looking up again, I stared at the giant TV screen in front of me and immediately felt ashamed. Never did I think that such a lame movie would bring me to such a realization.

Between the summer of 7th and 8th grade, I spent nearly every night parading around the neighborhood, playing extreme games of tag and escape on my bike. It wasn’t just one or two kids; the whole neighborhood got involved. We played much later than any of our parents could have asked for, romping around the streets, whooping and yelling like hooligans. After we got tired, we’d head over to my friend Anna’s house and lie on her trampoline until someone got restless and decided to start bouncing. The next day, I’d wake up, call my friends and organize a game of pick up football at a local park.

But in just five years, it seems that everything has changed; everything has become more technological. At first thought, I believed that it was because I was older. Over the years I had made more friends and the only way to really keep in touch with them were through my phone or through the computer – but I see my brother doing the same thing I do every night. He checks his Facebook, e-mail, watches movies, etc.

Obviously, this poses a problem; people can’t get through life relying on technology to interact with others. It’s imperative that children learn to talk without the use of a computer. The more technology we use, the less genuine and real our conversations become.

Yet, it would be difficult for me to get along without a social networking site, cell phone and e-mail. While I may waste endless hours on them doing nothing, I also keep in touch with friends who I don’t have the chance to see. Although I would like to shut down my use of technology completely, but this would not be possible. I wouldn’t be able to update my mom on when I got home; I wouldn’t be able to let my friends know what time to come over to watch the football game; I wouldn’t be able to stay in touch with my aunt who lives in California.

I still enjoy the times I get to go outside and throw a Frisbee around with friends or run through the hills of the wave field. But no one can deny that technology has changed things. There are plenty of people who I spend more time talking to on Facebook chat than in real life, generally because I don’t see them enough during the day due to my busy schedule. But it seems to me it’d be better for all if just for one summer, everyone could put down there video game controllers, television remotes and mice and just play one big game of capture the flag.

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Too Much Tech