This week’s EDTC 400 great edtech debate was on the topic, “We have become too dependent on technology and we’d be better off returning to the “good old days’ before the Internet and smartphones took over”. For the “pro” side we had Jayden Lang and for the “con” side we had Kiera Eastley. This debate reminded me of my social media vs childhood debate but now it is more generalized to everyone.
I myself sometimes wish I was raised in the 80’s mostly because I like 80’s music (lol). I have also heard the line “Well back in my day…” way too many times. But the thing is, this world is so evolved that us adapting to the ‘good old days’ will never happen. So, have we become too dependent on technology?? I voted for disagree, let’s take a look at the pre-vote results to see what my other classmates voted for!
Alright so as we can see, 76.5% of the votes were for disagree and while 23.5% of the votes were for agree. This is quite a difference, this will be interesting!! Let’s take a look at what Jayden had to say!
A G R E E S I D E
Jayden‘s main points are:
- Internet & Smartphones are affecting our mental & physical health: Jayden starts this point of with sharing some statistics on texting injuries. She states that more than 1500 people end up in emergency rooms for texting injuries. Additionally, 78% of American’s believe texting while walking is serious and it is being banned! Not gonna lie, I myself have ran into an object or two while texting and walking.. oops. Moving onto mental health, too much technology use can result in feeling anxious, isolated, lonely, and depressed! In Shainna Ali‘s article Could You Be Addicted to Technology?, there is a list of problems, mostly health related, that is created by an excessive use of technology. Vision is one thing on the list I can relate to the most. If you look at a screen for too long you can develop a headache. I get the worst of migraines and guaranteed technology has a part in some of those! I personally have glasses and my eye doctor said that with all this time I spend studying and researching on my laptop, my eyesight is going to be way worse by the time I graduate from the University of Regina.. damn.
- Society are losing skills once valued: Technology has gotten in the way of socialization. Jayden uses LivePearson Survey results that shows 74% of Americans would rather send a text than having an actual conversation with someone. Okay… what? That is crazy!!! Jayden makes a strong point when she says that we are losing navigation skills. Today’s society has become so reliant on GPS’s. We may be reliable on them, but are they reliable for us? Jayden makes a list of GPS failures which includes jammers, typing in the wrong address, or the directions not being very safe. This is too accurate!! I was in Saskatoon last summer for training and I never go to Saskatoon so I pulled out my GPS. I missed my turn and the GPS lady kept telling me to do a U-turn on a chunk of grass that was separating the lanes on Circle Drive. Like okay first off… that is probably not legal???
Brad Plumer‘s article Have we become too reliant on GPS? lays out some problematic situations when it came to people relying on a GPS to navigate them. There was a Belgian bus driver that took 50 tourists 800 miles in the wrong direction because he put in the wrong address. (This individual probably shouldn’t be a tourist bus driver if he doesn’t know where the main attraction spots are lol). I really like how this article states that hikers use their smartphones as a navigation system. May seem super handy until their phone dies. These hikers are now in the middle of nowhere with a limited amount of water and food. We must be careful and realize that GPS‘s are not always going to give us a 100% satisfaction.
- Technology may not actually be beneficial for students: Technology has definitely gotten in the way of student’s learning. Jayden stated in her first point of this argument that technology effects memory because there is no need to learn or remember something when you can find the answers on the internet. This is a big issue for students and the line, “Just Google it” is used quite common in schools. Stephanie Petit does a good job at laying out why internet use isn’t very beneficial for students in her article, Is Our Growing Reliance On Technology in the Classroom Healthy?. Not only does Petit talk about how students are not learning anything because they are just quickly finding the answers online, but how these answers can be incorrect. As the saying goes “You can’t always trust what you read on the internet”.
- We are missing important moments in life: People do not truly experience moments in life because of technology which makes sense! You’re at a hockey game, a carnival, a concert etc. and you are worried about the quality of the video you just took or the aesthetic of the picture you just snapped. You’re done looking at you’re phone and the game is over, carnival is closing, and the band just finished their encore. That was fun… (and scene). In this TedTalk video about being a digital zombie, Patrik Wincent does a great job at talking about how people now a days are missing out on the moments of life. When parents are out with their kids, they aren’t playing with them or watching them!! They are sitting on their phones and missing out on spending time with their child. Take a look at the video I included below! Joey Salads abducts a child in front of a father that was too busy look at his phone… Go off your phones, play with your children, and PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILDREN!
D I S A G R E E S I D E
Kiera‘s main points are:
- Connection: With the technology we have today, it allows us to connect with people across the world. Technology allows us to go beyond the limits of distance, time, and more. Dex Torricke-Barton‘s does a great job at explaining how the internet has made one big community in his article, How the Internet is Uniting the World. With the internet, communication has spread worldwide and has created the largest community in history. Dex states in his article, “It crosses every border and culture . . . The tools and knowledge of one nation now belong to all nations.”
- Power and Opportunity: With technology there has been 140
million new jobs have been created (as of 2015). The internet has given 600 million children an opportunity to receive proper education. Again, in Dex‘s article, he also states how powerful the internet can be and the internet allows for movements to change the world. For an example, Dex talks about the ALS ice bucket challenge and how more than 17 million videos watched on Facebook by more than 440 million people . Not only that, but more than $100 million was raised during this movement! This is what the internet can do and this would not have happened in the ‘good old days’.
- Efficiency: Technology saves us a lot of time and money. It is a great tool to keep everyone organized because of what it all contains. A smartphone can be used as a book, a camera, even a wallet! It can even be used as an iPod (or a tool I use that makes cleaning my room into a dance party). Zaryn Dentzel starts of his article, How the Internet Has Changed Everyday Life, with a strong point on how the internet has revolutionized communication. Communicating with someone hours away from you is so easy to do and only takes seconds. I am constantly amazed with technology and the fact that I learn something new about it all the time. The limits of technology itself is endless and so are the boundaries of social communication through our devices. As Zaryn says, “The future is brimming with opportunities, and the future of the Internet has only just begun.” This is only the beginning and there is so much more to come!
- Facilitation: Technology is used as a powerful tool and serves us the three points I have stated above. With such a powerful source, it gives everyone the opportunity to build communities. Kiera assigned us a TedTalk video with speaker Eric Whitacre. In this video he talks about this choir program where anyone can take part from any part of the world. Technology makes everything so easy, and is a great facilitator when it comes to creating relationships, gaining a powerful platform, creating opportunities, and so much more! Life on the internet is endless and it’s only just beginning!
MY FINAL THOUGHTS
Now before I go on about what I think of this topic, let us take a look at the post-vote results!
Jayden was able to turn some heads and raise the agree side to 35.3% while the disagree side has 64.7% of the votes. Both of these ladies did a great job this debate and both raised very good points. I ended up sticking to Kiera‘s side and voting for disagree for a few reasons. The debate topic I was involved in had me researching all the great things the internet maintains so I already had this mindset walking into this debate. Although Jayden made some wonderful points, I was not
convinced that going back to the ‘good old days’ is the right answer. Just a few weekends ago I lost my cellphone and let me tell you, I was able to do everything just fine without a cellphone or the internet. I do not think society is dumbing down and I do not think we heavily depend on technology. I think it comes down to the fact that technology makes things so much easier and us naturally lazy humans will take the easy route. Without my cellphone I was unable to use a GPS and I had to drive to the North side of Regina which I was very unfamiliar with. I surprised myself with how I was able to navigate around without the use of a smartphone. With me losing my cellphone I learned that I can do anything without it and I promise…. if I can do it, I know you can too!
Until next time,