The Age of Internet Dependency
When I was seven years old my family got our first computer. It was a Gateway desktop, a company that has been forgotten in this age of easily accessible and cheap computers and laptops. I don’t remember the make or model, or even the type of Windows we had installed on our computer. What I remember is Dig Dug and that space game, Pac Man was also amazing, but I could never beat my mother at it. I remember learning how to type; Mavis Beacon was my best friend. And I remember the dial-up Internet, the slow painful process that at the time did not seem so slow. “Wait, dads on the phone!” My brother would yell from upstairs as I attempted to sneak on America Online (AOL).
Today, I am 21 years old and I can truly say that I am dependent on the Internet. Google has become my best-friend. Why? Because of the access to so much information. There is no waiting at the library, searching for a book. There is no longer any waiting to go to Barnes & Noble to get a book, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are just a click away. There is no waiting until the morning for the New York Yankees score if I missed the game. And there is no longer the need to question anything simple. “How old was Elvis Presley when he died?” my friend and I debate. “Oh, let me Google it,” is generally the response. Google = god (be sure to note the lowercase “g”).
I don’t see my dependence on technology as a bad thing. I see it as being knowledgeable and up-to-date with the times. There is no way that any author or political analyst can get me to think that my dependency on Google is a horrible thing that needs to be fixed. Shouldn’t my thirst for knowledge be commended?
Darryl Gladstone, a student at SUNY Albany, said, “students who are younger than us are dumber.” He went on to say that they are “a lot less intelligent.” His reasoning for this assumption was “Because they are more concerned with other things than actually knowledge.” He blamed it on liberal parenting and dependency on the internet and even compared his grandmother forcing him to learn his times table when he was younger to his 11-year-old brother attempting to learn his times table at a much slower rate today. Could all this be blamed on the Internet? Last time I checked I have never depended on Google for a math class and in fact I passed Calculus One at SUNY Albany and was tutored by a fellow student, not an online website.
Although I completely disagree with Gladstone’s opinion, he does bring up the issue of the internet “dumbing” down society.
Jake Silver, a SUNY Albany student said, “With all this research on the internet with the theories about making our generation stupid you know, it’s all based on what they lived in, people 20 years ago didn’t have this, the internet was fledging when we were all young, we’ve grown up with it. So at first we did have to learn the memorization techniques, but then we’ve been able to use the Internet more often as time has gone on.” When asked if the Internet is making us stupid, Silver answered, “Because we wouldn’t be able to survive without computers? But that’s not gonna ever happen. They’re day is over, this is our day. And our day involves computers.”
So as Silver said, THIS IS OUR DAY… This computer dependent day. If the generation before us thinks we’re dumb then I’m okay with that. They’ll be gone soon enough, and as it goes we’ll say the same thing about the generation after us. Computer dependency does not make someone dumb. The fact that I am Mac and PC proficient, can edit video and audio using Adobe Audition and Final Cut Pro, the fact that I can type 90 words per minute, and stay up to date with the news while doing a million other things, all that and more makes me computer literate… and in this day and age, being computer literate makes you a whole lot smarter than the next person who is not. And you know what, I’m fine with that. So for those who call me dumb, go ahead, it’s fine. In 20 years you’ll be dead, and I’ll be smart ☺