Commentary

An Unnecessary Evil

The rise of technology in the modern era can be thought of as a symbol of great achievement in human culture and development. Technological devices are becoming an integral part of everyday life, an advancement that I am starting to be wary of. I might seem like a hypocrite using a computer to write this article, but I want to emphasize the effect of technology on my personal life in conjunction with its influence on social interaction.

I grew up with a computer in my house. However, I rarely used it as there was no need to use it for homework and I sparingly used it to play computer games. Looking back on those days, I now believe that computers should be constrained to that limited a role in our lives.

As I grew older, I started to use my computer more and more. I grew accustomed to it place in my life. I started to play more computer games, as opposed to playing outside, something I used to love doing. Although it was a gradual shift, I noticed that my entire personality started to change. I losing the eager, energetic boy that I was before my increased time with the computer. While this may be due to being a teenager, I believe that technology, and the computer especially, has had a great influence on my life.

Nevertheless, when social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter launched, I drew the line. Not only do these sites waste time, but I they also frivolously expose sensitive personal information. Most importantly, these websites do not represent what human interaction should entail. It might be just a personal preference, but shouldn’t human communication be face-to-face? I understand that there are circumstances where the use of social media is necessary, but we need to be aware of the ways these sites are changing the way we communicate with each other.

While last week’s commentary article by Ada Li ’15, mainly focused on how China is restricting the Internet, it also showed how Americans are becoming reliant on technology in their daily lives. While I am in no way condoning the censorship employed by the Chinese government, I do believe that a balance must be struck between technology and the use of more low-tech methods as daily tools.

Still, it was only after reading that article that I realized just how much I use my computer to play games during my free time at home. While these games don’t replace all the time I spend reading or playing outside, they shift the ratio significantly.

The Internet undoubtedly plays a vital part in our community. PAnet is necessary for information to be spread easily and quickly through the Andover community. In addition, technology plays a key role on campus through the prevalent use of smart-phones. This development is just another branch of technology that is taking away from actual social interaction. In some respects, the device makes communication easier. However, this allows social media websites to be accessed more readily. In essence, it facilitates the disintegration of face-to-face social interaction.

How we as a civilization address the ever-evolving issue of technology is yet to be decided. While we attempt to tackle this difficult issue in the future, though, I offer a word of warning: technology has the amazing ability to unite millions at once, but it also holds the power to divide. While technology may provide us with accessibility and convenience, we must always be wary of its sway in our lives.

Justin Curtis is a Junior from Boxford, Mass.