By Ariela ’13
I have heard plenty of horror stories about families who essentially cut off interaction with each other in favor of texting, tweeting or playing harrowing games of Words with Friends, so I do not doubt our use of technology has flaws. But I think that if we choose to use technology to increase our awareness of the world, rather than to feed into our laziness, then the benefits outweigh the cost.
I hate to use this cliché, but technology has put the world at our fingertips. We are no longer limited by funds or resources. Our ideas of community, the places where each one of us belong, are no longer bound by where we live or what schools we attend.
Instead, we belong to a global community in which we are able to connect, bond, and interact with people who we will most likely never meet. Our relationships are defined not by the constraints of location and practicality but instead by shared ideas or interests. It’s positively enlightening to know that there are people in Australia who also are obsessed with Glee. It’s even more amazing when to realize that they go through the same melodramatic high school tribulations that you do. Although the Internet is notorious for isolating people, it in fact has increased our connections,and changed my perspective on other people.
Yes, talking to someone over Skype, Tumblr or Facebook is different from seeing her in real life. But does different necessarily mean worse? We replace a face with an admittedly jumbled mess of pixels, but in the process we gain global perspective. To be honest, I think that is an exchange we should be willing to make.
I believe that any access to information and to other people is better than no access at all. Technology has opened doors, pulling us beyond the thresholds of our selves and our own little worlds, and for that I am grateful. In opening us up to people from around the world, our humanity is not hindered, but nurtured.