There have been countless times where an adult has told me of what it was like to be in school with little or no technology at all: “We had to walk to a library two miles away and spend hours looking for information for an essay. And if some kid was using the book you needed, you would have to wait until he was done.”
The process of doing assignments changed drastically once every student had access to endless amounts of information at their fingertips with the Internet. Everything can be accessed from a computer in seconds, which has lowered tolerance for sifting through information ourselves. Vishal, who admits he’s attached to technology, comments, “On Youtube, you can get a whole story in six minutes. A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.” The attention span of students, myself included, is diminishing and we find it hard to sit through a lecture or read a long piece because we have technology to provide us with information so much faster. All you have to do is press a couple keys and find a reliable link and you have your basis for an entire essay, rather than searching for the information for hours in the public library.
But as much as the Internet is a vast land of knowledge, it’s also a distraction for many students, like Vishal, who can’t pry himself from Facebook and Youtube to complete his homework. This idea of achieving instant gratification from the Internet is intimidating for the rising generation. We have grown so accustomed to checking our phones every couple of minutes or googling answers instead of searching for them that we crave instant results in all aspects in life. Every day there are more ways being created to expedite waiting, like online shopping, fast food, etc. Everything has to be fast or a “quick fix” that now more than ever we must force ourselves to “stop and smell the roses”.
I’ve realized that when I go somewhere new for the first time, instead of enjoying myself in the moment, I rather take a picture and move onto the next place. Everyone wants the fastest and most efficient ways to do things so that the journey to achieve your goal is as short as possible. What ever happened to the journey mattering more than the destination? It seems as though the technology has made the destination so important that users don’t want to take the journey at all. Instead of making friends by talking to a stranger you see on the streets, we turn to social media to connect us to others with similar interests. Essentially, no one wants to do the labor it takes to get to where you want, whether it’s academically or socially. Are we becoming a community that only jumps from one destination to the other? What would happen if no one has to wait for things anymore? If the entire world was like an iPhone and we could get instant gratification wherever we go, would the world be a better place? Do the roses that we’re supposed to stop and smell matter anymore? Of course we must find a balance for technology but the question is anyone willing to discover how to maintain balance or should we all just google it?