Dependence on technology overwhelms students’ days

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    Computers dominate my life.I write stories for this newspaper. I talk to my grandmother in France. I read the newspaper and check movie show times. I organize photos, and I listen to the radio. All on a computer.

    I can’t even remember life before computers were around.

    And I bet you can’t either.

    Life with computers keeps my blood pressure high and encourages me to drink heavily.

    When the computer slows down for no apparent reason, I might as well wait.

    When the Internet goes down, I feel cut off – trapped on an island, no communication with the civilized world elsewhere.

    If my computer decided to leave this world for greener pastures, I’d better hope I had the foresight to print out any paper I ever wrote and any photo I ever took.

    Computer manufacturers are always promoting the latest, greatest, all-inclusive tool to organize my life: a magical piece of software that will put everything in its right place.

    I’m still waiting.

    The idea that advancements in technology make our lives less stressful is ridiculous.

    Think of all the different ways we communicate: AOL instant messaging, e-mail, text messages, pagers, cell phones and so on.

    Whatever happened to conventional letter-writing? It went the way of the Californian condor.

    Look a step farther, and it gets worse.

    We have online schools.

    One of the most important aspects of education is social education, which you can’t get from a University of Phoenix “online classroom.” In order to learn properly, humans need a physical teacher and a room full of fellow students.

    We have online books.

    Google, as well as other companies, have considered offering books in an online, downloadable format. The enjoyment of a book comes partly from its ability to be taken anywhere from an airplane to a park.

    We can watch TV on our computer, and soon enough we’ll be able to watch newly released movies on our computers instead of in the theater.

    I don’t want to watch “Mission: Impossible III” on a 15-inch screen in my bedroom. I want to eat popcorn in a dark room full of people all staring at the same 30-foot explosion.

    Technology yields benefits for our society; progress in medicine, business and the arts is astounding. I don’t doubt that many of the things I take for granted daily couldn’t have been made without the technology I’m sick of. I just feel weighed down.

    All hope is not lost, however. Join me, friends.

    Let’s reduce our dependence on the computer and get back in touch with a world not dominated by ethernet cables and liquid crystal displays.

    Instead of calling our friends, we’ll go find them. Let’s buy a subscription to the newspaper. We’ll write our dear grandmothers a conventional letter.

    If you’re feeling revolutionary, throw your cell phone out. Push your television off the roof. Toss your computer into a lake.

    If you’re with me, let me know via e-mail, page, text message, instant message, Facebook message, MySpace message or telephone call.

    John-Laurent Tronche is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Fort Worth.