Beyond the Bubble: Is technology evil?

The Lawrentian tends to focus on student activities and opinions about what is going on within the Lawrence community. In an effort to permeate the Lawrence bubble, this column aims to shed some light on the views within the campus community about a current event outside of Lawrence.

As students, we are in near constant contact with technology. We use it for research, to write assignments, and to stay connected with friends and family. Our generation’s reliance on computers and smart phones is often viewed in a negative light, particularly by our elders. However, members of our generation, when asked their opinions, had very different ideas about our use of these devices.

While junior Henry Geraghty did not have any strong opinions about our reliance on technology, he did acknowledge, “It’s super useful, and it’s annoying how useful it is. It makes you not have to remember things. There are studies where, when people know they can Google search something, they’re way more likely to forget it than if they can’t.”

In response to this, junior Fiona Masterton chimed in, “I haven’t found that.” She went on to explain, “I think a lot of people perceive it to be unhealthy, but I think that in many ways, it’s symbiotic, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone is like, oh you rely on technology too much, you all rely on technology too much and it’s bad. But you know, people before relied on fire, and it wasn’t a thing they worried about. It’s OK to rely on technology because it is so much a part of society. I think it’s just our parents being angry that they didn’t have that. I think it’s symbiotic, I like it.”

Freshman Sean Gies holds a more negative view. “It’s inevitable,” he said. “It’s abused, but you can’t stop it. Who’s going to stop it? You can’t do anything about it, but I don’t think it’s a good thing.”

Junior Sofie Yang felt similarly: “I think I’m not in the norm with that because I didn’t get a phone until I came here, and I try not to use my phone. But it really helps to have email on your phone because a lot of important information happens and it’s always overwhelming to sit at a computer and check your email because there’s like a thousand things.”

However, Yang also acknowledged a downside, stating, “I think it makes people feel like they have to constantly be available all the time so I really don’t like that at all… I think [if you didn’t have technology], you would be so much more aware of what is going on around you. I think in general, society keeps getting more and more involved in technology, which is not a bad thing, there is a good side of that, but I think in everyday life, we could use it less, and it seems like we’re becoming more and more dependent.”

This idea that we are becoming more dependent on technology whether we like it or not, for better or for worse, was perfectly summed up by freshman Molly Froman’s response: “One second, I’m checking my phone.”