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Progress

posted Mar 7, 2013, 10:54 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated Apr 23, 2014, 5:03 PM by Golden Knight ]

 Posted in Technology 

By Robert Farewell 

3/8/13

Technological progress is a paradox. It makes our world safer, more violent, increasingly free, but it also makes us more dependent. Although social media and instant communication have enhanced our lives, they are also obstacles to self- reflection and insightful thought.

Dependency on our latest technological devices comes with a huge sacrifice. With the growing need to stay connected, we seldom find ourselves separated from our computers or phones. We are increasingly interacting in this very impersonal and virtual world. Change will always be a constant. Just as the generations before us, we will adapt accordingly. Yet the problem lies in what progress removes from our daily lives. What we are sacrificing is the quiet time for reverie and critical thinking, the necessary cornerstone to personal fulfillment. Technology yields little time for beneficial isolation and self-rumination. There is always an email, a text message, or a picture to comment on. It is rare to able to reflect, to think seriously about something other than school or the next witty post on Facebook. People lose sight of their own personalities because of the feigned intimacy of social media. Facades have never been so easy to manifest. Other people can write one’s posts to make them seem smarter, or one can embellish one’s picture in order to appear more attractive.

Coming from an all-boys school, I can vouch for the importance of social media. At same-sex schools, a major part of social life takes place on Facebook. In this new social climate where friends rarely interact face to face, people will represent themselves in the most appealing way possible, in a way that is far from genuine. Personalities become convoluted with this need to appeal to others. We live in a world that is more superficial and insecure than ever. People are afraid of revealing the truth, out fear of rejection. Oscar Wilde said it best: “those who go beneath the surface do so at their own peril.” It is a time of life where most thought is consumed in the realm of high school and the Web. Serious thinking and reflection are becoming almost non-existent; we need to find ways to overcome these barriers to personal space.. We can embrace these changes, but at the same time we need to be cognizant of the challenges they pose to our personal growth.

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