The Insightful Window

Where life isn't always what it's cracked up to be

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It Shouldn't Have Been Invented

In this day of technology and digital data, we often hear people debate the subject of whether or not the computer should have been invented. When I hear this being discussed, it is usually the baby boomer or older generations that feel this way. The idea that the personal computer has become too intrusive and too depended on in society is a common theme.

I tend to have a “love-hate” relationship with computers and the like, (iPads, Android cell phones, etc), because I love using them and experience the benefits from them, yet I can also see and experience the disadvantages of it, unlike many young Gen Xers, who quite literally need the computer, calculator and other devices to do whatever is asked or expected of them in both business and pleasure. I do not need these tools of convenience to write, work or communicate efficiently with others.

The advantages of a computer, used in combination with the internet can elucidate any subject or topic we might research. It can also be very exhilarating as the computer provides access to a network with huge amounts of information that is available to most of us, and frees us from limitations we might have to otherwise reach the information in any other manner. However, we find the art of communication (such as letter writing, grammar, spelling and other forms of the written arts), are often pushed to the wayside, choosing the internet and its speech, icons, emojis, its shortcut language, and email instead. I have found many young people today cannot even compose a proper letter, story, or spell very well. We find they prefer shortcut language of texting than to writing a note or telephoning someone directly.

Nowadays, people prefer to watch videos online rather than read a newspaper or magazine. They would rather get the abbreviated version of anything online, rather than read a book, or a non-fiction article. These types of social changes do not necessarily make for quality skills. The computer can be an excellent tool, but it should not replace the basics and especially should not replace the ability to do without it. It is taken for granted that we will always have these digital marvels, but if the truth be known, if we were to have to survive without them, many people would fall short of their usefulness without one. I know individuals who cannot even count change because they have only always had a computer or calculator to do it for them.

I have always believed that reading, writing, and mathematics should be taught, “the old fashioned way” as the rule of thumb, then once these skills are mastered, given to students and adults to use as a convenience, later on, knowing they could always fall back on the basics using a pen, pencil and paper. My opinion may not be the most popular, but if we ever lose our electric grid or experience other issues that cause us to be unable to use computers and electronic gadgets, my views would suddenly be the norm and become very familiar once again.


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