For as long as I can remember, technology has impacted everything I have pretty much ever done. I remember playing computer games on the massive Macintosh computers at school during recess. I remember the awe I felt when my dad showed us all the very first iPhone. I remember my very first piece of technology, the iPod Shuffle (they still sell them by the way). I remember the waning amazement I felt when the newest iPhone or droid or camera came out. Technology has become so integral to my everyday life over the course of 15+ years, that I have come to a point where I am not only used to it, but often unimpressed by what is new. That is not to say that technology has not had a profound impact on my life, but rather that it has had such an impact over such a long period of time that I have often taken for granted just what impacts it has had on my life.
I remember in grade school having to learn cursive, something that the teachers stressed would be incredibly important in our future lives. Today, people are starting to forget what cursive is. The reason? Technology. With the widespread growth of accessible computers, I no longer need to agonize over my sloppy handwriting. Handwriting is becoming something that I very rarely have to deal with, nearly everything I do pertaining to writing is all typing. Whether it be on Word, or PowerPoint, or E-mail, I type everything that I want to say or send to anyone. I don’t think I have sent a handwritten letter since I sent out thank you letters to people in middle school. I don’t think there is anything really wrong about the fact that I, or many other people no longer have the need to handwrite things, however it is truly remarkable to think that handwriting has gone dormant due to the rise of technology.
Technology has allowed me to expand my interests and find communities I would never have had access to without the power of the internet and computers. Before, my friend group was limited to who I went to school with, played sports with, or who my parents were friends with, but with technology I was able to connect with anyone. I began playing a very simple computer game called TagPro back during my junior year of high school. The game itself was incredibly simple, but I think that is perhaps why I enjoyed it so much. You could play it and it would take your mind off of things. It was relaxing. Around the same time, I became extremely sick and was essentially bedridden for an entire summer. This game, without a doubt, helped me through that time. I met such incredibly people through the game (they played all day and so did I) that I felt like I was living a different, healthier life through the game. It is certainly a weird thing to say and reflect on, but without the ability to talk to random strangers across the country, my life would have been much different.
Technology has impacted everything I do in life, in ways I am probably unaware, but I do know that it has been for the better. I have learned more than I ever could, met people I know I never would, and been able to accomplish more than I ever could have dreamed of all because of technology. From the essays I have typed, to the presentations I have created to the excel spreadsheets I used at my internship over the summer, all of these different form of technology has distinctly shaped me as a person. I feel connected to the world and have discussed things on Reddit with people who are a complete mystery to me and that is seemingly ok.
There are times that I feel like I am spending too much time connected. It is a scary feeling knowing that everything you do is being watched online. You can’t hide anything anymore and that is a scary thought that I have probably done in my early days of the internet. Technology is impossible to escape and I often find myself unable to put away my phone or computer at night. It is certainly an addictive thing, but it has helped me far more than it has hurt. However, I know that while I have been able to produce incredible things, it also has destructive power that I need to be aware of.