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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Unplug yourself from modern technology

So much has happened in the swath of time that we affectionately call human history, and still most would rather live in the now. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to visit with some of the great minds of the past thousand or so years, but that would also mean that other less pleasant sites would grace my view. The Black Death sounds great and all, but I think I’ll have to pass.

Really though, be it the advent of modern medicine, the formation of stable forms of government or even the discovery of electricity, there is so much history that certainly would have been a marvel to witness. But, because we benefit so much from said advances, why we would ever want to leave the year 2011?

What would happen if we were to lose that progress? What if we could no longer count on the technological conveniences of contemporary society? As frightening as it may seem, a short while ago a handful of countries had a taste of just that.

On March 28, a 75-year-old woman in Georgia (the country, not the state) was digging around for some scrap metal, a seemingly innocuous activity. But, in the process, she hacked into an internet-providing fiber-optic cable. Apparently this cable must have been pretty important, because with that woman’s one presumably accidental action, Internet service was not only cut off in her country, but in neighboring Armenia as well.

Oops.

But the kicker is that when the police questioned her, she adamantly claimed that she had never heard of the Internet. I personally believe her, and quite frankly envy her. If I could decrease my Internet use back to just two hours a day, I think I would be much happier.

And so here is the crux of the issue. We are very reliant on modern technology, and that honestly may be more detrimental than we realize. So hear me out when I say: Cut back on the Internet, the texting, the iPod listening and all of the rest.

To dub this a cliche call to action would be an understatement. But I think there is some value in it. I don’t mean to suggest that you and your family give up all electronic gadgetry for a whole month (save that for some oddly motivated family whose life-changing experiences make for a great Reader’s Digest article). But I do suggest that you actually use the voice communicating capabilities of your cell phone, actually write a letter instead of a hastily composed email and actually make real friends, as opposed to some friend of a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook.  

Heck, for as much time as the guy who sits in front of me in class plays Farmville, he should have received his doctorate in Agricultural Sciences by now. So, at the very least, begin thinking about cutting back.  

The world has come extremely far technologically, even in the last 50 years. I do not propose that we deny those wonderful advances, but rather stop, take a breath and observe all of the other things that give our lives meaning. When we consider how many people in this world still lack basic sanitary living conditions and exist under the constant threat of famine or war, we should have no problem setting down the iPad, if only for an hour.

So get up and run around for a while, finally read a book for fun or just lie in the grass and stare at the stars. Heaven forbid we ever have to deal with a temporary outage of the Internet, leaving you unable to frantically check for some washed-up celebrity’s Twitter update.

Then again, for those of us who can deal with it, watching everyone else squirm might make for some good fun.

 

— Tanner Weigel is a sophomore studying Spanish and history. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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