Life Before the Internet

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Yes, there was a time when humans communicated face to face, talked to neighbors, and acknowledged each other’s existence here on this lovely planet we call “Earth.”  All this technology must be good for us… right?  I’ll have to politely disagree and slightly agree.

Growing up in the Dark Ages, I never had a computer or cell phone in elementary, junior, or high school.  Being the “old” age of 37, I actually learned in school how to create complete sentences without 🙂 or a ;). The whole idea of today’s texting and Internet culture makes me want to cautiously “lol” in fear.

For example, old school bullies in the past would physically or verbally assault their victims.  However, today bullies have a new weapon: the internet!  According to the Pew Research Center, “…88% of these teens say they have witnessed people being mean and cruel to another person on the sites, and 15% report that they have been the target of mean or cruel behavior on social network sites.”

So how do parents today combat cyber bullying?  Being a “friend” on Facebook might not be enough.  Just ask Jamie Rodenmayer, a gay teenage who recently committed suicide at the young age of fourteen after relentless cyber attacks and bullying.

Speaking of school, there has been an explosion of online classes from being a medical transcriptionist to a famous artist.  Let’s face it, online classes are a different experience compared to taking a class on a physical campus.  Learning involves all our senses and sitting in front of a computer screen is not the same.  However, the price of onsite and online classes are the same but the experience isn’t.

Convenience will always put a strain on quality…

The Pew Research Center did a study and “…just three-in-ten American adults (29%) say a course taken online provides an equal educational value to one taken in a classroom.  By contrast, fully half of college presidents (51%) say online courses provide the same value.”  Am I sensing a disconnect?

In a culture were everyone is “special” for just breathing, constant media stimulation doesn’t surprise me.  Will the future include specialized targeted advertising?  Cars will have pop-up ads in the windshield when driving past businesses and a “Siri” god-like voice directing your life.  An ad might read like this: Ms. Balisle, I’m sensing by your low sugar levels, you’re hungry.  Please take the next exit and proceed to Starbucks.  As a result, Starbucks is featuring a special today on gingerbread lattes and paninis.  However, it  appears that you’ve gained a few pounds this holiday season so I highly suggest our grande 16 ounce nonfat milk and a deluxe fruit blend.  Bon Appetit!

Maybe technology will be able to take over our ability to think for ourselves.  I mean thinking takes up so much energy.  If this does become the future, there’ll be no choice but to stay home behind my computer screen.  FYI, 😛 and BBFN.

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