Computer on the Fritz
By Elizabeth Horner
Recently, I suffered a great loss, or at least it felt that way. Our
home computer with internet access protracted the electronic version of
severe stomach-flu virus that just won’t go away. I am without e-mail…
fanfiction… and even plain old Google. We need to call the electronic
doctor again, only after 3 days of what appeared to me to be a full
recovery! It reminds me of the old saying that sometimes you don’t
appreciate what you have until it is gone. I really feel the absence of
easy access to the internet in my life. I’ve never had to experience
the world as it was before the internet technology, before the
revolution that called for an easier, faster, cooler, and smarter
connection to the world.
I don’t know what it’s like to tough it out like my grandparents did,
with hand-written work, using volumes of books or the Encyclopedia to
write a short high school research paper, or draw my own lines to make
graphs or hand-draw to illustrate something instead of finding suitable
pictures on the web. In spite of the inconvenience that comes with
trekking outside our home to use the computer at a friend’s house or
from the Greenville Public Library, there was just no way I could
function cut off completely from this technology --- at least not if I
want to continue to maintain the activities I am involved in or even to
keep up with school requirements and maintain good grades. It has
become a staple of my daily living.
Our new standard for the expediency with which something can be
accomplished and the amount of work we each need to do in a day have
increased as technology has become more advanced. It makes it hard for
those who are without a computer and internet access to keep up with
the demands of time, and remain a part of this modern life.
One of the biggest godsends that came to me while I was mourning over
my return to the Dark Ages is the 2 hr. internet and computer pass
available at the Greenville Public Library five days a week. Putting
forth an effort to make efficient use of my time, I’ve been able to get
almost all of my work done, Monday through Friday. But then weekends
were a problem. Mom and I had to call in favors from friends. But
whatever method I tried, it made me feel stressed out and pressured for
time--- it was not the ideal way to study!
I did get some good news soon after – a glimpse of light at the end of
the tunnel. The library changed its hours and is now open on Saturdays
too! When this stint sans technology passes, I will walk away with a
new appreciation for the dedication of those students without great
resources who still strive to make the grades. I want to hand out my
sincere thanks to the Greenville Public Library staff for giving
students a place to seize the opportunities technology provides us.
As I feel the mouse and keyboard these days, I see it with a different
level of respect especially after the recent event in Egypt. At the
same time, something within me screams that we can’t lose our
resourcefulness or our ability to do things in the old-fashioned way.
Electronic devices may hold the key to a productive modern life and
store all the knowledge we have gained, as was demonstrated by
Watson’s, a robotic contestant on Jeopardy victory over two human
returning champions … but may we as humans, who have been granted the
wisdom to know how to use it, proceed with great care too, so that it
does not ultimately destroy us.