Technology will ‘terminate’ you

By Cecelia Francisco
October 21, 2004

Cecelia Francisco

Waking up in the morning, I’m greeted with the buzz of an alarm clock. With the normal response of smacking the ‘snooze’ button I roll back over and sigh, immediately falling back to sleep to the glowing light and hum of the TV-tuned in to early morning Cartoon Network.

When I finally do wake up, just in time to shower and prepare myself for the day before my first class, I grab my bag and sling it over my shoulder. Five minutes to walk from House 5 to Founder’s Hall; I’m making good time today. Then, right before I walk out the door I realize something’s missing.

I now search high and low for my ‘jump’ drive, a tiny over priced piece of plastic with computer chips in it. Three minutes left until class, I begin to sit, paranoid now that I’ve left the drive plugged into a computer in one of the classroom labs and it has been stolen.

“Where is it?” I nearly shout to myself. My roommate is now looking at me as if I had multiple heads. Finally, I emerge from a pile of clutter on my floor holding the tiny drive in my thumb and forefinger triumphantly. My excitement fades as I gaze at the clock. One minute to class time.

As we walk to class, I start ranting about technology. Jump drives, computers, cell phones, e-mail, blogs, palm pilots, the Internet and even Onstar are brought up in our conversation.

It becomes perfectly clear to me that, as a whole, our society is entirely too dependent on a gaggle of gadgets that constantly malfunctions and ruins our lives. As we walk through the cafeteria, I hear a student complaining about her computer crashing mid-paper.

A friend of mine once forgot to change the batteries in his palm pilot within the 30 seconds before it would erase the entire hard drive, and lost all of his contact information for family, work and friends. He was at a total loss because at the time, he also didn’t have his cell phone because it was getting repaired due to a malfunction in its antenna.

For those who are in love with technology and your quirky little gadgets (cough, Dr. Zurek, cough), answer me these questions: How many times has a computer locked up on you while you were trying to access your e-mail, or better yet, WebCT? How many times has your cell phone neglected to give you a voice message someone had left you? How many times have you misplaced a tiny contraption, which you need to run one or all of the rest of your electronic devices?

Is it really worth it to rely on computers, microchips and circuits to run our lives? Sometimes I feel as if people think the world didn’t run efficiently at all before electronic gadgets took over.

At one point in life, people had to physically write papers and hand them in to a teacher, instead of praying that they didn’t get lost in e-mail or frozen in cyberspace because the internet in your dorm went down.

Once upon a time humans, students and teachers alike, weren’t slaves to the eyesores of staring at computer screen pixels for extended hours on end. Kids went outside to run around and play football, instead of hitting a few buttons on a controller to make a digital player run a football play.

I can even make it simpler then video games, and internet problems. My friend’s parents recently bought a new coffee pot. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “So what, people buy coffee pots all the time, they’re easy to use, right?” Wrong.

It took them nearly two hours to figure out how to set the clock and then another hour to figure out how to get the coffee maker to start brewing a pot of coffee. After consuming a couple of cups, the couple spent the next hour trying to discover what buttons to push to set up the machine to make their coffee for them by the time they woke up.

I’ll give you an even better example. My family got new cell phones at the beginning of the summer. Being of the tech age, it took moments for my brother and I to open the phones up and start compiling our phone books once they’d charged.

“You should read the book so you know what you’re doing.” My mom said. I remember looking up to see her nose buried in the small print of page 15 out of 60 some odd pages of manual from the friendly folks at Motorola. I bit back a snicker as I had already completed 95 percent of my phone’s setup.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed my dad how to enter a name and number into the phone’s phone book. He calls me up frequently to leave me voicemails during class about getting to his voicemail.

I don’t mind helping, but it’s got to be frustrating to have to constantly ask your kids what something on a tiny pixilated computer screen says. Equally, it’s frustrating knowing how to use all these tech objects only to have them glitch constantly and breakdown.

As I ponder all of this, I am now in my room at night, finishing the last of my work. I think about all the electronic interaction I’ve had today and it makes me cringe.

My day consisted of an alarm clock, countless hours using e-mail and the Internet, two hours fighting to get WebCT to let me submit what I need to submit, my cell phone’s background froze five times only to later unfreeze and go off in class once, a printer stopped working four times, the TV started emitting a high pitched squeal for no reason, and I once again have misplaced my jump drive in the evening.

Did I mention that the Honda car salesman, who was trying desperately to convince my Father and I to buy an Element at the beginning of this year, actually used the fact that the car held 4 times the amount of computers used in the Apollo space mission that landed on the moon? Considering my track record with computer dysfunction, that wasn’t very comforting.

Of course, this is coming from the person who turns off her computer at night, because I’m convinced that while I sleep my computer is learning things without me with the intention that one day it will revolt and murder me in my sleep.

After finishing the last of my homework, I shut the computer down and proceed to pick up the remote. Curling up in bed preparing for sleep, I find myself flipping through channels. A news channel I land on tells me about a computer chip that is the size of a grain of rice that certain governments around the world are contemplating using. The chips can hold medical data, identification data and even be used like a credit card, linked to bank accounts to pay for things.

Changing back to Cartoon Network for a cynical episode of “Family Guy,” I roll my eyes-the technological world is going too far. Haven’t any of these inventors seen “Gattaca” or “Minority Report ?” Hello, “The Terminator” anyone?

Posted to the web by Cecelia Francisco

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cecelia Francisco

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap