I look at the students. Each one is different, individual, yet there is a similar thread among most students which could be labelled technology. More specifically, a seemingly instinctive desire to possess and consume technology. Smart phones, tablets, iPods…these and other types of technology dominate their lives.
As I look at these students, I can not help but be amazed at how different my own high school years were. Electronic devices were not an issue among my class because we did not have devices such as what is on the market today. The result of this lack of modern technology was that we learned how to get through the day without the help of smart phones. We talked to each other in person as opposed to texting, tweeting, Snapchatting, and Facebooking one another. We brought books not assigned to us to read. Doodling could be found in our notebooks, on the margins, and on the backs of our worksheets. Work was done in school because after school allotted for a few available hours to be spent wisely to avoid a severe lack of sleep. We remained busy because there was always something to do.
The work remains among today’s students, and I do see that productive attitude illustrated by students. What I also see among many students is a need to be entertained by electronics, a sort of dependence on electronics to get through the school day.
This post is not meant to bash technology or students. The purpose of this post is to give thanks, and I am thankful. I am thankful to have grown up without today’s technology. That I had a cassette player, a boom box, a CD player, an album to store my CDs, a VHS player, a beeper, and change in case I ever had to use a payphone (which I did). Oh, and the Internet? That was a slow dial up with a good chance of randomly being kicked off; once on, IM was what today’s texting is, and you had to log off if someone needed to use the phone.
Why am I thankful to have grown up without today’s technology? Because it makes me thankful for today’s technology. And that I know how to survive without my smart phone (but would not like to).