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Thursday, August 11, 2022
The independent student publication of The Unversity at Buffalo, since 1950

Technical fail

I have one cell phone, a simple iPod Nano and an average PC laptop. These basic devices are as advanced as my technological gadgets get, and I like it that way.

Technology is obviously an important part of our culture. It helps us to cultivate our network for the future and get through everyday life quicker and easier.

However, I think it's taking over the world – and not in a good way.

Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have replaced real communication.

These social networks have created a lazy society where instead of picking up the phone and calling someone, it's ok to simply click on their Web page and write a quick blurb about how you miss them.

A face-to-face conversation has become something of the past.

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Traveling to a local café to sit and catch up with an old friend while enjoying a cup of coffee no longer happens. Instead, we can easily put someone on speakerphone while we get dressed in the morning or drive to work, and we feel satisfied with the conversation.

E-mail has also changed communication, turning pen pals and postcards into outdated notions. Why take the time to write a letter, buy the stamp and find an envelope if you can instead log onto the Internet, and in mere seconds have the letter sent and received in a span of five minutes?

I myself have resorted to e-mail when communicating with my grandpa who lives in Florida. Although I know that it doesn't replace the virtues of a face-to-face conversation or the anticipation of getting a letter in the mail, I do it because it's easy, and because I too, have taken advantage of technology and gotten lazy.

Even reading a book has become effortless. The serenity and escape from reality that a library provides has been replaced by E-books with devices like Kindle and the iPad.

In an era where technology dominates all thought and communication, relationships have also fallen victim. People used to frequent bars or restaurants on the weekend to meet their future soul mate, but now, they can log onto Web sites like or eHarmony and find their perfect special someone instantly.

Not only does technology provide a portal to instant relationships, but it also supplies on the spot distraction.

While in class, I see students simultaneously checking their Facebook on their laptops, texting on their BlackBerry, taking notes in an open document and shopping for spring break must-haves on the Internet.

It's gotten pathetic that we can no longer sit through 50-minute lectures, pay attention and reap the benefits of the thousands of dollars that we're investing in tuition.

Everyday is a struggle to turn off our outside world and put it on hold. I put my phone on silent when I go to bed or out to dinner with friends, but some people can't even do that.

You just can't escape from it. Technology is constantly changing, and you'll never be able to keep up. As soon as you get the newest cell phone loaded with applications, a newer design comes out a few weeks later and you're out of style.

I find the whole thing utterly overwhelmingly and exhausting.

I think we should enjoy the benefits and the luxuries that technology can provide us, but we shouldn't forget where we came from – pen pals, coffee dates, libraries and genuine communication.

With that in mind, I'll take my own advice and trade in e-mails with my grandpa for an airplane ticket in April.




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