High Technology: How to Amuse Ourselves in the Age of Modern Medium – English Essay
Many authors and thousand of studies have talked about the advantages and disadvantages of new technology in nowadays. Being a human, nowadays, has many different kinds of chances to use a new technology, and challenges of how to balance ourselves. There is a big gap in between developing countries and developed countries.
The author Neil Postman tried to compare the time period of before and after developing high technology and how it effects our new generation. In the book, the author discovered the wonderful overview of what exactly has happened to us as a nation and a civilization over the last fifty years. In the book, I read about many serious problems caused by the high technology of today. The author makes many meaningful points; however, I do not agree with some of his points.
In the past 20 years, I lived in Burma; there was no television (TV) in every single house. Nor were there; computer, TV games, and electronic devices. I was raised with plastic dolls, kitchen kits, and playing traditional games with my cousins. I never saw electronic dolls and I did not know that the electronic book could speak at the time. When I was around 14-15 years old, I did not know how to use the computer; however, TV and TV games were popular at that time. In the meanwhile, I realized that TV games were so attractive to every age and also they taught me bad habit, impatient with my partners when I played, and I kept getting more and more angry. Finally, I decided not to take TV games seriously, it is only good for fun.
Back to the present, I moved to the United States and I had seen many different kinds of things made by high technology for children. Besides, I saw many electronic devices for adult also. I gave attention those electronic devices because these devices are helpful for everyone. Meanwhile, I found out that some people know how to use it in a right way, and some people do not know.
Presently, the children who are living in developed countries have a chance to play many colorful electronic materials. The innovators are inventing new games for children by using high technology. In contrast, eighty percent of technology is very helpful to improve children’s abilities such as watching television; cartoon and children movies, computer games, and electronic books. In regards to watching TV, the child can learn the language very quickly, computer games will give them a way to use new technology and practice, and their brains develop, etc. In any event, the parents must have discipline for their children to control those kinds of electronic devices because if the child watches too much TV, there will be a big problem for the child. Therefore, before the parents let their child watch TV, they should consider the following questions:
What are the characters doing?
What is the main story or theme of the episode?
Do the characters fight a lot?
Do the characters make fun of each other?
Are they doing anything illegal or that with an adult theme?
How does your child act after watching the show?Especially, high technologies such as watching television can effects to the early children which are not good for them. Joseph Chilton Pearce points out that:
Television has a disastrous effect on the early child. People keep looking at content, thinking that if we just come up with appropriate content for the early child it would be a wonderful device for them. But there have been in-depth medical studies coming out over the last five years that have found that the damage of television to the early child has nothing to do with content, primarily. Indirectly, it does. But the primary problem with television in the early child is the pairing of audio and visual stimuli. When you pair an audio and visual stimulus it leaves no room for the higher cortical inner image-system to work (Pearce).
He suggests that telling a story to the child makes that the brain to expand its neural structures. The brain will automatically form internal pictures. The brain talks to itself through imagery. Television has displaced all this- looking at the television with its paired audio-visual image, when both of them come into the brain, there is nothing for the brain to do. The image is already there and the brain immediately adjusts to it because there is no information there to challenge the brain (Pearce, par. 4). Therefore, watching too much TV is not good for the children. I think children really need to experience stories and to hear their parents, their uncles, and their aunts telling them stories.
Television is very powerful, and it is very important for people to pay attention to. Different media have different characteristics and are useful for different sorts of things. Television is great for showing the history events, for any sporting event in the whole world, and for certain other things that have high visual interest. For example, there have a presidential election time, we can see live the debate from the news TV and computers by internet. We do not need to wait until the next morning to get to know what they said. If we did not have television, we would not see and know what happened to the World Trade Center when it crashed down, we could not see what is happening in Iraq, and also what is going on in the whole world. Television is a democratic medium because the whole nation can participate in a shared moment, such as when the first man walked on the moon or when President Kennedy was shot. In these ways it is good to have a television and get some visual knowledge from watching TV.
On the other hand, the health of individuals, families and entire communities can be damage by watching too much television. Watching television has become the essential element in modern life. I found that ninety nine percent of American households own a television, and two-thirds have three or more sets. On average, the TV is on almost seven hours a day in the typical home. Scott London points out, “Sixty-six percent of Americans regularly eat dinner in front of the television, and one-in-four say they fall asleep with it on at least three nights a week” (London, par. 2). Besides, TV is private. It is in our bedrooms, it is in our kitchens, it is in our living rooms. It is interesting because it is not even a family activity any more, because most families have a TV for the kids and the parents watch in their bedroom. This kind of situation can cause lack of socialization in our families. Therefore, parents and child need to find out how to communicate and socialize with each other in their leisure time.
Moreover, the global network of computers linked together called the Internet is revolutionizing the way we receive information. The Internet is an example of the power that can exist when computers are linked together. It offers so much information and is relatively easy to use. Using the computer or going to the Web, users to quickly visit sites around the world by just clicking on links. Pictures, movies, sounds, and libraries of text can be accessed online. Computer technology has been used in language teaching since the 1980’s. A number of computer network technologies have been applied, such as multimedia, email, electronic journals, databases, World Wide Web, chat , audio and video conferencing. The computer network has offered language teachers and learners a source of materials, tools for communication and tools for improving language skills.
Teachers can exploit multimedia to support their language teaching. Learners can be exposed to a wide range of resources such as online dictionaries, thesauruses, machine translation software which enables learners to learn vocabulary while reading a book. Electronic newspapers are a great chance for educators and learners because they are easily accessible and almost free. Besides, learners can obtain lecture notes and prepare for lessons beforehand or review the lessons from anywhere at any time convenient for them.
However, sometimes, searching for materials online can be consuming and frustrating. Many learners find it difficult to read papers on a computer screen. Also, it is easy to get in trouble with too much information. In addition, spending a lot of time in front of a computer can have unhealthy result, such as uncomfortable physical position, and getting tired eyes and brains. More and more children are spending an increasing amount of time in the seated posture whether they are watching TV or working on the computer, they are inherently getting less exercise because children are learning unhealthy computer habits early. Therefore, the doctor Alice suggests that:
Take frequent breaks.
Reduce glare and reflections.
Gently massage your eyes, cheeks, forehead, etc. from time-to-time to keep blood flowing and muscles loose. (“Health Service at Columbia,” par.6)
Overall, there are good and bad, advantage and disadvantage, slow and fast, high and low, up and down in the world. Therefore, we need to balance control, discipline, and manage ourselves in whatever and wherever we are in any part of the world.