Keeping up with the evolving world of technology

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Photo by Garrison Oosterhof

Early on in my life, I came to the realization that my peers and I were being rebuked for our constant engagement with technology. All around me I saw parents saying things such as “get off your phone, it’ll give you a headache,” or teachers advising us to “do research in libraries, not online.”

At first, I thought this was something unique, that perhaps our generation was in fact too reliant on the technological advances we’ve seen since the paradigm shift that was the creation and mass-use of the internet.

Suddenly, repositories of knowledge could be accessed not exclusively through extensive travel, hardship and general inconvenience, but through any device that could connect with the mass network that was the world-wide-web. Nothing of this scale had ever been seen before, and it revolutionized the world.

Every industry was dealing with at least some facet of its organization online. In order to remain competitive, every business had to engage in the online world, whether it be through e-commerce, online customer service, advertising, or a plethora of other avenues.

Not being online almost meant that something could be non-existent.

Then, the social networking boom hit in the early 2000’s and yet again, the world was changed in a way no one could have predicted. Social interaction was taken online.

This friction towards our engagement with technology from the older generation is nothing new; every generation looks at the next and ponders upon the end of the world they will surely bring.

Communication became a major constituent of the average person’s internet usage. Emails were seen as formal, and social networking sites provided a platform for communication not necessarily related with one’s professional life.

This is around the time when my story with the internet began. My parents grew up in a time when the internet was not a daily fact of life. Taking notes meant a pen and a notepad. Engaging with friends meant a face-to-face conversation or a phone call, not the “impersonal” texting we’ve become so accustomed to today.

Technologically speaking, our society has jumped very far ahead in a short amount of time. This has led us to a phenomenon where we are not keeping up with our technology as a society, leading to the tension we see in our everyday lives. Professors insisting on no laptop or phone policies in classrooms; our parents judging us for being “plugged in” for a majority of the day.

To an older generation – one that was fostered without this tether to the virtual world – the fact that we can’t be anywhere without our phones is preposterous.

I for one, believe that we should completely embrace the advances we have made, with a spirit of almost reckless abandon. To change is to adapt and to stay stagnant is a defeatist attitude.

To look at progress and decide not to leap is cowardly. Where would we be if we had listened to those who preached against industrial innovation, against medical progress and everything in-between?

This friction towards our engagement with technology from the older generation is nothing new; every generation looks at the next and ponders upon the end of the world they will surely bring.

We’ve always ventured into the unknown and cannot stop now.


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Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.