August 9, 2009

Thoughts on Internet... Via Internet, Of Course

The Internet has given us so much. Before its invention and widespread use, communication was much more limited. In fact, the Internet had an effect much like the end of World War Two, or the telephone- it dragged the world into closer lines of communication, for better or for worse.

Now, it has been suggested that the Internet take a larger role in education. Textbooks, as today's New York Times article suggests, will fall by the wayside, steamrollered (or Fahrenheited?) into oblivion by the instant gratification of a few clicks of the mouse.

This would certainly help aid the environment- much less paper equals much less of a problem with schools that don't recycle, and many more trees that will live another day- and also would probably have positive effects on rates of scoliosis in children (no more heavy backpacks!); but some detrimental effects must be kept in mind.

For one thing, the youth of this world (present company definitely included) already spend far too much time glued to a computer screen. If one adds homework assignments and the whole of an education to the time spent in cyberspace, what will happen to our civilization? Will we waste our lives away staring at white screens that glare back with a sleep-depriving vengeance?

I'm being melodramatic, of course, but really- how far should we step away from our beautifully bound tomes of yore? Or, more accurately, how far should we step toward this new and impressive Internet that brings us ever-closer to an Instant Age?

Instant gratification is, as its name suggests, gratifying- but I can almost dare to suggest that the Internet, like Twinkies, is becoming somewhat of a (nearly-but-not-quite-harmless) addiction...

No comments:

Post a Comment