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Computers are bad for society


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#1 Joy

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 09:25 AM

It is hard to imagine life without a computer. I use the computer everyday for about an hour or more. Computers are a form of recreation that enables you to communciate with other people via email and instant messaging. New web sites have emerged, labeled "social networking" sites, in which people of all ages can interact with each other. Considering all these methods of communication, social interaction is the primary function of a computer. Yes, thousands of nonchatting programs are stored in the hard drive, but most of these are not used at all. Most people use the computer to socialize in the internet. I believe that computers have degraded society by switching our standard method of communication from talking to typing.

You don't see a person's face when you type. It's just a screen. Although words are useful, experts point out that ninety percent of communication is nonverbal. Such nonverbal signs include facial expression, tone of voice, and body language. Computers cannot express any of these humanistic signs. Only by direct interaction can you infer from a person's body language to understand his or her mood. This intuitive ability is actually part of emotional intelligence, a new field of study that experts say is more important than your IQ. Therefore, technological communication is not an effective method of developing your emotional intelligence.

Aside from making people stupid, computers glorify a lethargic lifestyle. Most work places nowadays consist of thousands of individualized compartments in which people are physically separated from each other by walls. A well paid banker will have spent most of his or her lifestyle in front of a computer, typing numbers in software programs and printing out receipts. In ancient times, people moved around for various purposes, such as building, gathering fruit, or playing. I believe the ancient lifestyle of being physically active is more meaningful in life than typing for hours on end.

Because computers have constituted a mentally and physically lazy lifestyle, I think we should minimize their use. Although completely eliminating their use is impossible, I think we can stop wasting our time communicating via typing, and go outside to talk with other people, which is much more conducive to our health. I hope we realize that computers are not the mark of progress, but a sign that technology has gone too far.
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