How the Computer Has Changed American Culture
When trying to envision the world of today without computers, I imagine that our lifestyles would be extremely different. "As exciting as technological developments may be…it is important to remember that people who lack the skills or the machines to tap into this information are in the same position as those a century ago who could not read or had no access to books" (240). "These new technologies have undoubtedly altered our sense of what it means to be literate" (239). Years ago, being educated simply meant that you could read and write. Today one must go through years of formal schooling to be considered scholarly. This is because, "Our sources of information have become much more diverse than they were even a generation ago," (239).
Early in the century, being able to read and write was a skill that only the wealthy could attain. Those without the ability to read and write were typically poor and powerless. As education became available to nearly all of America, the amount of education past high school was the key to wealth and power. Today, information and the skills to access information are past becoming linked to success. This is in part because of the computer, which recently celebrated its
50th anniversary. Those without computer skills in the future will be left behind, powerless.
I can still remember the excitement that I felt the first time I placed my hands on a keyboard. As Neil Postman states, "What is peculiar about such
interpositions of computers is that their role in directing what we will see or know is so rarely noticed," (247). Throughout this paper, I will examine the advancement of inventions, work ethics, jobs, and how the computer has changed these to make our lives easier in some ways, but more complex in others.
Following the development of computers, American culture underwent vast and fast-paced changes. These new machines were taking over everything, which made it harder for the older generations to preserve their way of life and function as a valuable part of society. Americans not only had to change their lifestyles, but they also had to adapt to changes in their work in order to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Little did America know that technology would expand so rapidly to transform our society.
There have been many advances since the initial invention of the computer fifty years ago. Today, computers operate many of the things that we use in everyday life. Some examples of these things are farm machinery, cars, planes, video games, heat and water delivery to our homes, banking, billing, and even the stock market. The advances of the computer have resulted in the
expansion of American employment opportunities. Countless numbers of jobs have been created because of these changes. Almost every job that one can think of involves some sort of computer technology; there are only a handful of jobs in this day and...