The earliest memory of my using a computer comes from when I was around four years-old; my grandmother sat me in front of a clunky, large desktop running off of Windows 95. It was like it was love at first site, and now it feels as if I’ve always had this sort of love-affair with computers. Technology is something that changes every day. From computers to eReaders it’s as if each time we turn the corner, there is some new update waiting to be downloaded or installed. For some this is no issue, yet for others it’s a massive inconvenience. The latter is left wondering why the current generation is so dependent on technology, or why more and more people prefer to read from a Kindle or Nook rather than “old-fashioned” books. For people with these questions, I strongly advise reading “Lazy Eyes” by Michael Agger, as it not only provides information that’s useful and thought-provoking; it manages to be funny at the same time while Sherry Turkle’s “How Computers Change the Way We Think” is dull, dated, and doesn’t provide any sort of helpful information.
Turkle was born in New York City in 1948. Graduating from Radcliffe College, the University of Chicago, and Harvard University, she is currently a clinical psychologist and professor of Sociology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Written for the Chronicle of Higher Education, “How Computers Change the Way We Think”, is not credible because it never provides any sort of helpful information on the subject. One would think that because of Turkle’s focus on humans’ relationship with computers and years of experience this would not be the case. Instead the article feels almost lifeless, making it hard to focus while reading. Her view of technology, it seems, is rather dated stating that “[her] first encounters with how computers change the way we think came soon after I joined the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970’s” (602).
Turkle’s theory that if “we take the computer as a carrier of way of seeing the world and our place in it, we are all computer people now” (607) is still quite intriguing, however. Do computers really change the way we think? She believes that “technology does not determine change, but it encourages us to take certain directions” (603). To her, word processors are complex in psychology because of the ability to take the most dedicated students and turn them into dedicated writers because “it allows them to revise text, rearrange paragraph’s, and experiment with the tone and shape of an essay” (605). Professional writers however cannot imagine what their lives would be like with a computer, some even claiming that “they simply cannot think without their hands on the keyboard” (605). Have we just simply grown so accustomed to working with technology that we cannot bare to part with it?
A graduate from Yale University and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania native, Michael Agger currently works as a writer and editor for the online magazine, Slate. His...