Technology Brings People Together
It is difficult to escape the influence of technology on modern life. It lurks behind every door: the classroom, home, office, and store. There are many who are resistant to new technology, saying that technology causes harm to society. These claims are often made without the realization that technology also includes important and indispensable parts in their life such as writing and the tools for writing. Writing was one of the first technologies invented. Technology has now become so entrenched in the majority of cultures around the world that it is hard to imagine a life or society without writing. For those that maintain a majority of technology beyond writing is harmful, imagine the difficulty in writing without the help of other technologies, which includes pencils, paper, computers, printing presses, and a number of other technological aids.
In my project I attempted to write without the assistance of normal technologies that are often taken for granted. It proved a difficult undertaking. Before beginning to write I had to find something to write on. As I searched my house and yard I realized that technology-free materials are difficult to find. I eventually found a birch log by the fireplace, which was once used by Native Americans for the purpose of writing. After tearing off the bark, and shaking off the dirt I had my “paper.” The hardest part was still not over; I needed to find a replacement for the normal writing aid of a pencil or pen. I replaced ink with honey and traded a pen for a feather. My next step was the very slow process of streaking honey on the bark to form words. The honey was the same color as the birch and blended in with the wood. To fix the problem I sprinkled on some sand, which made the words show up slightly better. After this long, time consuming and tedious job I had succeed in getting ten botchy, hard to distinguish written words. The sentence I wrote said, “I am writing with a feather and honey on birch.” My sentence was not interesting or creative. All my energy had went into how to write, instead of concentrating on what to write. The main goal of producing a coherent, important piece of writing was forgotten in the process of deciding how to write.
This project made me appreciate all the technology available today. Many technologies have become so much a part of a life that most do not even recognize them as a technology. Walter Ong, author of the essay, “Writing is a Technology that Restructures Thought”, makes a good point when he says, “The fact that we do not commonly feel the influence of writing on our thoughts shows that we have interiorized the technology writing so deeply that without tremendous effort we cannot separate it from ourselves or even recognize its presence and influence” (316-317). When doing this project I was forced to see how difficult writing can be without the aid of other writing technologies....