It’s fantastic being able to instantly connect to the internet from anywhere. You don’t even need an old-timey computer anymore; most mobile devices can surf the web. At a glance, this seems great! Instant internet available on small devices anywhere you go. Turns out, that instant accessibility isn’t so great, it’s transforming our minds and society for the worse.
One day, I stumbled across a troubling picture on the internet. At a surface level, the picture is relatively harmless. It shows a happy family of five enjoying some drinks at Starbucks while using various computer products. However, at a deeper level, this picture is indeed troubling.
Another troubling observation I made about the picture is that it shows two kids, all (probably) under the age of 12, and a baby are all using their own, personal mobile computers that are capable of accessing the internet. Yes, iPhones and iTouches are computers that also have portable music and/or a phone attachment. Two of the kids show that they clearly know how to use their computers; the jury is still out on the baby. They have their own, personal computers available wherever they go and are fully capable of using them. They have been raised to embrace computers.
These kids probably grew up surrounded by computers since the day they were born. In 1989, 15% of households had a computer, 22.8% had computers in 1993, and 51% had at least one computer in 2000 (Carroll). The oldest kid appears to be around twelve years old, which means he is more than likely to have had a computer in his home for his entire life. Combined with their parents’ love of Apple products, it is extremely likely the kids were (and still are) smothered with computer products. In 2009, almost 80% of American households had at least one computer. This family has five.
The internet became widely available to the average household sometime in the mid-90s. These kids have grown up with the internet their entire lives. Not only have they never lived in a day without internet, they would have been taught to love and embrace the web. All of their teachers at school would have been well adjusted to the internet. They would have been taught in an extremely different way than the generation prior, case in point, Szoterizing and Scrible assignments.
Because computers and the internet have been so deeply engrained into our culture, some people cannot imagine a day without them. Similar to how many people today cannot imagine a world without the convenience of automobiles or electricity, kids today who have grown up depending on computers and the internet literally cannot function without them.
On January 18th, 2012, a handful of websites shut down or blacked out all of their content as a protest to two proposed bills called SOPA and PIPA. The bills were supposed to combat illegal free downloading of copyrighted content, but due to the way they worked, the...