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Erin Whitten Headshot

Technology: There Is No Avoiding It

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Almost everywhere you go, there is a smartphone, camera, laptop and the ever-so popular tablets.

More and more people every day are magnets to the "next big thing," whether it be a new gaming system or new type of cell phone, and now, even toddlers play with kid tablets. Is this the kind of generation we want?

My school just completely switched into a "flipped learning" school, and we do most of our work on iPads. We use so many different apps -- some I haven't even heard of. I've seen firsthand the awful effects of this in the classroom.

Students across school have voiced their hatred towards the iPad program, either it being too complicated to turn in work, or the risk of them getting damaged or their work getting accidentally deleted. There are so many problems with them, especially if you forget it one day. The one day I did not have my iPad -- after it shattered and I didn't have $20 for a copay -- I felt like I just wasted the day.

The fact that everyone including myself are so dependent on technology is just getting way out of hand. If I felt like I totally wasted a day, just because I did not have my iPad for class work. It's just sad. Do you really need technology to help you succeed? That is now how it works at my school -- even the announcements are on iPads so there is no more speaking directly to anyone.

High schools expect students to have great communication skills, but what happens when it's practically taken away? No more communication between people. Between iMessage and emails flying around, there's almost no talking face-to-face.

It is very intimidating when a toddler knows how to use technology better than a teenager. That shows how the next generation is going to be, but that needs to stop. Children should not know how to use technology at such a young age. They need more physical experiences.

Children need to know how to communicate since they are our future. They need thinking skills, and not television or tablets. They need to know how to have fun with their parents, go to parks, talk to other children and not just be plopped in front of a computer.

I am not saying that I hate technology. I am sadly one of the most dependent on technology in my house, whether it's typing up essays or just aimlessly watching YouTube. It has gotten to the point that when I do class work, the best way for me to concentrate is to use music, and if I do not have it, I'm off task for the longest time.

In this ever-changing world, technology will clearly always be around us, but the least we can do is appreciate what we have. Sniff the flowers, go for a walk, shut off the games and simply open your eyes and see what is going on around you, without the iCloud of technology around you.