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Is This the Future?

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Picture a library without books? Well, I can't. Ever since I was little I would go to the library and take out numerous books. From picture books to beginning chapter books to YA books, books have always been a part of my life. Unlike many people today, I don't own a Kindle or a Nook or any type of e-reader. I prefer the old-fashioned book. There is something about holding a book and being able to turn the pages that I find comforting. In today's 21st century, books may become obsolete. For me that's something I find scary.

I am a fan of the old TV sci-fi series Twilight Zone. One episode is about a librarian who has become obsolete. Though this episode aired in 1961, the writer of the series, Rod Serling was exactly on point when it came to predicting the future.

In fact, in San Antonio, Texas the first-ever bookless library in the country opened. The library is full of iMacs, tablets and iPads cost a whopping $2.3 million. The library offers around 10,000 e-books. So the question is, is this what the future will soon be? Mary Graham, vice president of South Carolina's Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce states, "This is the future... If you're going to be building new library facilities, this is what you need to be doing."

It is our generation that will be the guinea pigs of increasing technology like this. Is this a good or bad thing many ask? Well, digital libraries may help the environment by not using paper; however, I feel like something will always be lacking with a digital book. A digital library is just the beginning.

With all of this new technology, people seem to be more absorbed in their own world. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I am with a friend and they can't seem to get off their smart phone and talk to me. To make plans with a friend and then have them stuck on their phone the whole time is tremendously rude. Not only is it disrespectful, but it reflects the direction of where human interactions are heading. Though social media is great, it also is addicting and has negative effects such as cyberbullying.

Often when I go on Facebook it just makes me feel worse about myself. I'll see one of my 800 Facebook friends bragging about their newest accomplishment or acceptance to college. Additionally, our society is becoming increasingly lazy. For instance, instead of doing mental math, people resort to using their phone to solve 89 + 74. It is simple tasks like these that are allowing people to lack important educational and social skills.

It is up to us to find a balance between technology and sustaining human values and interactions. With new technology being created every day, we need to learn how to use it alongside our miraculous minds. After all, inventions are supposed to benefit society not handicap it. In the day of technology, who knows what's next?