Technology has definitely changed the way people communicate. Thinking back to my elementary school days, I can remember going to our computer lab (which was the only one in the whole school) every week and learning how to type efficiently. Everyone in my class would look forward to that one day a week because computers were just so fascinating to us. After finishing our keyboarding lesson we were able to draw pictures and play games on the computers. This was our favorite part of our time in the computer lab. Although we learned keyboarding skills in elementary school we never handed any of our assignments in typed. Everything was still hand written. It wasn't until junior high that we started doing assignments on the computer. We had a central area in the middle of our classrooms with a bunch of apple computers where we spent much of our time at school. High school was much the same. Not only did we type all of our papers we also did activities on the computers on a daily basis such as simulated biology and physics labs and review games for our English tests. We could even have conversations with our teacher and classmates through the computer in another language for our foreign language classes. Technology has changed the learning process significantly. Now Microsoft word allows us to format our papers neatly and it even shows us our spelling and grammar mistakes. It also takes much less time to write a paper because we started our keyboarding skills at such a young age we are able to type at much faster speeds than we would be able to write. One problem with this is I find myself not taking enough time to write my papers carefully like I used to when I had to hand write them. I usually just want to get it done as fast as I can and because I am able to type so fast I tend to make errors in the structure of my papers.
I feel that technology has many benefits for helping one learn but I also miss the simplicity of hand written papers, letters, ect. A letter from someone used to be very meaningful and it was so nice to see that someone you cared about took the time to write down their thoughts for you. Now email has made these thoughts and messages much less meaningful because we are flooded with email every single day. In the article "Mail" by Anne Fadiman, Fadiman sates, "The thrill of the treasure hunt is followed all too quickly by the glum realization that the box contains only four kinds of mail (1) junk; (2) bills; (3)work; and (4) letters that I will read for enjoyment , place in a folder labeled "To Answer," leave there for a geologic interval, and feel guilty about. " The author of this article explains that she always gets really excited to open her mailbox in the hopes that there is a letter for enjoyment but usually is disappointed by finding bills and junk mail. Mail just isn't what it used to be. Right before I moved away to college I told my close friends to write me letters and send them to me. When I told them this they all looked at me and said "Write? Like a hand written letter?" In today's world it is not normal to write a hand written letter when there are things like email, text messaging, facebook, and skype. My friends were confused as to why I would want such a thing. My best friend Kaitlin moved to Washington D.C. for college and because of all the technological advances such as facebook and skype it's like she never left. In a way this is a good and a bad thing. A good thing because I get to talk to her all the time but a bad thing because it's not as fun to see her when we both go home on breaks because we already know everything that has happened in each other's lives while we have been at college. I fear generations after mine will not get to experience the joy of receiving a meaningful hand written letter. By then email will be the old way of communicating and they will probably be writing a reflection on how a new technology is taking over and email was much more meaningful and personal. Our world is forever changing and unfortunately there is nothing we can do to stop it.