I recently read a comic strip in which teenagers were talking about how their parents had not upgraded their cell phones in two years, how the computer monitor was as big as the dishwasher and how slow their internet connection was.  The punch line was “in terms of technology, we’re almost Amish.”

It is amazing how dependent today’s generation has become on technology, particularly computers.  Ask a student to “write” you a paper, and it is handed in as a printed page.  I had students unable to turn in their homework assignments because their “USB key crashed” or “their printer was out of paper.”  It never occurred to them to hand write their paper and turn it in on time – without excuses.

And this dependency is not limited to the youth of today.  Upon arriving at work one day, our network was down, meaning no access to the server or the internet.  Most of the staff asked if they could go home – a handful were not joking.  There were still phones to answer and physical papers to file, yet without the computer they were at a loss as to what to do.  Have we become that dependent on technology that we can’t operate a business without it?

The joke mentions the Amish.  The Amish shun technology and all of its vices.  No cell phones.  No electricity, so no computer.  Generators run the necessary appliances.  When the systems go down, they still function.  While the rest of the community (world?) sits and waits for a reboot.

Am I a hypocrite as I sit at my computer and write this article?  Most would say ‘yes’; however, if my computer went down right now, I’d just go read a book.  Or maybe I might work on learning to knit or crochet.  Or maybe I’d bake.  Yes, I have other things that I could do to continue to function.  Despite the need of a computer to write and to earn a living, I would be okay.  I could survive in a computer-less world.  I might even enjoy it.

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