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Future of Technology

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John Myers

English 1106

M. Smith

4:00-5:15

February 13, 2008

Moving Backwards: The Future of Technology

in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.

вЂ" Aldous Huxley

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

вЂ"Albert Einstein.

In our world today, people have put reading, and books, behind them. They have lost focus on an extremely important learning method. Reading not only helps us to learn vital information, but it also allows us to use our imagination. We have begun to call books words like: outdated, useless, and old school. Most of us look at computers and new technology as the latest way to spend our down time and relax. We are becoming lazy. Our whole lives have become encompassed by the world of quicker, more advanced technology. In Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, he gives the reader a real sense of what our world may be coming to. I believe that if Ray Bradbury saw how my friends and I live our lives вЂ"and how they are revolved around technologyвЂ"he would not be surprised at all about his findings. He would be very much relieved that his statements and beliefs were solidified in the way that we go about our everyday lives.

Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is a prime example of what we are headed to. Bradbury’s insane depiction shows a world where firefighters are sent out to start fires instead of putting them out. Books have become outlawed in the whole world. Firefighters go out and burn everyone’s booksвЂ"even the BibleвЂ"and sometimes even arrest them. Our lives relate to this plot way more than we think. It is almost like we are (in a sense) burning our own books. We do this by turning our heads away from the knowledge and fun that reading and books offer. Yet we focus our time on electronics and new ways to get information. I always find myself sitting in front of my computer reading or listening to mindless and useless information. I find it so much easier to watch a video online and get information. Instead of reading a bookвЂ"to pass my timeвЂ"I will usually watch the movie.

When I look at the research that I have conducted on myself (as well as my peers) I have discovered that we all use all of this new technology in very similar ways. In my technology log I found thatвЂ"everyday when I wake upвЂ"I have a strict routine of mindless actions that revolve around the media and technology. I use the same set of electronics each day: a phone, Macintosh computer, and my iPod. I wake up to my phone alarm, blaring in my ear, and I casually climb out of bed. The very first thing I do is unplug my cell phone from its power cord and I check to see if I have any text messages or missed phone calls. It is very rare that I would get a phone call over night or even a text message, but it is welded into my daily routine, and it is just natural for me to do it. The next action I do is to turn my computer on from sleep. So as I am waking up, my computer is doing the same. Once my computer is up and running, I instantly sign on to AIM to find out what all of my friends are doing. I basically go through all of their away messages and interpret their meanings. After that, I go onto the Virginia Tech website to check my email and blackboard. I have found that my whole morning is all about technology. Over the course of a day, I am carried on by various different types of technology.

Throughout the day, I am drawn to different types of media and technology. Even walking to class, I use both by listening to my iPod (which encompasses media through music, and technology through the actual use of the iPod). I turn on my music before I even walk out of the door. This sets me into my own little world of songs, which deters anything else from bothering me. The problem is, I do not read any posters or signs while I walk. I am completely focused on my destination and the music that I am listening to. While I am in big lecture classes, I am usually on my computer. I connect to the wireless Internet and watch snowboarding videos while I listen to my professors. I will also download their PowerPoint slides and take notes on them while they talk. My entire day works so well because of all of this technology.

Bradbury shows a world where no one reads books anymore, and they just watch television. In my questionnaire, my friends showed this example very well. On average, each person would watch television shows for three to five hours a day. Although, they would actually keep the television on for basically the whole day, even while they would do homework. As video games are concerned, my friend Zac plays his Xbox for at least four hours a day. The focus that these people have on a game is extremely intense. This reminds me of how in Fahrenheit 451, Montag’s wife was so focused

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