The Dark Side of Technology

Technology has evolved since 1994 and even further if one looks back to 1969, where rotary phones were considered cutting-edge technology. 

With today’s modern technology of face-ID in phones and Alexa, generation could be living in the future. 

Heather Witham was a ‘94 graduate who was involved in Chamber Band, diving, German Club, Honor Society, Jazz Band, SWC and water polo, as well as a Jr. Civitan. 

“We did not have the internet accessible to us in ’94. Back then, we would have said that we really had no technology,” Witham said.  

Twenty-five years later, every student has a laptop assigned to them by the district and most have smartphones on them as well.  

Witham says the use for technology was a little different than it is today. 

“We used [computers] mainly for word processing,” Witham said. “We would have had to look things up in the dictionary, we would have the glossary in our textbooks…we would have had the school library.” 

Today, digital databases of information aren’t the only thing that today’s generation perceives technology as. Gaming has also changed while at the same time, being like it was 25 years ago.  

“Game consoles were just an earlier version of what we have now…but it was much more limited,” Witham said. “If you wanted to play games, you would be playing with other people sitting next to you. 

Now, gaming means disconnected, but at the same time, connected to someone they may not even know. 

What I see now is more usable, play games at home alone, but they’re playing with other people, so they’re playing over a headset or through the Internet. The socialization is different. It’s not elbow-to-elbow, sharing snacks, laughing together quite the same way as it used to be.” 

Now, with many students owning cell phones, socialization is changing that way as well. Instead of going over to your friend’s house across the street, you text them instead of talking to them.  

“I have four kids. When I’m traveling with one of my children and my child’s friends, I don’t hear them talking. I look back in my rearview mirror and every single friend is looking at their own phone, isolated from each other, yet sitting right next to each other,” Witham said. “I mean, that’s kind of sad.”