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Subtraction by Addition: Technological Advances in Modern Society

  • Date Submitted: 04/29/2010 09:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 57.2 
  • Words: 1798
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Throughout the last century of the Modern World, particularly the United States and the Western World, the most compelling and influential aspect has been advancement of technology. To this day, technology makes incredible strides to make our society more effective and easier to manage. To many people, the increase in technology and expertise increases efficiency in the workplace, home, and personal life. But for a rising movement of writers, scholars, and concerned citizens, the last few decades of advancements are believed to have negative results on society. An issue that has popularized within the last two decades, is the question of whether technology makes us smart and more efficient, or lazy and uneducated. It is clear through research and observation, that the steady increase of technology has resulted in a decrease in certain areas of mental and physical cognition.
The increase of technology in the United States has become a nation dependant on technology. There are many people who believe that the advancements in technology have not advanced our nation at all. One scholar who believes in this process of a world-wide technological “dumbing” of society is Dana Stevens. Stevens is a movie critic and also writes for the New York Times. In her essay, _Thinking Outside the Idiot Box_, she responds to another scholar’s claim that television shows today make us smarter, more aware, and causes us to use brain depth. In her writing she retorts, “If watching TV really makes you smarter, as Steven Johnson argued in an article in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine (an excerpt from his forthcoming book) then I guess I need to watch a lot more of it, because try as I might, I could make no sense of Johnson’s piece…in other words, if I understand correctly, watching TV teaches you to watch more TV” (Stevens 231). She argues that just because a TV show has a creative, deep, and heavy plot, does not mean it causes someone to focus more and therefore become smarter. All...

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