Can students survive without technology?

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Technology is like a third arm for students at university, it seems essential and is a way of keeping in touch with each other. But are there still those people who can manage without their phones, laptops or iPods? I know I found it difficult to manage for one day, it was like losing a vital organ. I mean how was I meant to organise meeting friends for lunch at the last minute? Or checking my emails for any updates that a seminar might be cancelled or changed? It certainly seems like technology has become a second language which students have learnt and taken in their stride.

I tried to go a day without my mobile phone; I immediately found a huge flaw in this plan when I couldn’t set an alarm for my 9am lecture. Getting out of bed at this ridiculous hour is hard enough, but without an alarm it is near impossible. When I finally did make it out of bed, I ventured onto campus and wanted to find a friend to go for lunch, without a phone this just wasn’t happening. I have to admit I gave up then, I just couldn’t manage.

Now a lot of people will certainly succeed a lot better than I did, but is it possible to have a successful and happy student life at university without technology? From my own experience, I would immediately say no. It’s become essential to submit essays online, immediately requiring a laptop or computer, firstly to type them, research them and then submit them. The internet holds the necessary connection between students and their tutors.

Then there is your mobile. This is more the social side of being a student. Keeping in contact with friends and arranging to meet, giving you that much needed break from work. So how can you arrange to see them without a phone or facebook? Surely people don’t send letters these days? It immediately suggests that technology is an essential part of our lives, and in a way it structures our days, right from the moment we wake up to the last time we check our emails before we go to bed.

There is still however some fears that technology is making us lazy. I know I have been logged onto facebook chat to ask my flat mate something, being the easier albeit lazier option than walking the few meters across the hall to ask them face to face. But this small act has dramatically changed a social interaction. Fears of technology taking over our lives are increasing with the rise of portable devices, allowing us to check facebook and e-mails on the move. People can choose to catch up with old friends over the phone rather than travelling a distance to see them face to face. I’m sure most people would admit to doing this once in a while.

Either way you look at it, I would argue straight away that some form of internet is necessary for students to live what we may call a normal life. It has become a new form of communication, and provides increasing amounts of information for us. Facebook is a whole new social space, and as we spend more and more time online, it becomes harder to remember how we ever managed without it.

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