The Daily Evergreen

A life ruled by machines

Marissa Mararac | Evergreen columnist

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Machines: friend or foe? 

The questions our grandparents ask about using electronics can seem silly at times because we, being the technology generation, forget that there once was a time in history when technology did not dictate life.

The use of smart phones, Kindles, computers, and iPads have become a reliable source, but technology should not be allowed to control our world. And that is exactly where it’s headed. 

In this age, we are so wrapped up into what is happening on the Internet that we’ve lost sight of a few flaws in the machines we use on a daily basis.

The use of technology has taken the word “conversation,” the exchange of ideas by spoken words, and transformed it into a connection through messages and the Internet.

As college students, I am sure many of us can admit texting or Snapchatting when we should be holding conversations with our peers sitting across the dinner table.

That’s not to say we don’t welcome the face-to-face interaction daily life has to offer. We are just far too intrigued with the fact that we can get instant gratification from responses that take milliseconds to arrive from friends or family miles away.

This not only eliminates any chance of being a successful communicator, but it is also takes away the ability to have patience with the people in our lives.

How many times have you texted someone who you think is responding too slowly? This is because we’ve been programmed into thinking any and all responses are just a click away.

It is brilliant but sad to say that Albert Einstein was once again correct with his quote, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

This statement, made in the past or present, holds true. 

Another instance of technology taking a step closer to controlling our way of life occurred this past holiday season.

More than 750,000 spam messages were sent out through household electronics such as TVs, home routers, and even refrigerators, according to MSN News. This incident took place because all of these machines were smart devices that connect to the Internet, according to Proofpoint, a system that specializes in email security.

That being said, these home appliances can work as an equivalent to virus-spreading computers because it is an easy way for hackers to tap into systems that are poorly guarded. 

Home appliances taking another leap into the future only reminds me of the 1999 Disney Channel movie, “Smart House.” In the movie, a computerized home and maid system named PAT starts out as a genius invention that slowly turns into a virtual mom who wants nothing more than to control the family living in the smart house.

Back then, the movie was seen as a joke, but the accuracy it represents in today’s world is frightening.

The expansion of technology has its obvious advantages, but there should be limits as to how far machines should go. No home appliance, such as a refrigerator, should be able to hack into our computer system, especially when a refrigerator’s sole purpose is storing food and not spreading viruses. 

At the same time it is also important to be aware that even when we have the ability to access the Internet and social media, we should not take for granted the people and activities right in front of us. 

Human interaction is needed. The world should continue to be run by humanity and not machinery.

Marissa Mararac is a junior communication major from Tacoma. She can be contacted at 335-2290 or by [email protected] The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the staff of The Daily Evergreen or those of Student Publications.

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A life ruled by machines