Technology intensifies need for instant gratification

The world is at our fingertips, literally. Answers to everyday questions can now be found instantly on these newfangled Internet enabled phones without opening a book.

While technology has had an enormous positive impact on the average college student, these fancy phones have resulted in the loss of practical thought and a demand for instant answers.

Technology has its high points. Instead of being forced to rely on a single printer as a means of printing an assignment for a professor, students may now employ a massive school network to save assignments online. In fact, you can even save the paper to a flash drive and carry it with you wherever you go.

There are other technologies we take for granted, like direct deposit. It cuts the time a college student spends at the bank to nearly nothing. This is an advancement that paves the way to a smoother, more productive day.

As a journalist, I will eventually be required to have one of these phones, and I’m sure I’ll appreciate the novelty of checking my e-mail on the go. However, what these phones have done to the art of research is depressing.

As far back as I can remember, “I don’t know” has always been an unacceptable answer. However, finding a solution to my ignorance was simple: look it up. Those were the days when my push for knowing predated the Internet, so I had no other option but to turn to books. It may have taken a little longer, but what I learned stayed with me. As I scoured the pages for the specific answer I sought, other interesting facts and tidbits pulled me away and made the whole experience more rewarding.

What will the weather be like tomorrow? I still quickly peruse the newspaper to get the weekly forecast, but you can now get a message sent to your phone that tells you the forecast in your area.

If a question arises about directions, practical sense is no longer applied. Instead, an address is added into a software program that provides more of a distraction than using an actual map. But Internet phones have pervaded the student body. They are no longer a tool for those who wish to stay connected but a degradation of a style of research that focused on expanding the mind, not instantly providing an answer.

“I don’t know” used to be a mark of shame for me. Now, when someone asks me a question, I feel embarrassed to say that not only do I not know the answer but that I don’t have the means to look it up promptly.

I cannot believe that a device that spits out the answer without any genuine thought being put into the solution deserves to usurp millions of books. But who am I to argue? Pretty soon, I’ll have my own. However, I plan to use it in tandem with our wonderful library. While I appreciate the convenience of instant access to e-mail, in the end, I’m more content to curl up with a musty old textbook and research to my heart’s content.

Libby Davis is a sophomore news editorial journalism and history major from Coppell.