How the Computer Has Changed American Culture

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How the Computer Has Changed American Culture When trying to envision the world of today without computers, I imagine that our lifestyles would be extremely different. "As exciting as technological developments may be…it is important to remember that people who lack the skills or the machines to tap into this information are in the same position as those a century ago who could not read or had no access to books" (240). "These new technologies have undoubtedly altered our sense of what it means to be literate" (239). Years ago, being educated simply meant that you could read and write. Today one must go through years of formal schooling to be considered scholarly. This is because, "Our sources of information have become much more diverse than they were even a generation ago," (239). Early in the century, being able to read and write was a skill that only the wealthy could attain. Those without the ability to read and write were typically poor and powerless. As education became available to nearly all of America, the amount of education past high school was the key to wealth and power. Today, information and the skills to access information are past becoming linked to success. This is in part because of the computer, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Those without computer skills in the future will be left behind, powerless. I can still remember the excitement that I felt the first time I placed my hands on a keyboard. As Neil Postman states, "What is peculiar about such interpositions of computers is that their role in directing what we will see or know is so rarely noticed," (247). Throughout this paper, I will examine the advancement of inventions, work ethics, jobs, and how the compu... ... middle of paper ... ...ers. "Finally, just as computers shape our world, so our own dreams and desires influence technological change. Where will our dreams and desires drive the technology of the future?" (241). Eventually, we need to be able to 'read the world,' (239). Computers will continue to impact our ways of life. People have begun to experience more leisure and less hard labor because of computer-related technologies. Perhaps in the future, these luxuries will be extended to the poor, and human rights and equality issues will be improved. As people become more connected, they will hopefully become more aware. Another change that will likely occur is relaxed to home and work. The line between the two is already disappearing. People can now shop without leaving their homes. It will be quite strange if we become more of a global village, but never leave our homes.

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