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My Turn: Online, all the time

Last modified: 12/5/2013 12:23:11 AM
It’s impossible for me to get through my day without using some form of technology, whether it is school-based or purely for entertainment purposes. I wake up to the alarm on my phone, open my computer to read the news and check my email to see if my professors have sent out anything pertaining to class that day.

Almost all of the work submitted to my professors is online, meaning that having a laptop is an essential part of my life as a college student. It’s what I use for homework, research, shopping and job hunting. The only thing I don’t use my computer for is taking notes in class. Having the internet at my fingertips during lecture proves to be very distracting.

As a club president I use the school’s email system and social media frequently to spread information about meetings and events to my fellow students. Almost every college student has a Facebook page. I use my personal page to spread information, and the club has its own page as well. It allows me to connect with a large portion of the student body. My Twitter feed is a fascinating combination of random thoughts and political opinions that are updated at various points throughout the day in 140 characters or less.

There’s a lot of technology my generation takes for granted, but one thing I know I’ll never take for granted is my Kindle e-reader. Not only do I have access to my favorite books at the touch of a button, but I’m able to purchase several of my textbooks at less than half the cost of buying the actual book. What more can a college student ask?

I’m comfortable admitting that without my cell phone I feel completely disconnected from the world. By the end of the month I’ve used maybe 200 minutes actually talking to people on the phone, but I send more than 10,000 texts a month in conversations with family and friends. My cell phone is my link to everyone and my most useful form of technology.

Personally, I’ve never found much use for video games. If you were to hand me an Xbox controller and ask me to play something with you, I would definitely lose. My roommate and I have one in our room which we predominantly use to play DVDs. Each night before bed, after I’ve done my fill of homework, I spend some time with my Netflix account, usually binge watching some television drama. Netflix is basically the only form of television I watch during the week unless CSPAN is playing on one of the televisions in the lobby of a campus building.

As I write this column my Pandora Radio is playing in the background. I find Pandora especially useful because it introduces me to new music I wouldn’t have found otherwise. Music helps me focus and allows me to withdraw from the noisy distractions that come with living in a dorm. At any time of the day I can walk into my hallway and hear three different types of music being played by my neighbors.

Technology is changing every day, and I’m sure 30 years from now after even more technological advances I’ll look back on the forms of technology I rely on today and find them archaic.

(Katelyn Gagnon is a student at New England College, where she is president of the College Democrats and co-president of the Political Science Club.)


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