Christchurch quakes show technology's worth

Greer Patterson
Greer Patterson
Obviously, the technology fight is one that differs with the ages.

Some love it and some hate it. Some have boundaries and some have none at all.

We as a society are now becoming more aware and are starting to make decisions on how we are going to let technology into our homes, work and lives and how it influences us, as the growth of technology reaches an all-time high.

John Harlow, the writer of The Age of Disconnection, holds the view that technology is ruling our lives and controlling our society.

But Watching and Waiting writer Bill Ralston believes that without technology, we would be lost.

Mr Harlow's point is technology is running our lives.

He uses the example of people who are addicted to texting, Facebook and Twitter, and there are people who even let technology rule their sex lives.

Not only is it controlling the way we do things, it also has an effect on common manners, such as people texting each other across the dinner table and answering calls at funerals.

He believes technology is simply making us rude.

He urges us to "take control" and "keep a sense of proportion", and he asks us to question ourselves about "who the slave is and who the master is".

Mr Ralston, on the other hand, believes "that without technology, we would remain unconnected and at a loss".

He used the example of the recent Christchurch earthquake and how technology kept us connected even in a time of devastation.

Although telephone lines were cut and communications down, the 'net was still working.

Bloggers began posting news and links to official sites.

He described how he flicked from Facebook to Twitter to TV1 to TV2 and back to the internet to watch the latest online.

The day the quake struck, people of Canterbury found the internet to be a lifesaver and a source of comfort.

The full range of communications formed one giant information stream that not only connected people in Christchurch with family and friends, but also united the country to do what it could for Christchurch.

I will admit, I am a texter. I am also a Facebook fan.

I have the latest music and the latest iPod out, and I get the latest news on my home page every time I open the internet.

I even take a geography class online (my teaching is from Wellington).

Without technology, yes, I could probably live. But the inconvenience I believe it would cause repels me from wanting to try going without it.

I do still hold the view that some of us are forgetting our manners and our morals, and the art of answering the telephone. I am just, like many, a child of the future, using technology to live and to learn.

 • Greer Patterson, Year 13, Roxburgh Area School


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