At the beginning of the last century, students used to spend many hours at libraries looking for information. It was mostly because there were no other means to obtain the knowledge needed to fulfill the school or university’s assignments. However, for the last thirty or twenty years this situation has been changing, and with it the way we learn or in other words the way we acquire our knowledge. Nowadays, in many educational institutions the web-based research has become the most effective way of gathering information, because it allows us to find whatever we want to know in seconds. Nevertheless, if we leave aside the contribution of technology to the compilation of facts, we can realize that not because we are able to have a quick access to information it means that we understand or learn something. My goal in this paper is to discuss the influence and effects of technology in education by expressing my opinion and my analysis of Anderson, M.T. Feed. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2012. Print.
Firstly, from my point of view M. T. Anderson tries to give us a message of how technology is interferes in our everyday life and the role it plays in human communication. Additionally, I can perceive a certain degree of prediction of what the future awaits for us if we do not act to ameliorate our behavior towards the usage of technology. He presents this foresight through many themes. However, as I said before I will be only analyzing education and knowledge. To understand why this theme is important it is necessary to point out that in this futuristic schools students have a completely different education, where subjects are frivolous and do not require students to think by themselves. Additionally, people are said to be smart because the feed provides them instantly with everything they need to know.
Therefore, people do not have to make efforts to comprehend and learn collections of factual knowledge. The undemanding acquisition of knowledge may sound fantastic, but if we think carefully about it, we will find that if we do not use our own brain to learn or to do anything else, we may lose the characteristic that differentiate us from the rest of animals which is our ability to think critically. “That’s one of the great things about the feed- that you can be supersmart without ever working” (Anderson 47) this was the first evidence that made me realize that Titus, the main character and narrator of the novel, tends to confuse what being smart actually means. The first definition he gives to the word smart is to have access to information. However, this is nothing more than an aid, an element that helps us to be smart. People need to work by themselves in order to analyze and understand their findings only then we can say that someone is smart.
For instance: being the owner of a computer with internet access does not make us smart, but what does is to use the information after a thoughtful analysis of it. Titus also define being smart as being fashionable, which in certain situations it is perfectly correct, still this is not the case, given that he talks of Violet creating and using her brain to do what she wanted. This confusion is clearly depicted in this passage: “I was afraid that she would be too smart for me, but she wasn’t. I don´t mean she wasn´t smarter, because she was, but just that there was so much she hadn´t done” (Anderson 107) Titus define Violet as intelligent, but then he suddenly changes his conception to not smart enough for the reason that Violet had not done some things. In the book people do what the feed suggest them to do which generally involve buying things. Therefore, what Titus meant was that Violet was not smart enough, because she did not have the economic resources to buy what most people of her age buy.
In our society what we buy does not determine yet how smart or educated we are. Notwithstanding, It is not difficult for me to think that in the future smart will mean fashionable in any context, considering that we are already buying the trends on the market to make us feel important, just as important as once was to be smart. Moreover, we learn in the book that education is different because of the progress of technology, Titus states that in the past “when their grandparents were students they did not learn anything useful.”(Anderson 109) I agree with him to a certain extent, it is true that sometimes we learn things we will never use. Yet everything we learn at school helps us not only to exercise our brain and to be a well-rounded person, but also to the acquisition of essential features that differentiates us from the rest of animals.
Titus’ education has no longer subjects that make students think, the new subjects are all about the extremely consumerist society they live in. Titus express that “Now that School™ is run by corporations, It’s pretty brag, because it teaches us how the world can be used, like mainly how to use our feeds.” (Anderson 109-110)Even when it is true that they teach useful information to live in their peculiar world, the subjects are completely superficial when it comes to development of people as human beings.
I think that the author gives us a clear illustration of what we are currently doing in our everyday life at school or any other educational institution. We look up the knowledge in the web and we use it, but we do not trouble ourselves by trying to understand or analyze whether our findings are correct or not. Additionally, Throughout the book we can find many allusions to problems that our society is facing due to the development of technology.