Technology hates students

Is it just me, or is technology becoming a major problem for college students?

We’re surrounded by it all the time. Our phones, our laptops, our tablets and whatever else they have out there have all become essential to everyday life.

I spend more time sitting in front of a computer than I do in the classroom. Almost all of my major tests and assignments are online. Even my study breaks have transformed from meeting friends for lunch to texting them instead.

When was the last time you actually used the thumbs-up sign in real life? Now think about how many things you liked on Facebook last week.

The technological takeover happened so gradually that I barely noticed it, until the other day when I got on the elevator in the RUC.

There was a group of us all going from the ground floor to the third floor. Time-wise, that usually takes less than a minute.

Yet the moment the elevator started to move, everyone pulled out cell phones and started texting, or checking Twitter. Whatever happened to the good old days when people on elevators just awkwardly stared at the doors?

We lost this battle the moment we got cell phones with internet. By now our social skills in face-to-face conversations have regressed to the point where we’ve become 13-year-olds.

I actually heard a group of students use bad cafeteria food as an icebreaker the other day. Surely we can do better than mystery casserole jokes.

It’s a sad day when someone studying physics and philosophy has to say, “like, you know, whatever” to move a conversation along.

It’s not just social skills we’re losing. Classes have gotten really complicated. Don’t get me wrong, new technology is a great teaching tool. When it comes to studying microbiology, animated YouTube videos make my life much easier.

But sometimes I feel like instructors spend half the class trying to get the volume to work on a computer or trying to fix a projector.

The worst cases are in speech classes. It’s not enough to give a speech anymore, now it has to be a PowerPoint presentation with all the bells and whistles.

So you end up spending all of your time practicing with this PowerPoint. After all, there’s no point in making a lot of note cards if the words are on a screen behind you.

Then comes the day you have to present to the class. You know what that means, either the class computer or your flash drive won’t work. Now you get to give a ten-minute speech on the history of Peru without visual aid or notes.

Of course, instructors always say to save the presentation on a flash drive and e-mail it to yourself just in case. But if you e-mail it, the internet won’t work once you try to sign in.

That’s the big problem with technology on campus; it’s advanced enough to sense whatever you need the most, and malicious enough to malfunction at the worst possible moment.

I can stay logged in to iLearn for hours and have no problem, but the moment I start a timed iLearn test, everything will freeze up.

This is the same phenomenon that causes your printer to magically run out of ink—never mind that you replaced the cartridges yesterday—ten minutes before your paper is due.

I’m telling you, technology is out to get us.

When I walk across the stage at graduation, I’m half expecting the terminator to tackle me before I reach my diploma.