I turned in my essay today on the problems and potential solutions of today’s technology. I posted a very rough draft of my introduction about a week ago, below is the fully revised version I gave to my teacher today. When I get it back on Wednesday I’ll make my final corrections and post the entire work with an annotated bibliography. Please enjoy, I’d love your feedback:
When the popular sci-fi movie The Matrix first came out in theaters I had just turned thirteen, and I sneaked into the theater three separate times to watch it. In one of my favorite scenes, Morpheus is about to free Neo from the matrix when Morpheus asks, “Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?” Then Neo’s unplugged, and plunged into the arduous adventure of saving an oblivious humanity from technology’s enslavement.
Imagine an entire existence based on an artificial world, blinding us from the truth. But aren’t all the hours spent on a computer, TV, and phone—perpetually baggy-eyed—completely absorbed in a digital life the exact same thing? Now we can’t talk without an avatar and a catchy tag-line, and all the while, we haven’t really taken time to ask how healthy is this for us and the planet. There are issues that need to be addressed immediately, from physical and mental health, to environmental impact. I doubt humanity’s future will be reduced to the Duracell battery Morpheus presents to Neo, but we’re still faced with a paramount question: how are we going to power our digital technology without ruining the earth?
If you’re one of the millions who use Facebook, then your activity has been stored in a data-center. They’re huge facilities designed for the sole purpose of housing the servers that contain the internet. Peter Gross, the man who designed many of them told the New York Times, “A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town” (Glanz Nytimes.com). If you type “how many data centers” in the Google search box, the auto-fill completes it with “does google use” (the question’s obviously come up a few times). Hit Enter and watch the world’s greatest search engine fail to turn up an answer.