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Tori Casados
Professor Jerri A. Harwell
5 April 2016
Think of the last time you entered a busy hallway filled with bustling people. Once you
remember, reflect and ask yourself three specific questions. First, as you bobbed and weaved
around others, did you have to dodge anyone focused on their phone? Second, were you able to
make eye contact with more than three people? And Third, have you ever witnessed someone
walk into a static object due to distracted attention? I think now more than ever human
interactions and overall awareness, have been GREATLY reduced by technology.
To identify the root of the issue we start by defining technology. What is it, and what does it
consist of? The most popular way to discover the meaning in 2016 would be to google it and
by doing so technology can be defined in two ways
The application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industry.
Machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge.
In the last decade humans have been introduced to and surrounded by all types of technology.
Ranging from cellphones and music players, to ALL types of computers, electronic road signs,
medical equipment, helpful gadgets and last but definitely not least the internet and everything

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embodied within. Is there a type of technology that directly affects humans negatively? Is there a
type that impacts humans in a beneficial way? The answer to both questions is yes!
The internet we know was created by engineers and programmers primarily FOR the U.S
Department of Defense in 1960. Its original name was Advanced Research Projects Agency
Network, or ARAPNET and was mainly used for military communication. It wasnt until the
1990s when Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist created the World Wide Web and
popularized the utilization of networks. Fast forward to forty years of technological
advancements later and we are able to access the internet by a small device held in the palm of
our hand.
One positive thing about the internet is the accessibility to websites and information
Immediately. With no constraints such as geographical boundaries or limits. Via search engines s
uch as google we can access ANY type of knowledge instantly. If one needs to know when the
next train leaves its as easy as pressing a button and speaking into your phone.
Most phones now-a-d
ays have automatic notifications such as traffic updates for your drive home with time estimate,
they remind you of scheduled appointments and many other SMART conveniences. The girl
running down the busy hallway at full speed causing you to dodge out of her way because her
eyes are glued to her phone.. Could have just gotten a traffic update. However instantaneous
access to specific types of knowledge, can be viewed as a negatively as well. Limits and
permissions are filtered on phones and tablets to as parents try to control what type of content
their children are exposed to.

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Social media came about many years later but has had the most significant impact. Thanks
to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter we are introduced into others lives. The way they live,
things they do, who they are, how they think, what they say, who they know, where they work

Human awareness has been impacted in many ways by technology but the two most
prominent being cellphones and headphones. Cellphones are wonderful in the case of an
emergency! Being able to instantaneously call for police and paramedics the moment after an

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automobile accident occurs literally saves lives. But what if that accident was caused by a
distracted driver focused the 4x2 inch screen of his cellphone, instead of the 4x6 foot windshield
surrounding him. Pulling up to a stop light in the city at least one person idled next to you is on
their phone, talking or scrolling. Legislatures have proposed and passed laws regarding the lack
of awareness while driving and using a cell phone.
In my neighborhood there is two sets of train tracks about fifty feet from each other. One is
for Trax and the other is for Union Pacific. Every time I walk my dog past these tracks I
encounter a small black fence about mid height just before both tracks, settled in the concrete. At
first it is odd because you walk forward, and are forced left, then right, then left and finally
forward and you are out. It is designed to force a human body in the direction of an on-coming
train. On the Trax platforms there are signs to keep headphones out of your ears and your heads
up while entering or exiting or crossing. The small black fenced enclosures are designed to
protect us and force us to be more aware of our surroundings.

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A young woman that attended SLCC in May 2012 was killed in a pedestrian/train accident.
She was crossing the Trax at the Meadowbrook station while wearing headphones and looking
down at her cellphone. The trains are relatively quiet but in comparison to the high quality
headphones on the market today with surround sound isolation. Her life ended the minute she
took another step and the train hit her body. If she had the volume a little lower, she may have
heard the train horn and engine noise as it approached. It may have prevented her death! If her
eyes were focused on her surroundings instead of her screen she may be here graduated,
providing for her family, happy and moving forward in life! Instead a lack of awareness took a
potentially successful young womans life.
Too quickly our lives can change, for that reason I propose to you to try these three things.

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