The Husband and the Daughter don’t read my blog- they figure they live it first hand, so why should they read about it.  But my daughter does ask me what I wrote about that day, and we discuss it.  When I told her about Friday’s post, and how I portrayed it- she said she wanted to read it.  After she read it she told me that a) there was a typo in the first sentence, and b) she thought I didn’t explain myself properly.  She felt I was coming from a position of anger.  Was I?  I asked her why it was bad, and she explained that when you’re angry, the only thing that comes across is that you’re a little crazy, but your point doesn’t always make it.  So I’m going to give you what I hope is a clear mission statement, and then I’m going to expound.

I like technology.  I have no doubt that technology has made things easier.  I have no doubt that technology has made things better.  I love my computer, the internet and my smart phone.  I even like audio books.  I am not a luddite, and I make use of many tech gadgets and apps and whatever.

Here’s the problem as I see it.  Though tech is great, we have to watch that we are not overdoing it.  Everything should be done in moderation.  To rely on technology to a degree that we are literally always holding a tech device is not good.  To replace traditional learning methods entirely is not good. I feel that you need to understand the process before you can proceed.

I really started to fear for our society after reading 2 books- “The Circle” by Dave Eggers, and “Feed” by MT Anderson.  I am now going to give some details about each book and why it scared me- if you don’t like spoilers continue to the next paragraph.  In “Feed”, children are no longer taught to read and to write- these arts are considered ancient.  People have chips implanted in their brains that tell them everything, enabling them to telepathically send messages to others.  Think this sounds great?  Think about if you never used words- how do you think you would speak?  Do you think you could form sentences?  Do you think you would personally know more that about 100 words?  Do you think any great scientific advances will be made if no one can think about what might be possible?  If no one has imagination?  In “the Circle”, people are so busy liking things and participating in social media, they no longer experience life.  Why actually travel- you really only need one person to travel, and they wear a body camera and send you back pictures- you don’t need to leave your couch to climb a mountain- but you can like and comment.  Oh- and privacy is a thing of the past- there are no secrets in the circle- every knows everything about everybody.  The possibility of these things scare me.  The fact that I think they are entirely possible scares me.

But am I wrong?

I don’t say those words very often, so pay heed.

I was out with friends yesterday, and began discussing why I thought students should not be using audio books for school lessons.  My friend said “Why not?”  Do we need to read and write?  If tech can do something better, shouldn’t it?  This is how we advance, by using technology.  You’re old.  You don’t want to change.”

Ok- I admit.  It was the “you’re old” part that got me.  Am I becoming a crotchety old lady who is going to go around saying “In my day, we actually looked at words on a page……”

Let’s look at my title today: Call me Chicken Little.  I think I’m clever, playing on a combination of two different literary works- I think I’m using my base knowledge.  But does it matter if most people don’t get what I am referring to?

Do we need to read and write and do basic math skills?

I’m going with a big resounding –Yes we do, because it helps us learn and think.  I don’t think we can advance by forgetting the basics.  I think not knowing the basics will only bring us backwards.  So please, call me Chicken Little.

But am I wrong?

Am I crazy?  (about this- let’s limit the crazy to one thing at a time)

What do you all think?  Should we try to tame the tech monster?  Do we need to?  Is it too late?  I’ve had many discussions about this with many other bloggers the past few days- and I think we really need to think about this.  Before the sky falls.



38 thoughts on “Call me Chicken Little

  1. I think how we embrace technology is a generational thing. for example, my Momma and step Dad had a terrible time using a PC whereas I have a great time using them. my daughters do things on their smart phones that I have no idea how they’re doing it. plus they whip thru software apps like it’s nothing where I’m still trying to figure it. all out. My grands are doing things on their iPads and I’m like “How did you do that?” and they’re only six.

    I realize that I’m making blanket conclusions but it is an observation that I’ve made between the generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. First….I apologize…for some reason this ended up in spam…. (funny because I had 16 comments from someone telling me their favorite games of thrones character and the algorithm didn’t think that was spam) and I only realized there was a spam folder accidentally! But I know what you mean about generations. My mother calls technology the work if the devil. My father in jaw tried calling someone to disconnect him from Facebook….of cours, the person he reached said it would cost him 300$ and take three weeks…….my daughter unhooked it in a bout 5 seconds…..


  2. Hello Chicken Little. I am a luddite. I am also a person who had to go to her dictionary app to look up the word luddite. I am also a person who appreciates that she has an app to look up the word luddite. But…

    When I walk into a room with a thousand books, I am in awe. It would say that it’s akin to infatuation almost. So much more than appreciation. I just want to stay there with all those incredible beautiful books around me. When i walk into a room with a Kindle with a thousand books on it, I probably keep walking because it probably has laundry baskets waiting to me dealt with and it’s probably my room.

    It just isn’t the same. Receiving an email isn’t the same as received a hand written note. Cursive is not the same as type print. Exploring the world is not the same as looking at website picks.

    So ultimately, even though I love my dictionary app, I am a-ok with my luddite stance.

    Loved the post! 😘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think technology has a place in out world, but sometimes being real and literal (as opposed to virtual) is so important! I think there are basic skills which we have to keep using and teaching future generations. Sometimes we don’t need to reinvent the wheel! Thanks for inciteful commentary as always.


  3. I agree with Joanna!

    I worked in technology and sometimes it was just too much. Always seems to come down to how quickly you can get something done so you have more time for other things. But then people forget to do those other things. For me, it’s balance. I see pros and cons in everything, so I am willing to try new stuff, then determine which tech things work for me and which do not.

    I’m all for getting more done in less time, assuming quality is good, and you don’t alienate yourself to the point you’re no longer learning or becoming a hermit (not you’re kind of hermit… i’m talking about the bad kind!).

    I am still old school on some things. I find people who say “I won’t do this” or “I won’t try that” to be generally difficult to get along with. You’ve got an open mind, as evidence my today’s post. So, I think your friend is wrong. You’re not afraid or old. You’re aware of the benefits of the former ways, but unfortunately, people today aren’t always that intuitive about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you so much (and of course Joanna is right). I try to be open to all the new and wonderful things. I love trying new things, and learning and growing, and I hate people that are completely stagnant! But how do we achieve the balance? It always seems we lean too much to one side. How do we regulate ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As someone whose goal is to teach middle school students a love of reading, and being a bit of a luddite myself, I have a couple of thoughts on technology and, in particular, audio books. As you might have seen by my post the other day in response to the article in THE ATLANTIC, I’m worried about our kids’ use of smartphone technology and my goal is to slow down their learning so that their brains can percolate on the richness of language. I also have to recognize that for some of my kids, reading is hard. Really hard. Also, some of my kids have been conditioned to read so fast they’re not digesting the content. So I DO use audio books — with the caveat that kids eyes must be on the page as they listen, following word by word. The audio support actually increases comprehension as well as vocabulary — and it helps my fast readers slow down to enjoy. Finally, in the classroom, I have to start with where the kids are at — or I will never convince them to take this journey with me. So we use technology along side “old school” pencil and paper. There are posters and post-its all around the room. This discussion is so good — and so important — and we need to be talking to our kids about both the benefits and pitfalls.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree. Some aspects of technology give all children the same opportunities to learn things….they help in education when used properly. But kids that are unsupervised and are listening to books….I would bet half of them aren’t listening, but playing games, chatting while they are listening. And that’s fine for leisure reading, but not for school reading. My daughters school is tech forward, but they are also heavy on the basics, and all kids are required to take 4 years of all core subjects, as well as two additional semesters of math and an additional semester of writing.


      1. I agree about audio when it’s unsupervised. Academic reading is very different and kids should be taught the difference. In our district, too, kids take 4 years of ELA and History and most go through calc in math. Common core is moving all of us “tech forward” and I’m glad, since that’s where kids are. But I am also glad for the discussions and grappling over technology and the way forward.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m with you, sista! I think technology should be a “helper” not a replacement. I love when a machine is invented that can see into the body where the eyes of a doctor cannot. But I do not want a machine to operate on me. I love that I can look up something on Google but I do not want it “spoken” to me. I was totally against reading books online until I saw I could read much better with these old eyes when the background is lit up but I do not want the book read to me. I am much too easily distracted when I am only listening. I am so afraid for my grandkids (7,5,3,1) and what their lives will be like. Thankfully my daughter and son-in-law are pretty old school and they do not have television (but they do have a TV for watching movies) and do not allow their children to use the computer or their phones. (I must admit that I have three devices that when they come to my house and when I need a “kid” break, old Babushka breaks out the games and they love them but they are all educational). My grandson (7) asked my daughter if I lived “back in the olden days” because I had told him that I grew up with no computers or DVD’s or CD’s and that our phones were connected to the wall!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. If one can’t read or write or comprehend basic mathematical skills, who will be programming all that edgy technology? I kind of like the illusion that I am in control of my life. And, I’d like my kids to be in control of theirs and their destiny as well. Yes, we need to tame the tech monster (she says as she likes an article on a social networking site). Sign me – Another Old Crotchety Lady

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I believe that there is a delicate balance. Technology can certainly help out with stuffs and things; however, we shouldn’t become too dependent on it, because there is a simple sort of joy in being able to think for myself and do certain tasks. I feel the same way about convenience products–a prepackaged snack is great for hectic days, but there is a great joy in finding a perfect pear to pair with a wonderful slice of warm crusty bread and a hunk of delicious cheese. Balance is important

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I definitely think there’s a fine balance line between using technology and not using it. I, personally, cannot stand audio books. I get too distracted, partially I think because they’re so slow. I’m a fast reader and even with reading fast, I still have a good grasp on comprehension as well. I was always that kid who HATED reading a book out loud in class because I was about 20 pages ahead and never knew where we were. I was bored out of my mind during those times.

    However, I have a cousin who is dyslexic and audio books were her saving grace because it made it easier for her to get through the material. So they definitely have their place.

    I read both e-books and print books. I prefer print, but I do like the convenience of having so many items on my Kindle that I can either read on my tablet or on my phone and I don’t have to worry about losing the physical book.

    My niece and nephew both have played on tablets/phones but they don’t have their own, so it’s a nice treat for them when they are allowed to play. But they also have plenty of print books, toys to develop their imagination and opportunities to learn how to write and read. My niece is already sounding out words (at 4). My nephew’s vocabulary is phenomenal considering he’s not quite two yet. I really believe it’s because we read to them constantly and they’re looking at books constantly.

    I fear that you’re right tho’, I fear that the balance is about to become unbalanced. Then we might indeed be in trouble. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes We Do! All the scenarios outlined in those books (and through the post) lead to an even greater loss of our independence and individuality, and to the individual being more and more subsumed to the State – or Big Business. Bad? Too bloody right it’s bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t think your previous post came across as angry at all. And I still agree with you about technology. Look up that article in the recent Atlantic for what it is doing to the next generation’s mental health. Technology is good, within reason. But we need to control it, not the other way around!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have noticed that my memory isn’t as great as it used to be before I got my first iPhone. Not because obviously I am older, but I don’t use my brain the same way I used to. I used to be called a “walking Rolodex” by my husband because I had a knack for remembering phone numbers. I could pull out the mortgage company we had used ten years prior from somewhere in my brain. I no longer learn numbers. I just touch the person’s name. Also, in a discussion if I want to recall a name or fact, my brain would search and find the obscure fact. But now, I google it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know!! I actually don’t know my daughters cell phone number! But today, for some odd reason I remembered we had two rolls of toilet paper in our storage locker…I mean, I forget to buy milk, but that I remember. The use of tech is a little scary….I just read the new Dan brown , origin, and the way he speaks of AI is scary….

      Liked by 1 person

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