Denis Baron’s “The Stages of Literacy Technology,” influenced me to realize how much we humans rely on computers and the importance of human labor. Baron’s article indicates, “The speaker of the House of Representatives suggested that inner-city children should try laptops to improve their performance (1).” Furthermore, the Governor of Illinois believes that illiteracy will be obliterated once every classroom gains access to the World Wide Web (1). One of my main questions is: Why are humans so dependent upon computers for progress, literacy, and labor? It is true that computers get the job done much faster. For example, typing is a lot faster and less painful (in most circumstances) than writing. Baron indicates “I found that I had become so used to composing virtual prose at the keyboard, I could no longer draft anything coherent directly onto a piece of paper (1).” Based on this quote, I would question the level of dependence humans possess on technology for labor, and whether or not this dependence will hinder us in the future.
What happens when robots or “computers” begin taking more jobs? For example, in the grocery store, we already witness patrons checking out their own groceries. According to USA Today, self-scan checkouts were created for faster customer transactions (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/june01/2001-06-07-grocery-usat.htm). What about other areas of service? Dining areas? Transportation services? Military personnel? These fields and many more are at risk of being run by computer based robots rather than human beings.
In 2014, New York Times indicated 65.9 percent of high school graduates, in America, enrolled in college (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/26/business/fewer-us-high-school-graduates-opt-for-college.html?_r=0) . That same year Career Builder claimed 51 percent of Employed college graduates possessed jobs that did not require college degrees (http://www.careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=10%2F9%2F2014&id=pr846&ed=10%2F9%2F2099). I believe that jobs which do not require college degrees are at greater risk of becoming computerized. Furthermore, Gizmog states that 47 percent of American jobs are at risk of becoming computerized (http://www.gizmag.com/half-of-us-jobs-computerized/29142/).
As mentioned in the article, there are common debates and concerns over technological fraud in relation to identity theft and so forth (2). Fraud should be the responsibility of those in direct control of the law, and the creators of websites and computers in general. Although identity theft is a serious topic, we should also be concerned about jobs. It is a shame I have to ask, but who will steal from someone with no funds in their account? I believe both the people and authority should reevaluate their levels of dependence on technology. Many people are at risk of losing their jobs. I am not condemning technology, because it is fairly useful. However, I am worried that depending on technology too much will hinder the futures of many.