Is Technology Making Us Dumber?

Yes, I’m lazy when it comes to some things – hiking up mountains, speed walking, getting up to find the TV remote (only kidding… kind of), but I’ve always kind of been a firm believer in working hard. When I was at school, we were looking at 50% pass marks – which, essentially, is still pretty low. Today, schools in South Africa require a 30% pass mark. Not only that, but kids are using ridiculously bad sources such as Wikipedia to copy and paste. Yeah, they have sites that detect plagiarism, but then you have companies that edit your work for you, so you can literally cheat sites like Turnitin

Where does that leave us. the youth of today, who have hopes and dreams just like we did/do but are too lazy to get there? Students use Siri to get answers at record speed, they use calculators and Google to do their homework. Knowledge just isn’t knowledge anymore.

Am I bitter that I couldn’t make use of these services when I was at school? Kind of. Heck, the first camera phone only made a hit when I was in high school (yes, I feel kind of old). On the other hand, did we – the older generation – learn things that are actually useless  today BECAUSE of the advancement of technology?

And lastly, and most importantly, why am I on a rant about today’s youth when it’s Friday night and I am in bed? Will I turn out to be one of those old woman who say, “When I was your age…”? God, I hope not.

That’s enough from me. Goodnight.

Before and After.

I found myself having a little cry earlier. It’s finally Saturday and even though I am loving the fact that my life has become a lot fuller, with reading, writing, learning, exercising and focusing on healthy eating as well as work – I am glad I have the day to take it down a notch.

As I lay in bed, it was 1 o’ clock in the afternoon. I had my iPod on and imagined the life that I want for myself. The life that I am succeeding in creating for myself. I cried because I realized that this has been the best year of my life and that I have so much to be proud of myself for. I felt that my change and transformation began just five and a half weeks ago – but it didn’t. It began when I first came to Korea, in February 2011 and even more so at the beginning of March this year.

Before coming to Korea, I was studying a BA in English and Psychology. Prior to that, I was studying Educational Psychology – a course that only 20 students get accepted to. I was very blessed to have been accepted. However, I ruined that opportunity. I regret it yet know that there is still a chance that I can get to my goal. I have had a fear of public speaking for a very long time. The thought of doing a 6 week practical at a school made me so anxious that I changed my course at the beginning of the second year (the year we would start the practical). My passion has always been to help others – Educational Psychology had been a dream of mine, and I let it go for one simple reason. With a smile on my face, I boldly admit that I have been teaching students for almost two years now, as a career. I am studying part-time a course that requires me to do that very same practical I feared years ago, and I am so ready for it.

In March of this year, I had just gone home for a visit and returned back to Korea for second year, at a new school and a new town. I was pretty set on establishing a new kind of relationship with a man, one that didn’t involve a one night stand. I established two great relationships this year – something that I was scared to death about, for reasons not previously mentioned. I overcame that hurdle and learnt a lot about myself and life through it.

I look at my life before Korea, and I see a girl that was destructive, drinking three or more times a week to a point where she would black out and sleep with random men. I see someone who didn’t know anything about commitment, setting goals, having any responsibility, who lived for the next party, who had no fire or passion and who slept until noon every day. Most days, I wouldn’t get dressed. Granted, I was studying and even though I never went to class, I still graduated just fine. I was afraid to get a job because I had never felt I could do anything right. I was petrified to even get a job as a waitress, as my brother had always put me down every time I tried to do something. I felt that I couldn’t even get an order right. My first year in Korea resembled that slightly in that I still lived for a party, I still went out with destructive behaviour, who slept until noon – because my job allowed me, I didn’t have any goals, I hadn’t experienced an array of emotions or learnt many life lessons and although I had learnt responsibility, I lacked passion and any zest for life.

I am so proud to admit, that even though I’ve had an emotion-full year – the heartache and the like and love and other weird crazy emotions that I felt – I don’t regret a single one. I started studying this year again, I get a healthy amount of sleep, I have goals, I’ve re-discovered my passion for writing, I have a hunger to learn more, to be inspired. If I look at my life now, I drink once a week or every two weeks, I’ve slept with 8 men this year, and although that amount is high, it’s nothing compared to my disgruntled past. I’ve found a new respect for my body to treat it well and to take care of it with good skin products, exercise and eating well. My weekend now, including watching shows and going to bed at a decent time on Friday, sleeping in on Saturday with gym later and relaxing on Sunday where as before, it would be an alcohol and drug-fueled Friday and Saturday – blacking out, sleeping around both nights, feeling terrible both Saturday and Sunday – sometimes drinking on a Sunday, too. Eating terribly and sleeping a lot.

It’s a sight for sore eyes. The above information makes me teary, I am well on my way to being the person that I want to become. I know that Korea is the only place in the world I need to be right now.