The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Wild Wild Tech: Plumbers and programmers

For most of us, computers are relatively easy. We have grown up with them, spent years playing games on them, and, occasionally, even used them for productive purposes.
Our generation has embraced computers, technology, and the Internet like none before it.This has led to our generation having a strong proficiency to use computers for a ridiculous amount of tasks.
We are continually replacing the old paradigm with a newer, more digitally intertwined lifestyle. Things like shopping, ordering pizza, watching television shows, even talking to friends and colleagues, have been replicated and, often, enhanced through technology’s permeation into society. In so many ways, we have fought against the old ways, instead preferring to carve out a new path.
As this has unfolded, many people our age have viewed older generations as being too closed-minded when it comes to the digital era. We all have relatives who don’t own computers, don’t know how to send an e-mail, and don’t care to learn. Sometimes it seems frustrating that many people in older generations choose to close themselves off to our new advancements; it’s as if their closed-mindedness is limiting their ability to function in society.
Well, guess what? Our generation is probably much worse than those who came before us in learning and adopting things we don’t understand. Most of the people born into this digital era know more about computers than their parents ever will, even if they never take a course or try to learn about them.
To many of us, technology comes so naturally, we can’t remember where we picked up these skills or why it would be hard for anyone to do something as simple as installing a program or uploading an email attachment.
But how many of you know how to fix a broken window, or a leaky pipe? How many of you know how to repair a starter, change your oil, or better yet — a tire?    To many people in our generation, tasks like these feel beyond the scope of what they know. And yet, to generations before us, most of these tasks would be about as simple as installing and configuring new software
is to ours.
Somewhere along the way, we were betrayed by our own technological advancements. For all we’ve accomplished digitally, many of us have begun to forget or ignore the need for mechanical and other skills that our parents and grandparents seemed to have ingrained within them.
Many of us have sought out higher education to learn things that we never could otherwise, but forgot to learn things that everyone should know. Being a programmer sounds much easier to many people our age than being a plumber. To be fair, both are very difficult and require hard work, but neither is unattainable.
I’m not writing this to convince people to shed their technological shackles and run out into the world, but instead encouraging everyone out there to take the time to learn skills that don’t involve a keyboard.
Take the time to learn what you don’t know, and you’ll appreciate a world with even more possibilities than you realized before.
Because some problems require a computer, while others need a pipe wrench.

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