The world lives in an amazing era of cultural and technological advancement that is unrivaled from previous generations in terms of potential and accessibility.
To live in a world where an average person can access, analyze, store and send massive amounts of information to people across the globe (with only a few quick strokes of one’s fingers) is an astounding achievement that only 50 years ago was the subject of science fiction.
This is why the sudden rise of touch-screen technology should be treated with both awe and caution as it proceeds to play an integral role in the lives of college students.
Part of the appeal of touch-screen – aside from all the previously-listed reasons – is that it is almost seamless with its interaction with people. Since the devices based around the technology can be made increasingly more compact because of it, they become extensions of a person.
This is why technologies such as the electronic tablet have surged in use in recent years among average citizens, hospitals, and even elementary schools – they are becoming a modern equivalent of lead on slate, but with much more capability, personality, and familiarity.
However, a certain amount of people hold understandable hesitancies in regards to the devices, the most practical being cost and personal investment on behalf of companies and public. Some even question the usefulness of these devices as a practical learning application instead of a multi-use toy.
A quick history lesson: concepts such as touch-screens literally were the product of science fiction, and made their presence known from literary works such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, to one of the tenants of geekdom, the original Star Trek television program.
Some of the first official uses of touch-screens were for the production and manipulation of sound for music.
What to take from this is that touch-screen technology has its roots in entertaining people, a very human behavior. It is this sense of familiarity that concerns people, mainly because there is worry that the technologies will provide an over-abundance of stimulation and they will be seen as something akin to a human.
This is where another science-fiction trope comes into play: the rise of machines over their human masters.
Now obviously this is an extreme scenario, but the question of how far humanity will progress technologically, and what humanity will do to handle it is a very serious question among many in the scientific community.
Overall though, touch-screen technology has been a net gain for society and as long as the technologies involved grow with humanity and are watched with caution, there should be no immediate cause for alarm.