Assignment #3

Personal Device   

With the recent launch of AI technologies like ChatGPT, many academics fear that the convenience of these softwares will overshadow the future of learning. Before computers were widely accessible, people had to dedicate a generous amount of time to the library, sifting through encyclopedias for needed research. Before phones, headlines were only spread via newspapers or radio. Now, communicating with loved ones who live on the other side of the globe is possible. The process of learning in the school setting has also become more convenient due to technology: sites for study materials like Quizlet and Khan Academy are available right at the palm of students’ hands, group projects no longer require meetups with the ability to share documents on Google Slides, and digital assignments make completing assignments quicker than if students were to write them out by hand. As technology advances, access to information for navigation, work, and communication greatly improves the quality of one’s life. If we take into account how these developments have already improved our lives instead of focusing on how they disturb existing practices, we would be able to better integrate our lifestyles with such advancements. 

September of 2016

When I first arrived in Hong Kong, navigating its transportation system was a challenge for me. The unfamiliar environment left me with a decision to make: ask passing strangers for directions or look up maps in hopes of getting to the right destination. I’d rely on friends when it was possible, but I wasn’t always traveling with a friend. As I started taking the train for middle school in Hong Kong, I preferred sitting at a particular spot. As I remember how the warmth of the sun hit the window, I also remember seeing kids— who appeared to be younger than I was— have the latest iPhones, chatting and giggling amongst themselves. I envied them; they had a lot of entertainment in the palm of their hand, while I enjoyed the identical pattern of clouds and buildings passing by me. Doodling on a piece of paper during recess and lunch break. However, I got used to being independent and extroverted, and soon the lack of a phone didn’t really bother me. Now that I had small knowledge as to where to look for something, I wouldn’t be scared and timid. A few months passed by and I came home to a box on the table, A PHONE! It wasn’t an iPhone or Samsung, but a phone by the name of Huawei passed down from my dad. I wasn’t upset that it wasn’t the phones most kids used in my school, I was just glad I had a phone to use. At first, I thought I wasn’t going to use it that much, but soon I got addicted to the phone and became the kid I once saw on the train. Traveling and gathering information wasn’t hard anymore as I was able to get what I needed with a few taps on the phone. 

“The average person spends 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phone each day” (Howarth). People spend a lot of time on their phones as they have a lot of choices to choose what app to get on their devices. They would check their phones at least thirty times a day for notifications or out of curiosity. As teenagers/ young adults, we are at the age where social media has been a big part of our daily routine checking for friend’s stories, notes, activities, and messages has taken up most of our time. Did you know that in 2021, the United States was listed 27th on daily smartphone usage with three hours and thirty minutes compared to the Philippines with an average of five hours and forty-seven minutes daily as the top one? (Howarth) Crazy right? I noticed the average time I spent when I had my first phone is less than the time I spend right now on my phone. The question is why do we spend so much time on our phones? As we mentioned, social media has been a life changer for us as we are able to share our thoughts with our family, friends, and followers. “With so many features available, it’s no wonder that mobile phones have become such an integral part of our lives.” (“How Mobile Phones are Making Our Lives Convenient – Liberty Title”) We were able to access things like cameras, calendars, music, and even use apps like FaceTime to video chat with someone across the world. A small device that could fit in our pockets took all of us by surprise and has rapidly grown over time. But this is only a part of the amazing inventions discovered in technology.

November of 2016

Getting the phone was one part of my problem, getting a laptop is another. As an American International School student in Hong Kong, we would take notes in our notebooks and watch lessons like BrainPop, I was in need of a laptop or tablet for my classwork and homework. My mom and I went to a market called Golden Computer Shopping Center scavenging for a suitable laptop for me. As a gamer when I got exposed to video games at the age of six, I persuade my mom to buy me a laptop that was fit to play games and do work. We looked at hours and hours until we finally arrived back at our first kiosk stop to buy the laptop. I was so happy that I did not have to use my brother’s laptop before coming to Hong Kong. Getting back home from the market I was tapping my feet as I looked at the laptop box in front of me, waiting for me to open and customizing the setting. The first thing I did when I got home was take a shower and then open my laptop. As the green light flickered and the blue screen greeted me, I got drawn in from decorating the laptop that I lost track of time.  Being able to bring this to school and using it during class to do classwork was amazing, although I would get sidetracked from the power I had to just open a tab and play games. I managed to set a rule for myself not to be consumed by the laptop… until…

January 2020

An epidemic has fallen upon us. A virus so deadly it wiped out roughly seven million people as of today. The world had to go quarantine to restore our health. Covid year was also the year (“Coronavirus Death Toll and Trends”) when technology really went above and beyond. With the help of Zoom and other types of platforms, we were able to make learning and working a safe place for future generations, or so we thought. Research has been made and proven that COVID-19 has drastically affected our school system. As “Coronavirus Death Toll and Trends” mention how students are behind in their subjects due to online learning and how it could be distrustful to be learning online. Many academics are afraid that students behind the screen are not learning and are easily distracted by their technology, as well as it is easier to cheat. This is also the time to learn a lot of new tools and apps. 

As we mention GPS (Global Positioning System) earlier, we were able to declare that with such technology we were able to improve our life’s qualities, as well as save ourselves a lot of time from getting lost. Devices like washing machines were also able to help change our lifestyle. Before, we would have to do everything by hand. With the discovery of the washing machine, it was able to consistently do the job with cleanliness. Fun fact, “The first electrical clothes dryers appeared in the United States in the years prior to World War I.” (“A Brief History of Washing Machines”). The point isn’t that the washing machine is a good invention, but how this invention and many more have helped us improve our lives and others.

 May 2023

Looking back at all these years of technology being enhanced brings a lot of memories. Being able to just click a button and access multiple streaming platforms, send a message to friends and family, or even share posts on your social media account so the world could see where and when you did what. With newer phone versions, we could get any answers in a split second. With newer laptops, we could learn a lot more than if we didn’t have any technology to help us. Technology advancement will be a big part of our history and one day we will be looking back just to realize how much one small electronic can change the world.

Works Cited

“A Brief History of Washing Machines.” ThoughtCo, 9 August 2019, Accessed 25 May 2023.

“Coronavirus Death Toll and Trends.” Worldometer, Accessed 24 May 2023.

“COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning.” McKinsey, 27 July 2021, Accessed 24 May 2023.

Howarth, Josh. “Time Spent Using Smartphones (2023 Statistics).” Exploding Topics, 9 January 2023, Accessed 24 May 2023.

“How Mobile Phones are Making Our Lives Convenient – Liberty Title.” Liberty Title and Escrow, 6 March 2023, Accessed 24 May 2023.

Staff, NPR. “Before The Internet, Librarians Would ‘Answer Everything’ — And Still Do.” NPR, 28 December 2014, Accessed 25 May 2023.