The Right Switch

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     Computers are fairly important to me. I wouldn’t say that I use them any more than most other people, and I definitely wouldn’t say that I know anything more about them than the average person. However, it seems that I’ve been depending more and more on my computer to do everyday work. More specifically, the using the internet has become quite a daily routine. I use the web for everything from staying in contact with friends to buying school books. This is what made the article “The Big Switch,” by Nicholas Carr, so interesting to me. When I was younger, all I would use were hard copies of programs and games. Nowadays, I barely ever use the computer itself to do these things. Most games are now played on the internet, as well as almost any application you would need for schoolwork or work in general. Therefore, I found it very interesting when Carr said the following:

Now that they’ve been connected with fiber optic cables, all the machines hooked up to the Net are merging together into one giant, incredibly powerful computer – the World Wide Computer. Our own personal PCs, not to mention our cell phones and gaming consoles, are turning into terminals hooked up to that big shared computer. They get most of their power and usefulness from all the software and information that’s floating around out on the Net.

As I said earlier, most of my computer usage is through the internet, which means that I have been experiencing the big switch without even noticing it. 

     I think that this ‘Big Switch’ is definitely a good thing overall. Because everything is available online, there is no need to run out to the store every time you need to use a new application or program. This makes information much more accessible, meaning that instead of running out to buy the newest version of software to install on your computer, you can download it straight from a website. This also makes the need to buy newer versions of software obsolete. One aspect of the big switch that I didn’t predict, however, is the loss of many middle-class jobs. The workers who would be hit the hardest would be the computer technicians and any other people who worked on the computer itself. Some of these jobs could be allocated to work on something concerning the new mass of information on the internet, or the ‘World Wide Computer.’ Technicians would be needed to protect this information and to make sure that everything was running smoothly, but there would still be a large amount of people out of work. 

Despite the loss of jobs, I see the ‘Big Switch’ as a good thing. Without needing to run applications off of the computer itself, the process of using computer applications would become much easier and much more accessible. As far as I’m concerned, anything that allows me to deal with computer software less is a good thing.

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