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Modern Times

January 21, 2010

Modern Times

I wonder if those who viewed Modern Times when it first came out were simply astounded by Charlie Chaplain’s amazing comic genius and the special affects that were far ahead of their time….OR…did they realize the tongue in cheek, satirical way in which Mr. Chaplain was poking fun at the “new” assembly-line age of technology. It was, after all, about 20 years after Henry Ford introduced the American worker to the assembly line, but it was still decades before psychologists started discussing the “side affects” of such tedious work, particularly depression and related disorders. Did Mr. Chapman know something we didn’t know? Did he realize that this tedious, monotonous, mundane, thankless type of employment could only lead to the employee losing his marbles and being carted away to the funny farm? He was truly ahead of his time.

Today’s “Modern Condition” is ripe with amazing technological advances that offer both a world of opportunities as well as potential problems. The Desktop PC changed the world not very long ago and the Internet brought new meaning to the term Global Network. Information is key and the immediate access we currently possess to information is astounding. If there’s an earthquake in Haiti, we know about it within seconds and relief help is on the way. If our representatives in Washington are up to no good, we know about it immediately and take them to task. But with this power comes responsibility. We must report information accurately and without malice. We must not use the Internet for illegal purposes or to hurt others. We must protect our children from websites that no child should ever be exposed to. The Internet, as well as the myriad of technological advances that make information so accessible, is an amazing technological milestone in the history of technological milestones. But like with so many other technological advancements, there will be those out there who will try to figure out how to misuse it for their own misguided gains.

How will today’s technology impact the career I have chosen…that’s a good question? I’m entering the helping fields so I suppose I will count on the Internet a great deal. I’ll want to keep up with publications and articles that pertain to my chosen field; I’ll seek and join chat rooms with people that share my vocation; and I’ll study solutions and cases related to mine with those around the world. I’m assuming that any company that I work for will be “online” and that the computer will play an important role in logging, tracking and sorting data. Communications will be key so cell phones will obviously be a must as will immediate Internet access from my cell phone. I imagine that video conferencing; net meetings and conference calls might be used. GPS mapping software will be used, as I’m sure I’ll be on the road quite a bit. In Social Work, we pledge to fight social injustice wherever we find it. As such, I’ll need the Internet to help me keep in touch with local, state and federal laws that pertain to my field as well as the means to track their effectiveness.

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