SAT Sample Essay #3
Do Changes That Make Our Lives Easier Necessarily Make Them Better?
Society has certainly come a long way from the days of hunter-gathering, with mankind constantly transforming itself throughout history, evolving to keep up with the various types of change it has been forced to face. Indeed, the people of current times, products of an age of rapid technological progress, have, in particular, experienced perhaps more change in the span of a couple of years than the people of different eras have experienced in their entire lives, and as a result, enjoy the availability of luxuries previously thought unimaginable. However, just because a change makes one’s life easier does not necessarily mean that it makes it better. In fact, the opposite can definitely be argued in the case of certain aspects of the advanced mode of life that so many have come to grow used to, such as the easy accessibility of knowledge and the ability for instant, electronic communication.
With the emergence of the computer came the Internet, and with the rise of computer-owners and internet-users came the widespread proliferation of information and the search engine – which allowed for quick, easy access to it. However, although having an instantaneous means of gaining entry to a profusion of information certainly makes life easier and saves time, as with all changes in society, it comes with drawbacks as well. The search engine and the many doors that it opened in regards to the new abundance of knowledge is now a feature of life often taken for granted. A mere decade and a half ago, students had to physically seek out the information they needed in order to write a report or satiate curiosity, which in turn gave them a true recognition for the beauty of knowledge and the attainment of it. Whereas now there has sprung up a spoiled generation that has no reason to attach any worth to the pursuit of knowledge, a generation used to information that is easily and instantly accessible, and thus lacks any real appreciation for it.
Another product of technology that has had mixed consequences is the capacity for instant, virtual communication. This achievement has undoubtedly generated a myriad of positive effects, and the new realms of possibility that it has unlocked in terms of convenience of interaction are undeniable, but perhaps, an important aspect of human relationship has been lost in the process. With the popularity and ease of instant messaging, face-to-face, personal conversations have, to some degree, been rendered unnecessary in forging a relationship with someone – a thing of the past. In many ways, the relationships between members of the younger generation suffer greatly due to a trade-off in real, meaningful interaction in favor of a virtual, instantaneous one.
Living in the twenty-first century, a time in which new technological innovations are being introduced on a monthly basis, it is particularly important to consider the question of whether or not advances that make life easier always succeed in making it better. This has not always been the case, with many vital aspects of humanity being lost in pursuit of convenience. Society has grown spoiled in many ways, losing appreciation and awareness of the value of knowledge now that they have been granted such quick, easy access to information, and forfeiting genuine personal, emotional relationships in favor of on-screen virtual ones. Innovation is not likely to stop anytime soon, but it is important to realize just what it is that society is giving up, and to decide whether or not it’s worth it.