In light of the quote below, what would Thoreau say about the electronic devices we use today?Thoreau writes, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us" (para. 2). Consider an electronic...

In light of the quote below, what would Thoreau say about the electronic devices we use today?

Thoreau writes, "We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us" (para. 2). Consider an electronic device (such as a notebook computer, a cell phone, a PDA, or an mp3 player). What would Thoreau say about it? Has this device helped to simplify our lives, or has it had a negative impact on them?

Asked on by drumcore42

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Keep in mind that Thoreau is saying that our technology comes to control us, rather than the other way around.  Given this, I think that he would say (given his ideas about the simple life) that our modern technology is controlling us.  I think that he would focus on the ways in which our devices have tied us to our everyday cares.  Many workers, for example, complain that their cell phones and other such devices make it so that they are always available to their bosses.  Their laptops and tablets make it so it is always possible for them to do work.  Thoreau would say that these devices have made our life more stressful and harried, not less.



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