Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mini books and the downfall of society

Okay, so that headline's a bit dramatic.

But I do wonder if we are losing something, as technology advances ever forward ...

I'll explain. I was shopping over Christmas break, browsing in a Borders, when I noticed these little mini motivational books, like the one pictured above.

Change your life or master your finances in 3 easy steps! Joel Olsteen and Donald Trump were offering life-changing advice in under 10 minutes.

These cute little books, each smaller than a cell phone, struck me as deeply ironic: If you are setting out to change your life, shouldn't you have more ambition than what it takes to tackle these tiny books?

Later that week I was home playing with my new Nintendo Wii; I'm not much of a gamer, and Wii is just about my speed. I pulled out the instruction book for Super Mario Brothers, and realized I had several pages to read!

But I wanted to know how to do a jump-stomp-smash move NOW!

So I reached over and pulled up a website that had all the key instructions on one page - complete with colorful pictures. A few more clicks and now I didn't have to read anything ... as I was instead watching a YouTube video showing me how to play.

And I'm an English teacher.

I try not to judge technology's impact on education - it simply is, and it's my job to meet the kids where they are at. Wasting time pining away about how things should be is pointless.

But sometimes it does seem like technology is advancing along ceaselessly, while at the same time society is sliding backwards in some important aspects.

Well I have to go ... I'm reading Tony Dungy's "The Mentor Leader." Thank goodness the key points of each chapter are all highlighted and in bold.


  1. Taylor and Haley think that technology is moving foward but the people are not. Instead of reading books, people get online and download them instead of buying a book. I completely agree with you Mr. Bank. ;)

  2. Wud up Mr. B!
    Just stopped by to say hey :)
    The post was awesome. It rocked my socks! =]
    Keep on truckin ='-'=

  3. i think you raise a good point. technology is moving faster and faster but we are moving to slow to adapt.

  4. Society as a whole, is overly infatuated by the mesmerizing blanket of technology, and the fact that we don't have to think a book is a "book" is truly what drives us to buy new "and improved" gadgets. We have to trick ourselves into believing it is something interesting. Which I know I'm being completely controversial to all of my beliefs when I say this, but technology is helping books blend in with the ever forward movement of technology in our ever continuing fascination with keeping up with the jones'.

  5. Well I wouldnt necessarily agree. If we were moving slower to adapt, technology wouldnt be rapidly taking over. Now leaving our old resources is one thing, I do think in today's society we have to see some form of entertainment to even want to be educated..technology is intriguing so adapting to the use of it makes learning on it a little more interesting. The point is..technology is cool, books suck...we used them while we had them because ways of learning were somewhat restricted. Not anymore, its not like we're just completely ignoring books, they are being digitally converted.lol...Like I said technology is cool.

  6. So @ Norris, how can technology progress if we aren't there making it progress. I thought of that point myself.

    That's the contradiction and the irony: We ARE able to produce better and better "things," while we, simultaneously, get worse at basics. We can build an incredible computer but can't add without a calculator.

    I agree, tech is cool - I'm for scraping textbooks in favor of e-books / readers. : )