An unsurprising number of my colleagues are relative Luddites who–among other complaints–spend no shortage of time spewing the evils of those durned computers and how they take so much away from the classroom environment.* To save myself from their preaching and provide a nice little counterpoint, I keep handy an American literature text from 1913. Right smack on page 16 of the text (right before the first chapter on Colonials, Quakers, and Puritans) is the following drawing:
While there’s no way to really know when this drawing was done, it’s certainly reasonable to assume that such distracted behavior occurred well before the advent of the laptop, the iPhone, etc. Of course, the Luddite, when presented with the text, will usually scoff and then huff about how it’s not really the same thing–and I might agree–but it’s a bit hasty to blame the easily-distracted young mind on the evil boxes that surround us…
Personally, I kind of like the picture. Nice fangs.
*Side Note: As our uni. has had a lovely spate of network and server problems this first week of school, many of these folks have been wandering around with heads held high, laughing at the wailing and teeth-gnashing of many of their paperless colleagues. It’s been an ugly sight.