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Harmful Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451

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Many people in today’s society are consumed by the constant technological advancements; however, these advancements do not always have positive effects. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury highlights a dystopian society in which technological advancements have caused their society to go downhill. Bradbury’s concern on technology is coming true universally with many being addicted, constantly distracted, and achieving less in school because of technology’s influence.

Countless amounts of people are becoming addicted to technology, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and increase the suicide rate. There have been “[associations] between internet addiction” (“Internet Addiction Linked to Self-Harming”) and depression in youth, as well as “higher rates of depression [and] anxiety” (Peukert et al). For students, researchers found a connection “between internet addiction and self-injurious behaviour” (“Internet Addiction Linked to Self-Harming”) even saying this behavior is now “twice as likely” (“Internet Addiction Linked to Self-Harming”). People who use an electronic devices for over 5 hours a day show “48 percent had suicide-related outcomes” (Kelly “Teen Suicide Rate Suddenly Rises”). The suicide rate went from “32 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2015” (Kelly “Teen Suicide Rate Suddenly Rises”) for males and from “40 percent in 2009 to 45 percent in 2015” (Kelly “Teen Suicide Rate Suddenly Rises”) for females. Smartphone and social media usage skyrocketed from “58 percent in 2009 to 87 percent in 2015” (Kelly “Teen Suicide Rate Suddenly Rises”) with 14% more likely than others to feel depression. In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury describes how the handymen get “9 or 10 [cases] a night” (Bradbury 15) of people overdosing on their sleeping pills. The main character, Montag, even points out they “have everything [they] need to be happy, but [they] just aren’t” (Bradbury 82).

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The society portrayed in Fahrenheit 451 shows how consumed the people are in technology, just as many people in today’s society become easily distracted by technology while driving or in school. Bradbury points out two key examples of technology, “little seashells, the thimble radios” (Bradbury 12) used to continuously occupy the person’s mind, and “the TV parlor” (Bradbury 19) used to entertain everyone for hours on end. Distracted driving is a problem in our society with “more than 3 million drivers” (Marshall “Everybody Uses Their Phone While Driving”) using a cellphone “on 88 percent of their journeys” (Marshall “Everybody Uses Their Phone While Driving”). Some people, like the members of The Slippery Slope political party, disagree with the use of texting bans using evidence showing “accidents actually increased after the ban” (“Inconvenient Truths to a Ban”); however, the risk without the ban is much greater. On average drivers spend “3.5 minutes on the phone per one hour trip” (Marshall “Everybody Uses Their Phone While Driving”), when “two seconds can increase the risk of an accident up to 24 times” (MailOnline “Drivers are More Distracted”) 3.5 minutes can increase the risk of an accident up to 2520%. School is another subject technology is affecting. Student’s use of technology “for non-learning reasons” (Schaffhauser “College Students More Distracted”) went from 30% and “rose to 34 percent” (Schaffhauser “College Students More Distracted”). Students used “fighting boredom [as] the most common reason” (Schaffhauser “College Students More Distracted”) for using technology in class, but “eight percent in 2013” (Schaffhauser “College Students More Distracted”) reported to never using technology in a distracting way. These numbers dropped “to three percent for 2015” (Schaffhauser “College Students More Distracted”) with more students becoming distracted from school.

With the increase of technology in schools via computers, there has been a decrease in scores for digital reading and in mathematics. Computer’s introduction has been more of a “distraction rather than an aid” (Glance “The World Learns a Lesson”), but some argue “teachers were not adequately trained” (Glance “The World Learns a Lesson”) to incorporate technology in teaching. Scores show “students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes” (Glance “The World Learns a Lesson”). Bradbury predicted in Fahrenheit 451 “English and spelling [would be] gradually neglected” (Bradbury 55) and digital reading scores prove this. An OECD powerpoint on Students, Computers, and Learning shows more than half of the countries surveyed are doing worse than expected in digital reading and students with computerized reading are only scoring moderately. Slide 41 of the powerpoint shows the decrease of mathematical performance as schools continue to use computers and technology to teach (“Students, Computers and Learning”).

Ultimately Bradbury’s ideas are becoming a reality in today’s society. With people becoming addicted to technology comes with negative mental side effects, distractions from many tasks, and decrease in school related scores. Fahrenheit 451 shows us technology is destructive and our society is proving Bradbury right, if we do not limit our technology use our society may become their society.

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Harmful Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Harmful Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
Harmful Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
Harmful Effects Of Technology In Fahrenheit 451 [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jul 08 [cited 2024 Mar 4]. Available from:
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