Imagine a world where we all thought, acted and felt the same. What would life be like if you were just a shell of a person? Welcome to the 2019 Dystopian Fiction Conference, my name is Breanna Duckworth and today I am going to highlight a very important message conveyed through Ray Bradbury’s, Fahrenheit 451. As enthusiastic readers, you will no doubt be aware of this iconic dystopian fiction author’s, novel, c, which tells the tale of a society that burns books due to their fear of independent thinking. A realistic novel about how life could be if we continue undermining our intelligence. Therefore, today I need you to heed the message that we as a society crave technology and in turn, this has caused us to become dependent thinking robots, as it’s the social norm in this modern age world.
In Bradbury’s ominous novel, he evokes the message that we as a society have become too involved with technology causing our everyday tasks to be done with the help of machines. This is extremely evident in Fahrenheit 451 as technology surrounds them and soon enough us. For example, “They had this machine. They had two machines, really. One of them slid down into your stomach like a black cobra down an echoing well looking for all the old water and the old time gathered there. It drank up the green matter that flowed to the top in a slow boil. Did it drink of the darkness? Did it suck out all the poisons accumulated with the years?” (Bradbury, 1953, pg. 22-23). This shows that the people of Fahrenheit 451 have become so in need of technological advancements to perform jobs that doctors or nurses would spend years studying to perfect the task. Therefore, stripping away the intelligence causing everyone to become these brain-dead zombies. Bradbury also writes, “The things you’re looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine percent of them is in a book. Don’t ask for guarantees. And don’t look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.” (Bradbury, 1953, pg. 112). Bradbury is making it clear that we do not need to rely on machines as us as individuals are capable of doing it ourselves. Subsequently, we must focus on accomplishing everyday tasks without technology or it will be the downfall of our society today.
How many of you used your phone today? It’s no surprise that we have all done this. This is because in today’s world we are becoming more reliant on technology rather than ourselves. Even for this speech I used technology to research and find evidence to help prove my point. It’s everywhere and it is taking over whether you like it or not, so before it can, we must put a stop to it. According to the article ‘Is Technology Affecting Teens’ Education Negatively?’, it states that “One of the major concerns about technology in the classroom is that it prevents students from developing and using basic literacy, math and communication skills, all of which are essential in both day-to-day living and working life.” (Nuttall, 2019). This clearly demonstrates that society is becoming too vulnerable to technology preventing us from developing and using basic skills in everyday life. As stated by The Hornet Newspaper, “We have to stop thinking we need technology for everything. If people were able to accomplish so many things before technology took off, so can we.” (Official Hornet Newspaper, 2018). This is a completely true statement as we as individuals must not fall defenceless to technology or else, we will become a lifeless shell of a person just like in Fahrenheit 451. Moreover, the excessive need for technology has made us reliant on it for basic skills everyone can achieve for themselves.
Dependence of technology is becoming the social norm because of how involved we are to our phones, computers and tablets, we no longer rely on ourselves but rather our phone for daily reminders, messages and even how to get to places from point A to B. In Australia alone we contribute as a country to this pressing issue at hand because no one heeded Bradbury’s warning in Fahrenheit 451. The Sydney Morning Herald expressed, “The Korn Group’s Switching Off survey found Australians readily admit to over-dependence on technology and are concerned about the incursion of screens into their daily lives.” (Taylor, 2018). This evidence alone proves the point that we have an over-confidence on technology and the immoral issue is that we are concerned but we don’t do anything about it. For instance, “Internet addiction is when a person has a compulsive need to spend a great deal of time on the Internet, to the point where other areas of life (such as relationships, work or health) are allowed to suffer. The person becomes dependent on using the Internet and needs to spend more and more time online to achieve the same ‘high’.” (Better Health Channel, 2011). There is no denying that our addiction on technology is affecting our everyday lives by controlling us and making us fall into this black hole that we can never escape. Consequently, us as a country need to stop this unhealthy craving for a certain happiness that only lasts for an hour or so, when in reality we have this amazing world outside this small black screen that we look at everyday to fill our empty pit.
We must as a society put a stop to the societal norms of having defenceless and craving technology ever second of the day. Technological advancements have changed our world today, for worse this is because it’s helped so much but also caused the downfall of the human race as we know it today. Therefore, we must heed Bradbury’s message in Fahrenheit 451 or else in the future we’ll all become shells of the people we once were. To do so, you as an individual must put a stop to the endless mind-numbing control that technology has over us and stop the addiction that we have on technology.