A World of obsession The distractions of technology: how bad can they be?

An eighteen year old boy living in the overcrowded trailer with his aunt and many others in a place called the “stacks”. This boy’s name is Wade Watts, both his mother and his father died when he was young and he was forced to live in the crowded trailer all the way at the top of the “stacks”, which are many different trailers on top of one and another for the impoverished people to live in. Wade has nothing but a love for technology, and in the impoverished area it’s hard to show that love, his aunt takes away any technology so that they can get more meal tickets which causes Wade to have to hide this love. This boy who lives a life of struggle is the main protagonist of, Ready player One, by Ernest Cline. The book’s main idea is about technology and how it is used to control and change people’s lives, is that a negative or positive thing? The author uses it as a positive way for Wade to escape his life of poverty and it’s how he gets through life happily. He uses this thing called the oasis, a videogame that nearly everyone uses, but he not only plays the game he also uses it for schooling. The Oasis was created for entertainment and education, and Wade uses it for both. The main issue in the story was about how consumerism and technology intertwine and sometimes consumerism can lead many people onto things like fake articles, a virus causing website, etc.

The Title page of Ready Player One, with Wade Watts (protagonist) climbing the stacks. http://www.cinemablend.com/new/Ready-Player-One-Movie-What-We-Know-So-Far-120497.html

Technology and consumerism from, Ready Player One, is just like the real world, where if something is said about a product by a big company and advertised and then spread through the world, then many people will believe it and try to get one themselves. The story has a similarity to the real world due to how the maker of the oasis sends a video out to all oasis users on how, if they find these keys hidden in the game then they will unlock the secret treasure of riches, and of course since he is a big owner of the company everyone instantly believed it, and people started hunting. I’m not saying that the owner was lying when he spread that video, I am saying that he could have been and yet everyone believed him. This idea of how consumerism and technology can easily be used to lead people on is a real problem, due to the fact that if false information is spread and people believe it then it makes everyone think wrongly, or do wrongly. An example of this issue that connects to the, Ready Player One, Story is the brand McDonald's uses the slogan, “I’m Lovin’ It”, on all of their advertisements just to get their buyers to be more interested in the product and try to convince the consumers that they will like the food, when in reality McDonald’s has no idea if the consumer will, “love it”, and it’s just used to convince and influence people. This is only a small example and not really an example of the company lying, but it is an example of how a company is trying to just convince the consumer through technology. Consumerism and the idea of leading consumers on is the big problem, and technology is what enhances the problem, due to how technology so rapidly spreads information.


My Idea of technology and consumerism is that it greatly improves the world and helps spread ideas or brand information, but it’s not always good so I find it’s always better to find proof of what the brands are spreading. Although I know that’s not always needed and sometimes you can’t even prove that companies may tell the truth, sometimes it’s good to just trust a company based on other information a company has to sell their product. Nowadays technology is used for almost everything, as it’s taking over jobs and is used for communication to other offices, because of this huge use of technology that means that it is easier for brands to make their products more well known. Writer Jordan Shapiro from Forbes wrote, “The holiday season reminds me that I’m too easily swayed toward bad spending habits by cyber sales and hot deals websites.” (Shapiro 1), as an example of how he gets distracted while researching and working, and the negativity of this is that even when technology makes it easier to do work, it can also distract you from that work. With things like online shopping, advertisements or playing games. From even personal experience while writing essays I get distracted easily by going on my phone, things like espn alerts grab my attention, and from there I end up on something like amazon looking for a ski helmet somehow, with just the wonder of how I got to that after thirty minutes.


While I know that consumerism may have good and bad aspects, it wouldn’t have those features if it weren’t for technology. Technology is what spreads the advertisements, and possible wrong information. A couple of experiences that I have had with some websites that have things like free movies also have these advertisements that can have viruses if clicked on. This is why people need to be aware of false advertisements and also use common sense to help be aware of it. Consumerism and technology relate because technology is how brands are growing so rapidly due to the ads they make. Christopher Soghoian in his TED talk states that, “Apple encrypts their technology, and it would be hard to hack them, but still possible. Android on the other hand, would be easy to hack into, making android users more prone to hackers.”, Viruses and hacks according to the article, “virus spreading or hacking”, are normally spread through pop up ads and social media, and because of the type of technology someone may own it makes people more prone to viruses and hackers. This just proves that the false consumerism that may be spread about Android and Apple products could be negative and cause some people to gain viruses.


Comparing the eighteen year old boy from, Ready Player One, and the world he lives in to ours, there are many similarities when it comes to technology and consumerism. The big idea and problem is that Technology and consumerism can be so beneficial even when used right, but if used wrongly to spread a brand’s product or to advertise fake news articles then it shows both tech and consumerism have worked together for a negative. I’m not saying that technology is an awful thing, but I’m saying that technology can be used very wrongly along with the way things are advertised. The book really displays an example of how everyone will believe something quickly if it is told to you by a big company, famous person, etc. even though it’s not an example of false advertisement.


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