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I forget the exact wording of the question, but essentially the prompt asks whether technology has truly benefited society/life. I wanted to choose the challenging answer to that prompt. The daily life of our ancestors would greatly differ from ours; from the drawn-out processes of acquiring enough resources to survive to simply moving the limbs of the body. The advent of technology has exceedingly served as a source of ease and comfort; allowing people to do things they would normally be incapable of, but also things newly deemed ‘mundane’ that were once essential to survival. Does convenience really improve the quality of life, or simply detract from what it is to be ‘human’? While technology has greatly improved the length of people’s lives, it has simultaneously detracted from the struggle that life so beautifully exemplifies. One of the most early remains of human life found is ‘Lucy’, a 3.2 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis skeleton found in Hadar, Tanzania. The significance behind Lucy is the knowledge she imparted on knowledge of the past, and human origins. Wear-and-tear on the specimen clued scientists in to early life, long before the modern human, and the implications were extraordinary. With Lucy and other early specimens, scientists pieced together the idea of a much shorter life that often ended violently, where the relationship between human and nature was much more key, as every day, people lived on the sharp edge of survival. However, even more surprising was the relationships between early humans; the two species homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis, for example, lived together, as found from the proximity of their graves, despite being much different from each other. Harmony is something found much less today, despite differences between people being much less than the gap between homo neanderthalensis and sapiens. This proposes the question of whether the modern homo sapiens sapiens (meaning wise, wise man) has really progressed, or just technology. Life today greatly differs, within the environment resulting from an abscess of superficial ease technology has created. The superficial relationships between people best exemplify this change, and are found in the work of renown sociologist Erving Goffman. In his ‘Social Interaction Analysis of Ritual Elements’, Goffman examines the subconscious of social norms, and reveals an environment based on solely keeping one’s own ‘face’. In society, people act in a linear pattern of verbal and nonverbal communication where he or she strives to maintain their own face, or reputation to the rest of society, building upon this repute to the point where it is no longer malleable. As if wearing masks in an elaborately scripted play, people subconsciously protect each other’s ‘face’ in tacit cooperation in exchange for the upholding of their reputation; making sure that “others will likely indulge him, too.’ While satisfying social order, the idea of ‘saving face’ represents the large change from a past, more ‘free’ society with less constraints. Abscess of technology has resulted in the shift from survival-type priorities to socially-based ones that damage the human psyche. While life-sustaining changes are beneficial, an excess results in the devolution of the quality and meaning of life; which is the struggle that life imparts upon people, making them push themselves beyond perceived limits, something exponentially more rewarding than living as part of a regulated system. So, yeah. Hopefully wording isn't too pretentious-sounding. What can I improve upon?
To be honest, I would recommend a hook. I do not like essays that sounds like they've just come off a question. I like essays that begin firmly and independently. I believe that you should add some more meat to your conclusion. It is way too short and doesn't leave one completely satisfied. Your examples are good, but I feel that they are lacking somewhat. The discussion about Lucy and human interaction is way too short. The introduction about Lucy is wordy and is unnecessary. While I would say that it is perfect in any other essay, this is short and quick essay and draws way too much attention from this short and quick type of writing. I have an honest and firm belief that it is best to simply include a brief side note and then quickly explain the connection. I feel that you must add more about Lucy and how having a human connection instead of technology was more beneficial. We don't know much about Lucy or what she did to emphasize how technology isn't helpful. Yes, they didn't have much. But the idea that there are graves of another species doesn't really help illustrate the example enough. "the two species homo sapiens and homo neanderthalensis, for example, lived together, as found from the proximity of their graves, despite being much different from each other. Harmony is something found much less today, despite differences between people being much less than the gap between homo neanderthalensis and sapiens. This proposes the question of whether the modern homo sapiens sapiens (meaning wise, wise man) has really progressed, or just technology." Why is harmony found much less today? I recommend an example
Your use of Erving Goffman is excellent, but I would recommend using more specific examples about "masks". We know that society in all forms can be oppressive, but there is a very robotic and straightforward approach to it. I suggest some historical or personal instances.
Ultimately, I come down to say that I feel absolutely terrible in posting all of this especially to an extraordinary person who has helped me greatly. But I only have to say that you essay is excellent, it only needs a small tune up here and there.
For examples, I recommend Chris McCandless ( College Graduate who just left society to enter the wilderness) and Henry Thoreau
For oppressive society and technology, there is a mind blowing amount - Institutionalized Racism, Gaming Addictions, 50's lifestyle in both men (The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit) and women ( The Feminine Mystique)...etc.
By the way, if you feel particularly peeved at how I've talked about your essays. I will some of my own that I've been writing to practice for the SATs. Feel free to chew it up any way you like.
I definitely agree about strengthening and validifying examples; my writing tends to be 'fluffy' and not really 'concrete', which is what I'm trying to improve. The examples you posted also seem really interesting so I'll definitely check those out - I could only think of a few to be honest, so that helps a lot. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and dissect my essay; that's the most I could ask of anyone and you definitely provided some constructive and useful points that I wouldn't have picked up on if you hadn't pointed them out. Particularly, that you went through the entire thing and the smaller nuances is really impressive. Haha, I'm definitely not upset or anything; I believe that giving feedback and criticism is the best thing someone can give a writer. That way, you will be able to improve more and more! So thanks again, I do appreciate it :)