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tackling technology

Rachel Mathiowetz, Program Assistant, reflects on the value of simple living and the challenges associated with today’s technology.

Recently, my personal laptop was attacked by a vicious malware virus. I couldn’t believe it or figure out how it happened to me since I take many precautions while online. My whole day was spent in a panic calling my banks to confirm I had fraud alerts in place in case any banking or personal information had been stolen. Of course, I’d heard various stories on National Public Radio (NPR) about malware and virus attacks, and even today listened to another story about a DNS changer malware attack.

I started feeling betrayed by technology. It can be useful in so many ways, yet it can completely violate our privacy. I don’t consider myself to be totally up-to-date with technology; I don’t own a Smartphone, eBooks, or an iPad and I only use the internet on my laptop. However, I started wondering if I need to cut back on my technology use even more. Should I delete my Facebook page and other profiles on the internet? Should I use the internet or my computer less in order to reduce the risk of another malware attack?

Sometimes though, it seems impossible to avoid using technology. The world and our culture are constantly telling us if we don’t keep up with the ever-changing technology, we will fall behind. We won’t be in the loop anymore. Throughout their year of service, JVs negotiate their relationship with technology as they try to live out JVC Northwest’s value of simple living. What does it mean to live simply today?

I still haven’t come to a great conclusion about how I should incorporate or reduce technology’s role in my life, but it’s definitely made me look at it differently. I need to decide how I want to use it and find a balance that fits my lifestyle and values.

As CONSP!RE Magazine says in their Spring 2012 issue about technology, Screen and Soul: Making Choices, “Technology is inevitable, but our choices around which technologies we use and how we use them offer us everything: danger, freedom, possibility. The web is inevitable, but what kind of web we have is not.”

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Zayna Abusada

(She/her/hers)
JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.