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Exercising caution when technology influences your workout

Two weeks ago, Seton Hall unveiled the addition to the Richie Regan Recreation Center in the highly anticipated grand opening.

Consequently, two weeks ago I came to the realization that I am a slave to the computer screen.

Now, it wasn't specifically the addition (which I do believe is very nice) that spawned this notion; however, it did occur to me on the treadmill while I was virtually jogging through the simulated streets of Germany, completely cut off from my surroundings, that my entire day was lived in a world in front of me, not around me, constantly switching from screen to screen.

My smartphone sleeps next to me. I am awakened every morning by its reliable chorus of digital chimes. Hand-in-hand (or so to speak) we carry out the day's activities together where it stays faithfully by my side as my attention strays to TV, computer and projector screens. Finally, I pry myself away from the mentally-taxing technological world and unwind at the gym. I stretch my legs and let my body breathe... on a machine in front of a screen that has cable television, computer-generated jogging paths and smartphone connection capabilities.

It's not that I don't appreciate new technology, but I always felt that the gym was where I could get away from it all and get in touch with my primal instincts. As far as I'm concerned, from the beginning of time man's main forms of exercise and entertainment were present in my old gym routine: running and people-watching. This new equipment has me so glued to a screen to the point where I feel like I could be the only one in the room. The elliptical feels like it's simultaneously giving me a workout and ADD.

So, you could say I'm torn between two worlds: the "cyber" world and the "real" world. I feel as if this small change in my daily routine raised an important question, should technology exist in every aspect of our lives? Technology has evolved at an exponential rate, leaving us with the task of deciding how to integrate it into our lifestyles.

This realm the of the Internet has new norms and minimal regulations, and the time I spend staring into a screen sometimes leaves me with the ominous feeling that I'm living a double life. Maybe society should "exercise" caution when it comes to how much of our lives we invest in technology.

Mary Marshall is a sophomore journalism major from Darien, Ill. She can be reached at


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