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What single invention or new technology has done the most to change the quality of your life (for better or worse)?

The cell phone, while useful, is the most aggravating, irritating, and overused invention of modern times. I’ve been run off the road, cut off at intersections, and almost struck while on foot by idiots on their cell phones. I’ve listened to other people’s loud and mostly inane conversations in drug stores, in supermarkets, and on the street. I’ve even listened to men talking to their wives or girlfriends from a stall in the men’s room. To combat this intrusion upon my privacy in airports, I take out my harmonica and begin playing “O, Susanna.” We need cell phone-free zones or, better still, a cell phone shield (Maxwell Smart, eat your heart out!) that prevents their use in certain rooms and buildings.

—Al Papianou ’57

How did we live without the Web—more specifically, search engines? I can quickly find answers online without leaving the comfort of my home or hunting through books. No longer do I spend hours going from store to store looking for the best prices; I can search online for the best deal. I can even locate long-lost classmates, former teachers, and relatives with whom I’ve lost touch. Of course without the Web, I wouldn’t have my current job!

—Amy Marr ’96, Director of Web Development, WPI

Here’s the question for our next issue:

What job have you held that taught you the most important lessons about life or work?

Send answers to transformations@wpi.edu or Editor, Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280

transformations@wpi.edu
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Last modified: Dec 17, 2004, 12:30 EST
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