Dependency Are We Too Dependent On Technology? By Lauren Picot

There’s no denying technology is great. It has given us such great benefits like Cars, airplanes, security and medicine, but are humans becoming too dependent on technology? Advancements in technology have enabled humans to do things that were previously unimaginable and it has certainly made many tasks easier than they were before. But How many of us can go for a week without an internet connection or cell phone? Do people take time to memories phone numbers anymore? Technology has made life so convenient for humans that being without it is a very scary thought. What would happen if we had to go without our gadgets? How would people be able to check their social media accounts? What would happen if all the technology that people depend on just shuts down?

The Effects of Technology

Entertainment If anyone wants to be entertained, there’s no need to leave the house anymore. You won’t spend money on gas or waste time in traffic, that’s for sure. There’s no point of getting up, take a shower or getting dressed up just when you can just sit on the couch and surf Netflix. Microsoft and Nintendo have even introduced Kinect and Wii which capture your movement in real time and simulate your movement in the game you’re playing with the respective consoles. You can simulate bowling, playing tennis, shooting game or fishing. You see the dilemma here: why do the real thing when you can do it inside the house?

Social Media The term social has a very different meaning now. Decades ago, when you say “social” or you’re going to a “social event”, it means that you’re going to another place and mingle or party with other people. You actually greet, talk, maybe become friends and be social with others. Now, when people speak of social, it usually means you’re active on social media. You have multiple social media accounts “MySpace” and then “Facebook”, “Instagram” and “Twitter”. Being social nowadays means that you have many “friends” on your friends list even though you don’t personally know most of them. When you are at a party or a social event people are often just taking pictures of the party rather than actually taking part and socializing with others. People are more willing to talk or interact in the digital world than in real life.

School Works Years ago, you had to physically go and spend time in the library to look for specific books to get your specific answers to your specific questions. Now we have Google, Wikipedia, YouTube and other knowledge-based websites. Plus, there are thousands of reference books that are scanned and converted to a digital format and uploaded to the internet. Google, the popular search engine, has made the process of finding answers very easy. Microsoft Word and google docs have made dictionaries obsolete because now we have spell check and grammar check which can easily save people from embarrassing spelling or grammar errors rather than them knowing how to spell the words or know where or when to put an apostrophe.

Not Convinced? Lets Look at some signs that we are becoming to dependent.

1. No Internet, No Work. Crap the internet is down what do you do? Well, when the system is down, work comes to a standstill. Emails cannot be sent to clients, the required data are not received and sent to the essential people outside the field and all the necessary documentation that is needed for the day cannot be accomplished.

2. Using Calculators For Simple Calculations

3. Not Living In The Moment. Ever since smartphones introduced cameras and video apps, everyone just wants to take a picture or take a video of everything and not live and feel the moment. Never mind the annoying selfies but when you go to a show or a concert and everyone is raising their smartphones recording the show on video and blocking your view. There are so many moments that you try to capture on video only to realize that you’re not experiencing the moment and missing what’s right there.

Why record it? You're living it.

4. Mobile Phone Addiction. Whenever you forgot your phone at home or in your car or if it gets repaired, you surely experience “separation anxiety”. You feel incomplete or naked without your phone.

5. Playgrounds Are Becoming Empty. This is evident specifically in the first world and other Western countries as playgrounds are no longer the center of children’s activities. Even preschoolers are busy tapping away on their tablets on their mobile apps for kids that their parents got for them. Come on now, parents, do you really think very young kids need gadgets of their own? There was a time when parents used to let their kids go play outside the house, or the park and on the playgrounds. They let their kids’ hangout with other kids without worrying too much about dirt or a bit of horseplay and a bit of horseplay would make the kids better. Sometimes, adults worry too much or are just too engrossed in gadgets that we forget that children need to really play and interact with other children to gain emotional and intellectual growth.

6. Losing Creativity. Everyone should learn how to walk before they can run. Everyone should learn the basics before becoming experts in their chosen field. This goes the same with a person’s creativity. Let’s say for example, you ask your child to draw a picture for you, there’s a big chance that they will get their tablet to power up the PC, launch paint and draw from there. We’re not saying that every child has to be brilliant in art or sketching, but the ever too-easy of tech-based based drawings have taken away the charm of learning, holding and using a pencil to draw pictures or sketches.

Technology today can give us great benefits a lot in which we take for granted but at the end of the day it wont matter how many pictures we take or how many likes we get but how many memories we can share with the ones around us. It's better to spend a night out with real friends than virtual ones. So whenever your out take a few minutes and put the phone down to truly appreciate what really matters.

Thank you for an amazing semester :)

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