In the world we live in today, technology is everywhere. Technology makes communication easier and work more efficient. It even impacts the way we spend our free time. Technology has made the world a convenience-filled place, but at what price? Is it worth giving up our power of choice and control?
Here in the 21st century, what would we do without cell phones? Let’s examine the technological advancement of the “smart” phone.
Cell phones were invented so that we could connect and contact with people in an easier manner. Imagine your car breaking down and not having a cell phone to call for help, you would have to walk to the nearest gas station to make a call or hope a stranger would pick you up.
In this day and age, cell phones are used to surf the web, take pictures and videos, navigate, email, text, and call. We have become consumed with technology: we feel naked when we walk out the door without our phones. We are constantly looking at our phones to keep up with the current trends and to see what is being posted on Facebook/Twitter. Is this imperative to our survival, or are we doing it just to pass the time?
In 1932, Aldous Huxley warned us in “Brave New World” that one day technology would make us powerless by causing distraction. In 2003, Neil Postman painted a modern picture of how technology is crippling the human race in “Amusing Ourselves to Death.”
It is as these authors feared, technology is killing us. A few weeks ago, in San Francisco, a man was shot and killed in a commuter train. The gunman pulled out his gun several times in plain sight to shoot his victim but no one on the train noticed. Why you ask? All the passengers on the train were so consumed with their cell phones and tablets that they did not see the gunman sitting right next to them. The commuter train caught the entire encounter on its video camera.
If one person would have had the self-will to pull away from their technology for just for a minutes would the man still be alive today?
When people get their cell phones stolen right out of their hands most people cannot even describe the perpetrator because their eyes were fixed on their phones completely unaware of who was around them.
Studies have been done at the Pew Research center that show that young people commit more then7.5 hours on an electronic device which may be the reason why teens struggle with face to face interaction because they are so use to hiding behind their computer screens. Teenagers and young adults struggle with carrying out lengthy conversations, when most of their communication is done in short bursts of information.
Looking at smiley faces in a text or email is not the same as reading someones smile or verbal cues in a face to face interaction.
People cannot go a day without using technology. Wake up, check Facebook/twitter and emails, get through the morning. Then leading up to lunch text and make phone calls. At lunch surf the web and check for media status updates. Evening rolls around text, call, check multimedia, email, surf web. We are addicted. Maybe not meaning to but we have lost the value in face to face communication and a sense of our surrounding. Walking across campus or in a hallway we do not even notice what is around us. We have become so oblivious to the people walking right next to us. We are powerless and are controlled by technology.
As you go through your day try to limit the times you look at your phone or computer. Maybe even try to go without it on Sunday. Its not as easy as you think. Do you have the will power? Who controls you?