Does Technology Disconnect Us?

Technology today, while a monumental achievement, can be distracting and enabling. Our phones and other electronics do so much for us, we are becoming dependent on our devices and forgetting the more important things in life.

Take a minute to think back on the last time you were in a restaurant. Do you remember looking around? Seeing the majority of people on their phones, or maybe you were one of those people yourself. Even in class, you could be sitting there not understanding anything the teacher is talking about so you turn to someone next to you to see if they understand just to find them engrossed in their phones. You feel awkward about interrupting them so you don’t and you try your best to translate the current material to English. But if that class mate put their phone down for a minute, they could have had a real conversation about what was actually going on in class, possibly saving you confusion and a headache. This brings us into how communication has changed over the years. We have all heard at least one person in our lives say, “back in my day, we all knew each other by name and when they went by they said hello maybe even asked you about your life.” Wouldn’t it be nice if communities were still like that? Now instead of talking face to face, people resort to social media, from wishing someone Happy Birthday to making plans and to understanding the world around us. In today’s society we turn do our devices for everything. We read about our family, friends, and the news through social media feeds. Yet, what is being fed to us? From entertainment gossip to the up coming presidential election, the media spoon feeds us stories about past scandals with Trump and Sugar coats criminal offenses committed by Hillary Clinton in order to direct the opinions of the public whatever way they want. But the sad part is that it works because minor tweaks to our fragile society causes protests and rioting. A very wise man once said “if you believed in something whole heartedly to be the truth and it wasn’t, would you want to know?” We don’t take the time to consider this concept because the truth is we don’t want to hear it.

In addition to looking at Fact vs. Fiction, technology has caused us to become lazy. Have you ever considered how much the average person can’t do because their phones do it for them for example, using an actual dictionary rather that dictionary.com and using a map instead of google maps or a GPS. Cash registers also count change for us so we don’t have to but we probably couldn’t count it if the machine wasn’t there. More and more teachers complain that their students are using texting abbreviations in their writing assignments. In an article called ” The Positive and Negative Effects Technology has on Our Lives” by Brittany Walker, she says “being dependent on technology has only conditioned us to be less social, interactive, and outgoing.” Another writer by the name of Pamela DeLoatch says that “more than a third of children under the age of 2 use mobile media… while video games may condition the brain to pay attention to multiple stimuli but it can also lead to distraction and decrease memory” “they may use their imagination less and think deeply about material.” Isn’t that sad? Imagine being a child and not knowing what it’s like to play pretend. We all did it at some point but future generations are going to be so plugged in that the youth In 20 years won’t even know what real grass looks like because they will never go outside.

Speaking of generations, ours has had a record-breaking increase of car accidents caused by none other than texting, quite frankly a stupid reason for people to lose their lives. In an article written by Anthony Peonix on car accident statistics he says “more than 45.000 crashes occurred by distracted driving in Florida in 2015” 12% of these crashes were caused by reaching for an object in their car which was most likely their phone. These 45,000 crashes were committed by people ranging from 20-24 years of age.

Now technology isn’t 100 percent bad if used for its intended purpose. Just like a weapon sitting on a shelf is harmless, it is only as dangerous as the person using it. Technology such as our phones and social media help us stay connected with our friends and family who we don’t see very often. It also gives us easy and instant access to important information.

Technology was made to make our lives easier but sometimes it can have an overpowering effect on society, to the point where we expect it to do everything for us. It makes us more connected to devices and disconnected with people in our lives. So just some food for thought would be make extra efforts to appreciate the world around you for real instead of watching it go by like time on a screen. And next time you talk to someone weather it be your parent, sibling, friend, boy friend, or girlfriend tell them they are important and you care for them because life is too short and there is too much to say to be said that you just can’t say with an emoji.