Technology is an immense part of our lives, we cannot deny it. But, is there too much? We have microwaves that let us heat soup in thirty seconds, and phones that let us talk to others from anywhere. However, we also have games that distract our children, and apps that are invading our privacy. For this reason, technology can have negative effects on us and the way we live. Technology is harmful because it is consuming multiple aspects of our lives.
Technology is changing the way our brains work. For example, Roogirl, an entertainment magazine, claims that technology is causing shortened attention span in many people. There are many social platforms that include short paragraphs or short videos. But, we are becoming accustomed to reading and watching these things that it is causing us to expect that everything will be in one paragraph or done in five minutes.
Furthermore, Edudemic states that ‘The advent of television altered the attention by offering children visual stimuli, fragmented attention, and little need for imagination. Then the Internet was invented and children were thrust into a vastly different environment in which, because distraction is the norm, consistent attention is impossible, imagination is unnecessary, and memory is inhibited.’ Electronics are shortening our creativity, memory, and our attention due to the fact that we have to do nothing. Everything is at a touch of a button. Instructional videos, designs, games, and so much more is on the internet. It is taking over the things that make us, well, us. Artificial intelligence is disrupting the way our brains work.
The constant use of electronics is altering our feelings towards others. According to Roogirl, ‘The normalizing of bad things happening and the culture of narcissism created by social media creates a society of people who lack empathy.’ The social media is causing people to be too prideful because they have more likes on pictures or more comments making them feel more worthy, loved, and/or important than others.
Similarly, Edudemic declares that technology can change a child’s feelings towards others because they are not making physical contact with them. This is happening, because we are not able to see each other’s faces or body language and can take things too far. Many people will also cyber bully through the internet because it makes them feel powerful. Children are struggling to connect with people in the real world due to the fact they only talk online. Instead of meeting face-to-face, they are ‘getting together’ through games or social platforms. Electronics are altering how we act towards others.
Technology is causing more emotions in people. Roogirl insists that tech, ‘Causes people to suffer from mental and emotional disturbances. such as anxiety, phobias, and delusions which are symptoms of neurosis.’ People judge others by their social media accounts. How many followers do they have? How many likes? How well are the pictures taken? How often is it updated? These are the questions that can cause some people to go to extreme lengths to get high social ratings. They are forcing themselves to believe that people only care what they look like online, and it is causing anxiety and fear that society will shun them.
Technology is decreasing the amount of activity we do. Roogirl believes, that computers can cause obesity because we are sitting in front of a screen in of doing nothing active. People are sitting down and playing video games or watching television, rather than going outside or socializing. Some people believe they are socializing which causes them to stay at home ‘communicating’ with others. The question, however, is can this be defined as true communication? Is it true socializing or is it more important to move around and stay healthy, but technology is distracting us from doing so.
Roogirl also claims, ‘Also, the likelihood of mindlessly eating unhealthy food increases.’ When we do not pay attention to how much we eat or what we eat, it can cause weight problems. This is negatively affecting our bodies. We are so absorbed in technology, we are not paying attention to our surroundings. Technology is affecting our health.
Technology is causing harm to our bodies. As an illustration, Everyday Health states that looking at a screen can cause light sensitivity, dry eye, blurred vision, double vision, fatigue, and headaches. We are looking at screens so much it is affecting our sight. The screens are drying out our eyes and causing changes in how we see the world. We have so much technology around us, it is harming our vision.
It can also cause hearing loss and pains in your hands, thumbs, neck, and back. Many people will blast music into their ears. This can affect your hearing if done over a long period of time. The constant volume of the sound is wearing down our eardrums causing hearing loss. Also, we tend to look down at our computers and phones causing neck pains. Texting and typing are causing pain in the hands and thumbs, wearing down our muscles. We are being distracted from our devices from staying healthy.
Others might argue that technology is improving the health of many people. We able to be more organized, can reach those in trouble faster, and have tools to monitor health outside of doctor’s office. According to the University of Illinois in Chicago, Electronic health records are a more organized system for records and transferring information to other people/hospitals. ‘Telemedicine refers to methods of advancing healthcare based on telecommunications technologies.’ Devices have been made to monitor the person who wears it in health. Also, if a sudden medical issue occurs, it will alert doctors.
Although this can be beneficial, tech is also causing problems to the health of our bodies and mind. As stated above, technology is causing more emotions, aggressive behavior, risky stunts, and distracting us from taking care of our bodies. The more technology we have, the more we are distracted and controlled by our devices.
The digital world is distracting students from class. According to Harvard University, ‘92% of college students reported using their phones to send text messages during class.’ Phones are allowing students to bring their lives into the classroom. When you are at school, your attention should be on your education, not your social status or where you are going after school ends.
Mrs. Vaghn says that technology is making plagiarism easier and harder to find. It is easy to put a quote in google and find the source, but information can be so spread out, it is difficult to determine if it is plagiarized or misquoted. There are millions of websites on the internet and it can be hard to find just one.
Technology is allowing students to make shortcuts in school.
The misuse of technology can cause disturbances in the classroom. Harvard University also states that laptops can be good if used in the right context. However, many students are distracted and tempted to do other things than learn. If laptops are used correctly, they can be a benefit to students. But many students will play games, watch videos, look at pictures, etc… instead.
Moreover, ‘A study on laptops in a simulated classroom found that students in the vicinity of another student who was multitasking on a laptop during class scored worse on a test than those who were not near multitaskers.’ Believe it or not, our brains are not meant to multitask. We do better if all our attention is focused on one task. Students who are using the laptops incorrectly are affecting students around them by distraction or causing them to misbehave also. The misuse of technology in a classroom is affecting a student’s education.
However, many believe that technology is enhancing education. Many jobs have technology in them and, at school, kids are able to learn how to use the devices. TeachHub.com states, ‘CompTIA’s study showed that 9 out of 10 students indicated that using technology in the classroom would help prepare them for the digital future.’
Technology is helping students collect and remember more information. It is also allowing them to learn at their own pace as well ‘ By integrating technology into the classroom, teachers are changing the way they used to teach and providing students with the tools that will take them into the 21st century.’ ‘ Educators also recognize the importance of developing these technological skills in students so they will be prepared to enter the workforce once they complete their schooling.’
Although this may be true, technology is distracting students from class. Many students will look up videos and pictures irrelevant to the classroom. Devices in the classroom are distracting students from their education.
Technology is taking over many jobs. Forbes claims, ‘More than a third of U.S. jobs could be at ‘high risk’ of automation by the early 2030s.’ Many jobs involve labor. Although they do not always pay well, it is enough to make a living off of. Automation, the use of automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production processes, is taking over these jobs. It is not allowing many people to contribute to their community.
Identically, U.S. News states that ‘The paper estimates roughly three jobs have been eliminated in the U.S. for each individual industrial robot introduced into the labor market.’ We are advancing in technology so fast, it is affecting our community negatively. People are losing the things that make them happy. Automation is taking over the labor market.
Technology is leaving many people without money. In addition, the U.S. News claims that ‘Researchers at the University of Oxford in 2013 estimated about 47 percent of American jobs could be at risk due to ‘computerization’ over roughly the next two decades.’ Unlike automation, computerization is taking over jobs such as telemarketers, healthcare social workers, etc… It is affecting so much, yet we continue to advance forward.
However, many people believe this is good because it is increasing productivity. But it leaves many people without pay in the process. How are people supposed to get everything they need if they do not have money? We need money for food, shelter, clothes, gas, and insurance. If we are taking away these things from people, what type of community are we? We would rather have our people suffer than have a tiny imperfection in our car. Technology is depriving people of jobs.
Also, many people think that technology is bettering many jobs. It is easier to advertise business and it is also creating jobs. Forbes claims, ‘The rise of digital doesn’t just mean changes in job descriptions, it also means a blurring of roles. As you explore and learn digital competency in your own field, you will be developing solutions that touch upon other roles. ‘ ‘ There are job roles being created that didn’t even exist five years ago.’
What is important to realize is that technology is also destroying jobs. This leaves many people without pay, causing many to struggle through life. Computerization and automation is taking over many jobs.
Technology is affecting people’s relationships. Slists believes people are wasting their time playing/watching/reading things on their phones instead of learning something new or bonding with others. We would rather hide from the world than face it. We are busying ourselves with games and videos because we do not have the courage to face the problems of our lives. We are using technology to distract us from what is important.
Furthermore, ‘We isolate ourselves because we prefer communicating online and we avoid face-to-face interactions.’ People are not able to face their emotions, so they take the easy way out. Many people will use technology to break-up, let out anger, taunt, blackmail, etc… They do this because it is easier to text than to tell your feelings in person. Technology is harming bonds between people.
Technology is publicizing our lives. According to Slists, ‘Internet and many social networking sites encourage people to be public about their personal lives. ‘ Many websites will ask for information about you. Also, many social media apps are trying to get you to post personal information about your family, job, and location.
Not to mention, The Guardian claims that:
‘When a user grants an app access to their camera and microphone, the app could do the following: Access both the front and the back camera. Record you at any time the app is in the foreground. Take pictures and videos without telling you. Upload the pictures and videos without telling you. Upload the pictures/videos it takes immediately. Run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions. Livestream the camera on to the internet. Detect if the user is on their phone alone, or watching together with a second person. Upload random frames of the video stream to your web server and run a proper face recognition software which can find existing photos of you on the internet and create a 3D model based on your face.’
This information is personal and should not be shown to people around the world. This is putting your safety at risk. We need to be more careful about what we allow our phones to do because it could put us in serious danger. Technology is taking away our privacy.
In contrast, many people argue that technology is making our society a better place. Travelling, communication, and many other devices are making our lives easier. According to Tech.Co, It is easier to communicate with others and stay in touch, without worrying about leaving the comfort of your home. Also, ‘The majority of the items that you have in your home today are automated, which makes your life much easier, organized and safer.’ The advancements in technology have made traveling long distances easier as well. We now have cars, planes, buses, trains, etc.. There are so many ways to get around, allowing us to do more things.
However, because we are able to call long distances and have automated equipment, we are becoming lazy. In addition, the lack of human interaction is causing a lack of empathy in people.
The advancement of technology is affecting our lives. It is causing changes in our health, schools, and jobs, and the communities we live in. Think about the number of electronics that surround you, and determine if it is changing your life for the better or worse. We need to take a break and look at technology’s influence over us. We can’t let our phones run our lives for us. If you can, take a break from the bright screen in our hand and enjoy the real world’s beauty.
- Curran, Dylan. “Are Your Phone Camera and Microphone Spying on You? | Dylan Curran.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Apr. 2018, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/06/phone-camera-microphone-spying. “The Four Negative Sides of Technology.” Edudemic