We hear about how great technology is; the building block of the next invention. We hear and see all the advancements there are due to technology, but how come we seldom hear of the drawbacks of technology? Technology has helped tremendously in virtually every field: medicine, communications, automotive, engineering, and the list goes on. But like with everything, the good comes with the bad. Our dependence on the technology that has increased the ease in our lives has impoverished the wholesomeness in our lives.
I became an AOL addict in my late high school years which is around the time I got my first mobile phone (2000). As a child in the 90’s, television was an after-school pastime, but playing outside with friends was still the preferred activity. Nowadays children receive their first mobile phones at a prepubescent age, a time they also become familiar with social media. Television is now technology of the past and children navigate through their pastime, and sometimes learning, on their iPad or Nook. I’m sure any kid would beat me with their knowledge on social media and such.
I came to India in 2012, leaving behind a job in a highly reputed technology company. Although my job was not technical, being in the company of techies you can’t help but become a little techie yourself. My occupation was related to HR/ Finance/ and administration, but the amount of time I spent on my computer was comparable to any full fledged techie. I think I spent 17 out of 24 hours on the computer and of the remaining 8 hours I spent 3 on the phone. Once I came to India my laptop usage was severely cut down then entirely cut out 9 months later, my phone usage was also severely cut down, and my television watching which was minimal to begin with remained minimal. Although this mandate was not easy for me to follow at first, within 3 months I lost my dependence.
Till now, using the phone or computer seems to be a burdensome distraction. Where I used to obsess over my phone: calls, music, emails, apps, and messages, I refuse to tempt myself by getting an iPhone today. Within 2 years I have become more aware of the negative effects and dependence of technology. What did people do when there was no television? They formed other pastimes that involved other people. What did people do when there were no phones? There was more face-to- face interaction. What did people do when there was no light? They woke and slept with the sun. What did people do when there was no gym? People did manual labor and stayed healthy by doing chores.
Although I always had an idea about these issues I never felt as strongly as I do now about them. I feel our dependence on certain technologies has begun at such an early age that our wholesomeness is being affected. Advancements in technology in fields like medicine, education, and marketing have greatly increased society’s ease and awareness. But dependence on these advancements is inevitable, if not there already, and can serve as a great handicap to society in the long run.
My main concern was with the development of the individual as exposure to uncensored ideas and images are now available at a very early age, that the social interaction has severely declined, and the means of entertainment have become very technology and solitary based. Technology has its pros, but if not careful they can quickly become cons. Dependence on any good thing can become an addiction.