Humans and the Use of Technology

Back when I was around seven or eight, flip phones had begun to become popular. Simple texts and phone calls were about all you could do, with the exception of some small, basic games like Tetris. Both my parents and grandparents had phones just to keep in touch with each other if they traveled or has an important event come up. I on the other hand, didn't feel the need to have one because I was always outside playing, reading, or engaging in sports. Even late at night I would sit and watch the news and all of the late night shows with my grandparents without the distraction of my phone.

Nowadays, it seems like every person we encounter has a phone. People are always texting, streaming, scrolling through social media, or playing games. This constant attention to technology has caused us to change how we live our lives and interact with those around us, but it has impacted children the most. In schools instead of retaining information from lectures and books, children can now look up the answer on their phone with a few simple key words. Phones have also limited their attention span. With our phones always getting notifications, we are always looking at it to see what is new or who is talking to us. This takes away from tasks we are doing (doing homework), which ends up taking longer than necessary to complete (instead of one hour may take two). Kids are growing up learning to "multitask", or doing what they think is multitasking. What they are actually doing is taking their attention away from homework or any other task and taking a minute or two to check their phone.

Children's social lives are at risk with phones and technology. Gone are the sit-down conversations with family members or time taken to simply enjoy one's company. When separated from our phones for even a couple of minutes, a feeling of separation anxiety begins to creep it's way in. Then we are sitting there wondering who has responded to our text, post, or who is posting themselves. Our time outside is limited now by our use of technology. We stay inside to watch a show we're afraid to miss, play on a gaming console, or we can spend hours scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Kids have caught onto this trend and now they would rather sit in front of a television than go play and exercise.

Humans have not become lazier, we have only adapted to a new way of life. Back in the day when there was little to no technology (use of black and white tvs), everyone spent time outdoors to entertain themselves. Also, work has more strenuous because of the lack of technology like dish washers and tractors. Now with new technologies like the dishwasher, lawn mower, washing machines, and sweepers; more work can get done in a shorter amount of time which leaves us with more leisure time. This time is spent with different types of technologies that are made for entertainment instead of work.

Technology is all around us today, enabling us to do things more efficiently, but at the same time making generations of young people seem lazy. It is important to find the right balance for us and children so that we can keep our bodies and mind healthy.


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