Most people will praise the many technological gadgets that they use in their everyday lives. Technology is evolving at a very fast rate, and what most people did not even think could be real a few years ago is now becoming a reality. Cell phones that act more like computers, sans making documents and other important work files, have now taken the world by storm, and a lot of people could not imagine what life would now be like if they didn’t have the internet, email, and chat features on their phones at their disposal. The simplest of things, such as TV, movies, and even video games, have also evolved, and each of them offers consumers a wide array of choices and new possibilities. Technology has greatly influenced the way people live in society. Much of the technological devices are created to make daily task more efficient. For instance, you can pay bills online, read the daily news and shop all without leaving home. But, it is also clear that technology plays an incredibly vital role in the 21st century; for example smartphones which used to be a luxury has now become a necessity.
The reliance of technology in society is staggering. Although many will use and publicize modern technology for many of its achievements and advancements, what many don’t realize is that it has affected and continues to affect society and people in general in a negative way. Technology is in opposition to nature; meaning it is being produced at the expense of nature while destroying ecological habitats. Technology not only erodes character but it also separates us from nature. Recent studies show a worldwide trend of decline in physical activity driven by the use of technology. The rise of computers and video games has made it easy for kids to be entertained without ever leaving the comfort of their easy chair which also contributes to the increasing rates in childhood obesity. The relationship between technology and stress, depression as well as sleep disorders has a lot to do with the overuse of technology in our society , particularly among young people. The opposing point of view is that technology is an integral part of our daily lives. There are so many advantages with improved technology in our daily life. With the help of mobile technology we are able to talk to our friends and relatives who are living far from us. Technology is being produced at the expense of nature and is destroying ecological habitats (the environment).
The factories that manufacture these technological devices are paved over wetlands. Due to the damage that excessive runoff causes to lakes, and streams wetlands are created to capture storm water. The idea is to capture and store the rainwater on site to grow native plants that can thrive in such conditions. The destruction of natural habitats not only extinguishes species but it is an act that can not be undone. According to the Wildlife Journal, habitat destruction from human activity is the primary cause of risk for 83% of endangered species (Williams, 12). Even if technology halted the destruction of natural habitats, the fact still remains that the large amounts of energy we consume causes a disruption in the atmosphere, resulting in climate change. With the rapid-changing world of electronics and technology, the turnover rate for upgrades is staggering. This constant stream of out with the old, in with the new is adding to the levels of toxicity in our air and land. E-waste is not always disposed of properly, causing deadly chemicals to leach into the ground. Plants that manufacture the electronics are emitting toxic fumes into the air. Plus there is little to no regulations on the disposal of personal E-waste.
No matter how environmentally benign it seems the scale of technology is so large that it’s shereen size overwhelms the natural cycle. Technology not only erodes character but it separates us from nature. The overuse of technology is slowly but surely creating an impatient society. According to a study at Stanford University the more time spent using the internet they lose contact with their social environment (Olds and Schwartz, 98). Technology has played an important role throughout the last few decades in the decline of interpersonal relations. Studies reported in the American Psychologist by William Scherlis in his report ” Internet Paradox: A Social Technology that reduces Social Involvement and Psychological well-being” have shown that ” greater use of the internet was associated with declines in participants’ communication with family members in the household, declines in the size of their social circle, and increases in their depression and loneliness.
Physical interaction is essential because it promotes bonding in any relationship dynamic.It is public knowledge that historical studies of infants who were not physically interacted with from their birth displayed characteristics of withdrawal, failure to thrive, and social problems later in life. The social expense of over over reliance on technology is just beginning to materialize. We do not know the extent of emotional defect caused by technology. While technology allows better tools for connection, these tools are substantially isolating us. Recent studies show a worldwide trend of reduced physical activity driven by the use of technology. Due to the rise of computers and other devices has made it easy for kids to be entertained without ever leaving the comfort of their easy chair which also contributes to the increasing rates in childhood obesity. A bariatric surgeon at Columbia St. Mary’s in Milwaukee suggest that “A lack of physical activity certainly contributes to the obesity epidemic. “According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention one-third of U.S. adults are obese.
The more time people are spending engrossed in video games, talking to friends online and watching funny cat videos on YouTube, they are spending less time being active or exercising. I tend to think the relationship between technology and stress, depression as well as sleep disorders has a lot to do with the overuse of technology in our society, particularly among young people. A doctoral student, Sara Thomee’ conducted a study where approximately 4,100 students ages ranging from 20 to 24 filled out questionnaires. Based on the questionnaires 32 individuals were classified as heavy (ICT) information and communication technology users. Based on this study Sara found that heavy cell phone use showed an increase in sleep disorders and depressive symptoms in both men and women. As we all have heard the average person needs a total of seven to eight hours.This is a growing and serious public health hazard and I think it should be addressed.
In the words of Sara Thomee’ ” Public health advice should include information on the healthy use of this technology.” I couldn’t agree more just as alcohol ads, so should technology companies have a warning label on their advertisements. There’s only one solution and it’s simple, turn it off, and get some sleep. The impact of technology on our social, mental, physical and environmental health can be devastating if we don’t keep ourselves in check. There’s no denying the benefits we have gained from technological advancements, but as with all things in life moderation is key. Be more mindful of the time you spend using technology. If you have longer conversations with Siri than you do with real people, it’s probably time to put the phone down.Creating balance will help you enjoy the benefits of technology without becoming a mindless internet zombie.
Courtney from Study Moose
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