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When was the last time you went a day without turning on the TV, working on the computer, or looking at your phone? I doubt many could honestly say they have gone more than one day without using technology. A little girl and her mom walked into Verizon, and the little eight year old instantly ran around the store looking at all the phones. “Mommy, this one is so big; can I have it, and what about this one?” screams the little girl.
In today’s world, technology is flourishing and growing, and we live by it. Whether it is fighting to get the newest iPhone or purchasing a sixty-six inch TV screen, people cannot imagine life without technology and rely on it to do almost everything. However, technology can cause a loss of privacy, and today, Americans even lose individuality. Society and all its technological advances has a negative impact on today’s culture.
Granted, technology is fast; through your mobile devices, you can do almost anything.
From watching Netflix on your phone to asking Google whatever question you have, people have begun to rely more on technology than anything or anyone else than ever before. Technological advances have even helped the medical field in order to find cures for many diseases and sicknesses. However, I believe society has put too much emphasis on the fastness of technology and has created a lack of patience if technology is slow or malfunctions. For example, our school’s internet and cellular service has had a history of being slow and even nonexistent.
When the internet is slow, many students and staff rush down to the technology department and complain about how much faster the service should be. Society has introduced the idea that faster is better, and when it is not, people are now impatient to wait if their computers or mobile devices are slow. I think we as Americans should take a step back, simplify life, and enjoy the small things in life instead of getting stressed and frustrated if technology is not as fast as you hoped.
Next, social media can be great in order to communicate with others and spread new ideas, but it also creates a lack of privacy. Everything you say and do can be taped and stored with technology and effect your life. Social media is similar to an addiction to alcohol and drugs; once you start, it is extremely hard to stop. For example, my mom has been able to check and search all the texts and messages I send and receive. I didn’t find this out until about 3 years after I got my first phone in seventh grade. It freaked me out when she came up and asked me this: “Who is the girl that you have been texting?” I had no idea she was looking at my messages, and it reminded me about how careful I have to be with my messages, pictures, and videos because I never know who will see them. Basically anyone can get access to your texts, messages, and pictures with the right of apps and share it with anyone to view, and once it gets online, it cannot easily be deleted. I believe society doesn’t stress this danger enough. Society focuses more on earning money and selling of the latest technology models than educating about safe usage.
Finally, society encourages the use of technology and social media, which I believe decreases independence in order to be like everyone else. “Why don’t you have a phone?” says a sixth grade classmate of mine. “Everyone has one; why don’t you?” “And why don’t you have a Facebook either?” exclaims another classmate. “You need to get one and become my friend.” These are some of the comments I received in middle school because I didn’t have a phone or the latest social media. I felt that I didn’t need one, but society began to pressure me into getting one the next Christmas. Society has made wanting to purchase the latest technology a disturbance from the issues in the world that are real and serious. As Henry David Thoreau writes in his essay, Walden, “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things.” In today’s perspective, the “pretty toys” he mentions are the latest iPhone or the latest software from Microsoft. It distracts us from more important things and puts an emphasis on materialistic objects as the center of your life, which I strongly disagree with. I believe the things you value most in your life should be your family, friends, and the willingness to work hard instead of desiring materialistic objects.
In conclusion, technology has many incredibly useful advances that help society, including the advancement in the medical field and the quickness of software. However, there are also negative effects of technology that impact society almost everywhere. With technology, there is little to no privacy. Even though you delete something from view, it is never completely deleted. Society encourages the use of social media and getting the latest, most expensive phones and computers in order to stay “hip” with everything that is going on, which causes most people to become like everyone else and lose their independence and ability to think for themselves. Technology has shaped the way we view the world and has changed our culture in a negative manner.
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