Technological Zombies Our Dependence on Technology

Categories: Technology Addiction

It is apparent that, historically, technology has been on an uphill spike towards unstoppable growth and advancements. Research does not need to be provided for how fast and quickly technology is growing, as it is all around us, in our everyday lives. Tablets, computers, MP3 players, televisions, phones — technology has begun to consume who we are as individuals. Powerful fortune 500 companies including Apple, Samsung, Windows, and Dell have developed technology that has easily taken over society in itself. Although technology has pushed and excelled society to reach boundaries that were never thought possible, there are implications that it is also affecting individuals in a negative way.

Over the past few decades, advancements and usage of technology has caused the human population to feel dependent and attached, have major health risks and, feel more lonely than they ever have before.

There has been discussion and research on the leading effects of technology, more specifically, how our dependency and attachment is leading to negative mental side effects.

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Melton, Bigham, etc. analyzed the statistics of technology usage on the average college student in their research on the health-related behaviors and effects of technology.

These statistics are staggering, showing how dependent young adults and other adolescents are on their use of technology. Old habits are being replaced with new advancements, creating a drastic change in how society acts. In classrooms computers are replacing pens and paper, which can be seen from almost 100% of college students who own a laptop. iPod and MP3 players are replacing radios in houses and in cars due to the dependency and power of control to play an individual’s own music.

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Nearly 100% of college students own cell phones, which is seen throughout classrooms, in hallways, dining halls, and every other location on a college campus (Melton et al). Rather than using books and paper copies of research, college students are moving towards online databases along with other internet sources to complete homework, white papers, etc. If asked whether or not a student could complete their homework without the internet, a staggering amount would answer with a simple “no”.

Students and other adolescents are diving into sedentary behaviors, which include, surfing the web, playing video games, watching TV, and other social interactions via technology. Adolescents are shifting from using technology for education purposes to using technology for personal and addictive purposes. Due to this, individuals are becoming addicted to technology. Research has stated that, “Technology addiction (also called process addiction or “nonsubstance‐related addiction.”) is a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself/herself to his/her individual health, mental state, or social life” (Sharma, Rao, Benegal, Thennarasu, and Thomas 496). Millions of individuals across the nation are now falling into this category of “tech addicts” knowing well that there are harmful consequences. Research has proven that, “a negative association between increased participation in sedentary behaviors and several health problems, including obesity, insulin resistance, mental health and mortality” (Melton et al. 510). These sedentary behaviors have become a part of individuals’ everyday lives. Students search the web for homework help or to talk to other individuals, and video games are on the rise due to the influx of individuals playing new games that are released almost weekly. Students are also pulled into reality TV shows or other TV programs that they are watching either weekly or nightly depending on schedules. Students are also known for “binge-watching” on online streaming networks including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and others (Melton et al.). All of these habits are bringing about negative associations that will be difficult to combat against for generations to come.

The dependency, as well as, the inclusion of technology into our everyday lives, has led to health risks including: mental health issues, obesity, and the need to compare ourselves to other individuals. College students are shown to have drastic decreases in the amount of hours slept due to all-nighters studying for exams and quizzes, as well as completing homework or participating in extracurriculars. The addition of technology in adolescents lives has caused a prevalent decrease in sleeping. Having screens in the bedroom, or searching the internet before bed has shown a mass decrease in the amount of hours that individuals are receiving in sleep. Technology is known to have what is called “blue light,” which can “affect your sleep and potentially cause disease” (Harvard Health Publishing). Light exposure at night is hard on the eyes and can cause individuals to take longer to fall asleep (Harvard Health Publishing). Research has proven that, “The association between technology and screen time with irregular sleep patterns and reduced academic performance has highlighted the need to focus on adolescent behavior in relation to technology use” (Melton et al. 511). Loss of sleep can lead to other health risks and problems that most individuals never knew could happen.

Obesity is another health risk that society is facing due to the increase in technology usage. Research has proven that, “adolescents, who were classified as heavy Internet users (>2 hours a day), were also at a higher risk for becoming overweight” (Melton et al. 511). Obesity has been on the rise for years now and The CommonWealth stated that, “In 2016, five states had rates over 35 percent” (Blumenthal and Seervi). Public Health systems have been working furiously against obesity to try and slow down or decrease percentages, as well as educate individuals on healthy eating. Nutritional research states that, “College students’ nutritional behaviors are poor with only 5% of this population meeting the recommendation of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day” (Melton et al. 511). These behaviors are becoming worsened due to the increase in technology usage and screen time that individuals are partaking in. Technology has caused individuals to not care as much for their bodies and well being. Rather than using the internet as a hubble for nutritional guidance, teens and adolescents are using it for social networking, online streaming, and video gaming.

Some may say that technology has brought us closer than ever before. That technology has opened a realm of endless conversations, connections, and communication. However, how true is this statement? Research states that, “Mobile phone users had psychiatric distress in comparison to users with internet addiction” (Sharma et al. 495). Psychiatric distress arises from individuals being exposed at early ages to technology as well throughout prepubescent years. A newspaper source states that, “access to technologies occurs at an early age with the emerging sequence being access to a computer before the age of eight, use of the internet between the ages of five and ten, use of a mobile phone between the ages of eight and ten and access to a social network between the ages of eleven and thirteen” (M2Press Wire). Exposure to technology is seen at younger ages throughout the years, now having children ages 5-10 using the internet and mobile devices. The need to stay connected, communicate, and scroll through social media accounts have caused younger generations to adapt to having technology constantly at their fingertips, entail, causing addiction. Statistics show that, “Over 60% of the respondents admitted to being “very’ or ‘quite’ addicted to the internet, while over 50% are addicted to their mobile phones. The report also revealed that students spend, on average, 1-2 hours a day on social network sites” (M2Press Wire). An astounding 60% of survey respondents to research completed by M2Press Wire know that they are quite addicted to technology, which does not take into consideration those that are not sure if they are, or do not want to condole to the fact that they are.

Technology attachment and dependency has come with heavy tolls that are affecting individuals everyday lives. Usage of technology include: education purposes, communication, online streaming, video gaming, and much more. However, how much technology usage is too much? The honest, but sad truth is that, “Ownership of a smartphone is considered a necessity today” (Ryan). The use of technology, especially that of smartphones and other cell phones, is becoming an addiction that is impossible to break. Parents are starting to set boundaries and daily limits due to the increase of health risks and side effects. Researchers are now suggesting, “a ‘balanced’ technology diet for children that includes tech-free times and zones” (Herold). Professors and parents, especially, now hold the burden of trying to create a balanced, so they say, diet of technology usage. Tech is now in the way of class time learning, meals, and family oriented events. However, grown adults are also thrown into the realm of technology over usage. Statistics point out that, “Seventy-eight percent of teens check their devices at least hourly, compared to 69 percent of parents” (Herold). Individuals are so attached to their devices, to the point that they need to check them hourly and even sometimes within minutes of last being on.

Addiction and the desire to have the latest and greatest technology updates are hindering individuals, as well as creating the population to become more distracted. When new iPhones, laptops, gaming devices, online games, movies, etc. are released, people are quick to try and be a part of the fad. An article on the addiction of technology states that, “The cascade of neuroprocesses that kicks off the brain’s reward circuitry and the rush of the pleasure chemical dopamine can be triggered just as easily by the release of the latest iPhone” (Ryan). Owning technology has become as addicting as some drugs, due to the obsessive characteristics and behaviors it is now producing (Ryan). Not only that, it has caused a need to constantly showcase personal information, compare ourselves to others, and online bullying. Sadly enough, the spike in personal addiction to technology, has caused an increase in anxiety, depression, and suicide. Statistically, “A May 2018 study by Blue Cross Blue Shield stated that diagnoses of anxiety and depression have risen by 33 percent since 2013, with the rate rising even faster among millennials (up 47 percent)” and “Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data reveal that for all Americans under the age of 75, the suicide rate started going up fastest for those between the ages of 15 and 34.7” (Ryan).

Without technology, society simply would not be where it stands today, due to endless opportunities and doors that have been opened. An antagonist of this argument would defend the standpoint that without technology society would not be able to reach the boundaries that we have reached today. Research states that, “Technologies have made our living easier and now, one cannot imagine life without technologies. Mobile phones and internet help in facilitating communication among people. Social networking through mobile phones and internet are common in today’s world, young population being the most commonly affected ones” (Sharma et al. 170). It can easily be proven and researched that technology has increased our standard of living and created efficiency in the everyday life.

However, technology for personal usage other than communication is hindering morality and affecting mental health of individuals. Technology has in fact made life easier when it comes to replacing workers with robots to help companies create products faster and have quicker turn over rates to increase profits. Families are now able to reach out to one another via cell phone, video chat, or email in close or far proximities. On the other hand, the downfall of technology is the addictive individuals it breeds. All of the positives that technology has brought to an everyday life are easily diminished when truly analyzed. Dependency, attachments, and mental health issues from technology have created life long effects that will forever be difficult to combat against.

Although technology has excelled society into new opportunities and higher standard of living, it is diminishing who we are as individuals. Society has become more dependent, attached, and addicted to all aspects of tech, creating habits that will become hard to break. Technology has been implemented into environments including: education, work, on the go, and at home. There is no escaping the advancements, updates, and upgrades the tech industry has offered. It is important, as a society, to question whether or having the influence of technology in the every life is worth the harsh side effects.

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Technological Zombies Our Dependence on Technology. (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from

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