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The Orion

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The Orion

Don’t let technology ruin the future

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

Do you remember your first cell phone? I was one of the last people in my grade to receive my first cell phone in eighth grade. The privilege taught me to not only appreciate it, but to remember that I could get by without technology, and that I should control it rather than it controlling me.

Modern generations have developed bad habits around fairly recent media and tech advancements like social media and computer or video game entertainment. It is a widely accepted fact that technology will only become more advanced and encompassing as well. This should worry many people about how the future generations of the world will grow up.

Most people think back to their childhoods and remember crucial real-world life developments: talking to a new friend in a class, playing a friendly competitive game outdoors or learning and exploring their environment. Even family events would be social times to connect, but surveying family behavior in public places like restaurants and shops today shows how every member of the modern family prefers paying attention to a small screen than to the ones they love.

Unfortunately, the fact that not only tech-fluent teenagers but more and more young children and toddlers need screen time to be happy these days shows increasing generational dependence on technology. Children can begin technological exposure with learning applications and games, but parents shouldn’t let any exposure turn into digital dependency at rates like people today use technology. This unsettling trend makes itself evident when instead of paying attention to and pacifying their children, parents routinely put a device in front of the children to keep them happy.

Times and technology have changed, and today many parts of life like business and communication are dependent on online or technological adoptions, but it is clear that humans are beginning to serve technology rather than technology serving the people. Experts diagnosing people with smartphone addiction and people dying as a result of distraction from mobile devices show that we have become mental slaves to our own creation.

Increased accessibility and commodity of new tech is the primary blame for people’s infatuations with whatever keeps them screen-prone today. Media and tech corporations have quickly become some of the most profitable and busy industries of today and undoubtedly the fastest moving and growing. Mark Zuckerberg‘s and Steve Jobs‘ in Silicon Valley are geniuses at getting Americans to spend whole days on their applications and therefore profiting.

There has to be a breaking point for when people’s unquestioned faith and reliance on technology bites back. Most tools customers adopt today serve very important roles in their lives. It’s very hard to make anything of one’s self without a computer, but today’s generations are horrible at balancing necessity and frivolity.

With tech encompassing more of our lives and people not working against technological domination of their lives, newer generations, like millennials’ children, could grow up not even appreciating anything in life that doesn’t plug in. Our children could collectively replace games of catch with video games or apps simulating catching a ball, as well as basing all their relationships on messaging and social media points. This future is not only scary, mechanic and inhuman, but probable.

Preventing this bleak possibility starts with curbing our own obsession with our devices. Don’t stay glued to these devices when you can feel a lot better not burning your eyes doing real activities like going outside or looking at printed text. This also keeps people from staying on their devices because people are not clicks away from endless forms of useless entertainment that eats away at people’s days.

Tasks like this seem daunting but begin once people put their phones down. Devout social media and tech users will follow this method when they realize people would rather enjoy real luxuries of life than virtual rewards.

This trend needs to develop so the future of this world learn their values, perspectives and opinions in the real world and not through an unrealistic man-made lens of reality.

Sean Daly can be reached at [email protected] or @sdaly3orion on Twitter.

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