Has your life begun to revolve around your cell phone? Are you checking your email, texting or tweeting more often than you speak to an actual human? Are you making life and death decisions at the computer. “Should I buy new iTunes or have gas for the rest of the week? ” This is a growing problem. People have begun to let technology control their lives. They don’t have the self -control to put it aside and live their lives without it when things become too stressful. We find the need to constantly be linked to whatever may be happening on Facebook, MySpace, our email etc.
Studies have begun to show that although technology has many benefits, it can initiate the inhibition of our social skills, cause stress and enable dependency issues. I’ve recently read an article by Sherry Turkle, a professor in social studies of science and technology at MIT. Turkle argues that technology has overpowered our lives and deprived us of the need for human physical and social interaction therefore damaging our social skills. She also claims that we live life as a contradiction. Insisting our world is increasingly complex, we nevertheless have created a communications culture that has decreased the time available for us to sit and think, uninterrupted. ”(Turkle, 2007, pg. 273) I believe that Turkle’s argument is fair in saying that we seem to let our technology stress us out, when all we need to do at times to stop the stress is to simply turn it off. I specifically remember Turkle’s opening quote to her article, stating “Thanks to technology, people have never been more connected- or more alienated. ( Turkle, 2007) I agree with her position on the negative effects of technology and the self -control we need to manage it. I will be branching off on why technology is invading our social structure and how the use continuous use of certain devices can become unconstructive to our lives. Also how it affects young adults and children. Several professionals argue that the use of too much technology can affects one’s life in a deleterious sort of way. Starting with one of the most known sorts of technology, the cell phone.
Can cell phones actually convert from something pleasurable to something dangerous and addictive if over indulged? There have been issues with the over use of cell phones in certain age brackets, specifically the younger crowds. Car accidents related to teen driving and texting problems have been escalating rapidly. Have teenagers, young adults and even adults become so “emotionally attached” (Vincent, 2003) to their mobile devices that their rational behavior have begun to alter. It’s as if they “Cannot control heart over mind. ”(Vincent, 2003) People have begun to think of their devices and themselves as one. For example, the feeling of panic is manifested in whether or not one is absent from the device. ” (Vincent, 2003) This is not only mentally unhealthy also socially crippling for those who feel the need to use cell phone to stay connected rather than real human interaction. To further justify my claim that too much technology can cause negative effects on your life is the use of the internet. The internet can be very enjoyable when used with self-control.
Social networks, e-mail and IM’s can cause one to lose themselves in a cyber-world, then find that they are detached from reality. Although there is an explosion of information available to them through the web, is there also a concomitant implosion of interpersonal skills? ”(Martusewicz, 2010) The use of internet as a life line to society is insalubrious not to mention depriving you from social interactions. Overall, when the use of technology becomes addiction it becomes a problem and we should all take a lesson on moderation. How can technology cause you stress? It all begins with peoples “Over dependency on the machines and technology enhanced luxuries. ”(James, 2009). Depending on technology too much, too often can lead to stress that can be easily prevented.
Researchers argue that “Technology has led a situation of trade-off between stress and your physical and mental health. It is not a side effect, rather a direct effect imposed by technology. ” (James, 2009). I agree with claims that technology can become overwhelming and affect your physical and mental health. The demands of technology evolving so often can cause stress at work and in the schools. There has been a report of “24% of cell-using adult’s report they often feel like they have to answer their cell phones even if it interrupts an important meeting or meal. (Stefan, 2006) In the workplace everything is beginning to get more complex and difficult with new machines and technology every year. The same issue comes up in the school area. Students are now required to know how to use a computer, scientific calculator etc. Some feel pressured to possess certain devices in order to function in today’s society. “Cell phone use is changing expectations about when and how others are available to us. These results show how much cell owners have a love-hate relationship with their phones. On the one hand, they like that they can reach out to others no matter where they are.
On the other hand, they are sometimes not to happy that other-perhaps including their bosses and work colleagues- can reach out to them at any place and time. ”(Stefan, 2006) All of the stress caused by technology could be easily obliterated by removing yourself from all of your devices, internet, and email (etc. ). But “To make society stress-free is to ask its members always to move away from a potentially stressful situation, and clearly this is not always possible or even desirable. ”(Zephyros) Often, people begin to depend on their devices and the internet.
They think that they can’t function without their devices, which brings me to my third point on why too much technology can affect your mind and life. Technology can inhibit your social skills. Studies show that” Teenagers use mobile phones to express and display their identity and that the mobile device enable various techniques for sustaining that identity. ” (Vincent, 2003). People are using technology to define themselves. For example, the iPhone, Although it is a terrific piece of technology, how many people rush out to get each new generation based solely on the brand and popularity of the device?
Certain people feel that have the new “it” device will somehow increase their popularity and surge their confidence, therefore leading the buyer to become dependent on the device. “There is some form of synthesis between the user and their mobile such that neither can function without the other. ”(Vincent, 2003). We need to take time to practice self -control, turn off our devices for several hours out of the day. Take time out for yourself, perhaps you’d like to enjoy a day with an actual human, or take a walk on the beach on a sunny day. Practicing moderation will allow you to be at peace from the computer-generated world.
A selected group of people argue that we always need to use technology because it keeps us connected to what’s happening around the world and in our lives today. They claim that if we didn’t have cell phones, social networks and the internet we’d be lost and that the world wouldn’t be able to function because technology is the way of the future. Those who feel like their addiction to their mobile devices isn’t a problem would strongly oppose my argument for self- discipline and moderation. Many see the dependency on technology as normal, as well as the stress that accompanies it.
Some people may even argue that technology alone can make you smarter. My argument against these claims is that we do not need technology to function. For example, before we had the internet, cell phones, iPads, or social networks, how did we communicate with each other and function throughout our daily lives? I’m not saying that using technology is wrong I just believe that one should use it responsibly. Technology has led to a great number of inventions ”That have enabled ordinary people to keep in touch with friends and relatives, and workers to travel long distances. (Connected Lives, 2005). Also, “The dominant complaint in mainstream news discourse about text messaging is that young people are nowadays unable to speak or write proper English. ”(JCMC, 2009)
I argue that it is wrong to let devices that should be under our control, regulate our lives. Overall, technology can have a purposeful meaning our lives as long as we know its role. It’s created to serve the owner, it‘s use it not to let the owner become stress filled and a slave to the pressures of social networks and demanding email responses. “Are we losing time to take our time? (Turkle, 2007) I believe that people are constantly making themselves more isolated as they try to boost their confidence through technology and the virtual world. They find them constantly wanting more because, to them, “Self-esteem is calibrated by what the technology proposes, by what it makes easy. ”(Turkle, 2007). This thought process is corrupt and can cause depression, and self-esteem issues. In order to use technology responsibly, you must be able to remove yourself from your device when they cause you stress. Balance technology with self-discipline to ensure that it is not a source of mental stress in your life.