My Big Mouth: What does it matter if we are all becoming slaves to technology?

Comment by Suraj Radia

We all love technology and chances are, we’d all be lost without it – but are we in danger of being a little too reliant on it?

That sounds quite hypocritical given that you’re no doubt reading this online, possibly using the latest technology. It was written and published electronically, so we’re guilty as charged.

Nowadays, everybody has a smart phone – if you don’t have a phone capable of streaming the latest movie at the click of a button, what’s the point?

Everybody’s lives are on their phone – calendars, meetings, notes and most importantly, the number of the girl from the bar the other day.

If we were to lose our phones, it would almost be like the end of the world, and we all know the excuse ‘I lost my phone’ can now get you out of just about anything.

Maybe there’s a balance that we have to strike – but given the rapid increase in technological developments, could we find ourselves becoming more dependent on it?

It’s scary to think 100 years ago, we didn’t even have a TV but now we can view movies in 3D without even getting out of bed.

Even the most basic of interactions such as wishing someone happy birthday can be done via social networking or email – human contact is overrated, I guess.

In awkward moments, people’s first instinct is to take out their phone and act preoccupied just to not get involved.

And that’s what technology does – it can represent salvation, an escape from reality and perhaps even brighten up someone’s day.

Sometimes when you’ve had a long day and even looking at people can annoy you, your only retreat is perhaps to play a video game or listen to your iPod.

The main benefit of the modern era for most people has been the huge developments in worldwide communication and its simplicity.

Within minutes, someone from East Asia can chat to a person from America with it feeling like they’re in the same room, given the quality and speed.

A memory for me is seeing ‘video phones’ on movies in the 90s and thinking how amazing that would be but with such programmes like Skype, it’s now a reality.

Ultimately, that’s where you have to look at the positives of technology and realise that while we can be dependent on it, it has made the most difficult things incredibly simple.

So simple that The Nielsen Company revealed 15% of people surveyed who used an iPad were over the age of 55 and almost a third had a smart phone of some sort. So it’s not just the younger generations taking advantage!

Technology enables grandparents to keep in touch with grandkids and make their lives easier by having something like a shopping list on a tablet device. In fact if it’s difficult for them to get out the house, they can order the groceries online instead.

Equally, on the opposite end of the spectrum, more schools are starting to use tablet PCs for teaching purposes, with studies suggesting visual aids develop learning skills.

So perhaps we are over-reliant on gadgets, perhaps if we were to have a technological blackout, we’d all be rocking in a corner with our hands around our knees.

But hey, I completed the latest version of Angry Birds – and I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it.

Picture courtesy of reticulating, with thanks.

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