How Is Technology Affecting Us?

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Published: 05th February 2017
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It's plain to see how our present day is affected by technology. Human evolution has come farther than ever because of it, but are we using it right? Plenty of adults have accused teenagers that they're getting too caught up in their personal devices, but maybe everyone is no matter what age they are. A study by UCLA reveals that technology can negatively affect the way people transmit images to the brain. Psychologists studied two sets of sixth-graders; one group went to a camp that didn't allow the use of technology and the other didn't attend and continued to use their media devices. Before and after the study, they showed various images and videos to both groups and told them to identify the emotions that people portrayed. Comparing the data, psychologists found that "the camp made an average of 9.41 errors at the end of the study, down from 14.02 at the beginning. The students who didn't attend the camp recorded a significantly smaller change."(Wolpert). Revealing how technology can dull our senses and prevent us from properly communicating with others.

Perhaps our main problem is how much time we spend on our devices. We spend so much leisurely time on our technology it's even come to the point where people can say "they cannot exist without technology." (Shirley). In a way, it's a bit sad. Our ancestors lived in content without these devices and even now there are countries where they don't have the benefits we have and feel satisfied with life. In 2014, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared the recommended screen time for children ages 3-18 is two hours, and for 2 and younger, none. It is 2015 and it's clear to see how children extend these limitations. In order to prove this accusation, we decided to conduct our own experiment and survey our school; we asked high school students of various ages on how many hours they think kids should be exposed to screen time. Comparing the data with the AAP, we were astonished at how significantly different the results were. The average of all high school students said kids 2 and younger should have 2-3 hours of leisurely screen time, 4-6 hours for 3-12 year-olds, and limitless amount of screen time for teenagers ages 13-18.

Although there are many people who choose to use technology for their own benefit, it is the amount of screen time that really matters. Society is becoming less and less mobile due to the fact that, with the power of technology, anyone can communicate with someone on the opposite side of the world from the comfort of their couch. Having grown up in the generation known for technology and the internet, we are constantly surrounded by the internet and young children and teens texting on bright little screens, experiencing all of this firsthand. From what we have experienced, we can clarify that most teens perhaps are allowed too much screen time and we have seen the results of this as well. Both teens and adults are unhealthily lazy and would prefer to spend a day on the couch with their phone, rather than a day out with a friend. The fact that many people would prefer to stare at a tiny screen for hours on end instead of creating relationships and living their lives with other people is worrying and something needs to be done about it.couch potatoes, lazy

In Sherry Turkle's book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, she states that a survey conducted in a public high school in 2008 showed that "every student, across a wide range of economic and cultural situations, had a mobile phone that could support texting," and that "most students had phones that could put them on the Web." Technology is seen everywhere in our lives, from our homes, to our cars, to even grocery stores. Most everyone in our present-day society who has access to technology is becoming engrossed in it and allowing it to practically consume their lives. As Alex Lickerman, M.D. said, the internet is "an electronic drug that often yanks us away from the physical world." Technology's original purpose was to help people. However, the way that people are abusing it has led it to have the opposite effect. If people continue to abuse technology the way that they do, who knows what our society will spiral into.

Not only is technology constantly surrounding and affecting us, but it is affecting those around us. Two people could be sitting across from each other at a table and, rather than talking to each other, they could be communicating with anyone but the person sitting across from them, with the help of their phone. Too much technology destroys the quality of our relationships as well because, while we may constantly be out with friends, technology might be getting in the way of those friendships and preventing us from really communicating and building relationships with each other. Despite the fact that there are people who use technology in this way, there are people who know when to stop, which is what everyone needs to learn. Technology isn't the problem: people are. If everyone was able to realize when they've had too much, technology wouldn't cause any problems, but people don't seem to be able to realize what ‘too much' is. Technology is something that has the power to change the world, and it has. However, the real question is: are we using technology the way that it was meant to be used or the way that we want it to be used?

Deocariza, Jonah. "How Much Time Should Kids Be Exposed to Their Devices?" Survey

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

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