Can technology consume us? essay

One in three teens sends more than 100 text messages a day, or 3, 000 texts a month.

This might seem a bit excessive to you and I, but it is completely normal for the younger generation to communicate almost entirely in a digital manner. I find this to be both a fascinating and troubling figure. It amazes me that young people no longer seem to receive joy from time spent in face-to-face conversation with their friends, but rather seem to prefer the emotionless drivel of text-messaging. Where are the intricate subtleties the beautiful dance that is human communication once proffered? I personally revel in all the advances in technology that make our lives easier, from the minute, to the flabbergasting. Still, I sometimes wonder, is this a healthy way to live? We no longer have to really strive at anything. Day to day tasks are becoming easier, but I think we as a species are getting softer. Where is the drive to actually learn anything, when any knowledge you could possible need is readily available in seconds on our beloved internet? The appreciation of a hard job well done is really there anymore, when there are no jobs really hard to do. I have thought about the problem “ is too much technology a bad thing? for the past couple of months.

While I personally love everything about our modern technological life, I worry about our future as a society. I worry that the English language will be irrevocably altered. I worry about our children being lazy, and their children being lazier.

In my paper “ Can Technology Consume Us? ” my research will analyze these problems, and maybe you’ll be worried as well. PROBLEM The main issue and subject of my research paper is the question “ Can Technology Consume Us. ” It will be an in-depth look at the effects technology has on all facets of our modern lives. Are we suffering as a species from lack of personal communication? Will technological advances in the future be ultimately helpful to the human race, or harmful? Too much technology too fast can cause us to easily lose touch with reality, and hurt the relationships we have with our friends and family. Technology has already caused us, as a people, to be less physically active. How is technology really affecting us? PURPOSE STATEMENT I am writing this paper to inform people about the ill effects technology might be having on us physically, socially, and economically.

People need to make sure they do not lose touch with some the best and most important aspects of human life. SCOPE My paper will cover all major concerns of a society being swept away by technological advances. I will talk about how technology makes us less active, how internet piracy affects our economy, and how being computer-dependent makes you less secure. I will touch on how convenient and eco-friendly most modern technology is.

I will talk about how our methods of communication and relationships with one another have become less personal, and how some people with lesser incomes can’t keep up with everyone else technologically. Everyone needs to look introspectively and decide if they need to scale it back a little bit. Technology and Everyday Life: Inseparable The largest to the smallest facets of our lives are overrun by technology. As time progresses, even the most mundane of daily activities are becoming intertwined with computers and gadgets intended to make our lives easier. Everything from the way we communicate, virtual sports, banking, shopping, and household chores, to the how we spend time with our families is affected by our increasing dependence on technology. This essay will take a look at the way this increase in technology and how we use it affects our lives, and whether we rely too much on these extravagant gadgets and devices.

Some would say technological advances in the last 60 years or so have softened us as a species. In “ the good old days” we had to work a lot harder to complete tasks that take mere moments to complete in the present. If you wanted to do any banking, you had to go to the bank.

If you wanted to go shopping, you went to the store. The computer revolution of the early nineties continues to rage forth today. Many of the reasons we had to even leave our houses have all but disappeared. Does this encourage us to be lazy? Why put forth the effort to go into town and spend time browsing around a store, when we can go into the other room, and browse Amazon. com? Technology can make even the most daunting of tasks seem like a walk in the park. This could potentially make us partial to lethargy, or even obesity. Technology is adversely affecting how active many people are.

Why bother going to a sporting event, when you can watch it in crisp clear HD in the comfort of your living room, and get a better view of the game? What’s the point in going out to meet people recreationally when you can just hang out in chat rooms, or online dating sites? There are fewer reasons for people to get motivated into leaving their homes. A monthly fee for an internet connection is a lot cheaper than most nights out on the town. There is just an infinite amount of entertaining things to do online, wherever your interests may lie.

It doesn’t make sense to go to a bowling alley to bowl; you can just have your friends over to play virtual bowling on your Nintendo Wii. If they don’t feel like coming over, you can just play with them online. All of these “ amenities” most people have at home are causing them to just stay there. Our relatively newly-found dependence on technology also affects our security and privacy. People using the internet for shopping or online banking are entering a plethora of personal information with every purchase and transaction. Most internet sites vouch for their secure servers and connections, guaranteeing the security of your personal info, yet every day we hear stories of identity theft and computer hackers stealing money.

Social networking sites such as MySpace or Facebook not only consume the time of millions of users daily, they also lay bare many details of our daily lives for anyone interested in prying. When you post pictures of yourself on vacation, from your laptop or mobile phone, it’s like telling everyone on the planet that you’re not home. You might as well have left the front door open and a sign out front saying “ free stuff inside”. Many people play free and loose with information about their relationships, their bank accounts, and other very pertinent information on a daily basis. We hear in the news now quite frequently stories of employers and educational institutions looking at the Facebook pages of students and current or potential employees. Many people feel far too comfortable with posting pictures of themselves in less than favorable light on social networking sites.

The amount of information that can be found about you online can be surprisingly high. Court records, interests, address, phone number, and employment history can all be found with relative ease. Communication…Breakdown? Interaction with our fellow man is becoming extremely impersonal. Technology has completely overrun our society. Our culture has transformed from an industrial one to a technological one, where human interaction is at a minimum. People can work, take classes online and be in touch with anyone, no matter their location, with cell phones and computers. Technological innovation has irreversibly altered the way we communicate in all facets of our lives. People do not need to be face-to-face to spend time together.

Actual conversations have taken a back seat to text messaging and e-mails. Sure, these quick, impersonal methods of communication are less intrusive, but you lose all of the personality behind the message. Inflections and tones are lost or misconstrued. There is no body language to help interpret the message. Many of the subtleties of human communication have no place in many of our day-to-day conversations any longer.

With all of the advances in the ways we can communicate with each other, there is no excuse for not staying in touch with almost anyone in our lives. There is almost no such thing as “ long distance” anymore. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter allow instant updates from almost everyone on the planet. By being a part of these sites, your private life becomes a lot less personal.

Posting your thoughts and feelings on a constant basis, laying them bare for the world to judge and comment on can “ surprisingly” be harmful to your social and professional life. Our new and “ improved” methods of interaction are also adversely affecting our beloved English language. The word “ you”, for example, is commonly found in e-mails and text messages represented by the character “ u”.

As the younger generation of teenagers enters high school and college, it is being found that “ u” is creeping into written homework and compositions. This is just one example of many affronts to our written language being caused by the rampant impatience of modern technological communication. Writing letters to friends and relatives used to be almost an art form. We used to agonize over choosing just the right word to properly express ourselves. Nowadays happiness can be expressed by a colon followed by an end-parenthesis. With many students these days foregoing traditional college attendance for the convenience of taking online courses, they are missing out on some of the important parts of life. For many, relationships forged in college become treasured, lifelong associations.

Many people find employment through networking during their college days, and meeting new people. Many even find their first love in college. I believe that online college courses remove some of the crucial learning from the unofficial curriculum. What about those left behind? Many of the older generation are finding it hard to keep up with the constantly evolving technology involved in our new ways of communicating. How many of us text their grandmother? What’s your great-grandfather’s e-mail address? A good portion of elderly people in our society are finding it hard to adapt to the new status quo. Older people, as seems to be generally accepted, tend to be less proficient in their use of technology. Many programs are offered to bring the older generation up to speed, but many people are unwilling to learn. As our ways of communicating with one another continue to evolve, one can only hope we don’t completely lose the subtleties of our language that make it beautiful and forget about the unspoken parts of communication that make it human.

Separating Man from MachineHow can we separate ourselves from our dependence on technology and maintain some of the hard work and integrity that define us as a people? The struggles to accomplish tasks and goals that we have in our lives help make us who we are. Overcoming obstacles and learning from mistakes help us grow as individuals. Technological advances remove much of the adversity from our lives and make traditionally more difficult things much easier. An online article from the NHPR website asks: “ Since the beginnings of time, human beings have been making tools to make life easier, better, faster or more efficient, but is that always a good thing? Are human beings happier today, whether individually or collectively, because of telephones, washing machines, text-messaging cell-phones, and iPods? Are there limitations on how much technology we should produce, or allow in our lives? ”(Knoy).

These questions, quite pointed, really have to make you think, is there too much technology in our lives? There are some things we can do to step back from the proverbial precipice. Brandi Fleeks from the Seattle Examiner website suggests: “ Serious conversations and chit chat should be saved for face-to-face or actual phone conversations. If two people don’t have anything to say to each other, then those two people should probably rethink the relationship. Texting and e-mail are a cop out. They are a way to distance oneself from feeling any type of real emotion, the sting of rejection is numbed by a text message, the thrill of acceptance is dulled by an e-mail. ”(Fleeks) Texting and e-mail can in no way compare to the traditional face-to-face conversation. Love and affection are much better expressed between friends and family when you are using the full range of human communication nuances.

So many thoughts and feelings can be said with nothing more than a facial expression, or an embrace. Spending actual time with your loved ones holds infinitely more meaning than a cold, detached digital message. The ever-expanding waistline of the average American is also an issue of national concern.

The average teenager spends more time playing video games and surfing the internet than playing outside with friends or participating in school athletics. Parents need to limit their children’s online time and encourage them to enjoy the great parts of being young. The once indefatigable young are more commonly easily fatigued or asthmatic, their youthful vigor replaced with an insatiable need for virtual life. How often do we find ourselves pulling out a calculator to do even the simplest of math? Traditional common knowledge learning has been replaced by the ability to easily look something up. Why retain any information when we can quickly recall it from the internet when we need it? The brain needs to be exercised, lest it atrophies from disuse.

Technology is a fantastic horizon that we are forever crossing and never reaching. The modern marvels of the digital age have made the human condition much more relaxing and bearable. At times though, we must take a step back and dirty our hands with some labor, pick up a book, kick a soccer ball, and just live. Go visit your relative instead of just sending an impersonal Facebook message or email. When we spend our lives online, we lose much of what makes us quintessentially human. Conclusion In my life I have found myself deeply immersed in many of the facets of modern technology. Being an avid reader, I find I do most of my reading online now, forgoing the traditional paperback novel I used to enjoy.

I am also very involved in playing video games online, spending a couple hundred dollars a month on new games. This being said, I look back fondly on the time when my idea of fun was to go play football with my friends, instead of playing Madden 2011 online with my friends. I reminisce of hours spent wandering a book store trying to find anything to satiate my desire to read. I miss things being harder, but simpler. I worry that my continued dependence on technology for everything from my banking to my correspondence will lower my intelligence. I am concerned that my love of video games and reading online comic books will affect my health. I fear that the temptation of online distraction is too great to focus on my homework and may adversely affect my grades. I can honestly spend an entire day focused on the television screen, fighting battles in some far-off virtual kingdom without an ounce of remorse, while my property and my wife are in dire need of my attention and affection.

That is what worries me the most.