Have We Become too Dependent? Essay

“As cities grow and technology takes over the world belief and imagination fade away and so do we.” This is a quote I found written by Julia Kagawa the author of the book, The Iron King. What does this quote say about society? The advancement of technology has helped us progress technologically, but has forced us to regress socially. Before we had the use of advanced technology tools, I remember t the only way of communicating with your friends and family members was to be visiting with them in person or hand writing letters to those distant relatives or friends. Letters and anything sent through “snail mail” would take weeks to arrive at that person’s house. Previous ways of communication have now been replaced with modern day digital technology. From computers, to Apple Products, and cell phones. Over the past decade, our ways of living have changed drastically. Computers have found their way into our everyday life activities.

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We trust our computers to help us with our jobs, school work and even with communication. As a society we rely on computers and other available devices to help us get through our everyday life. The question has to be asked are we becoming too dependent on computers and other technological devices? Is this beneficial could it eventually hurt us? Even though in this era advanced technology does benefit us, I think in the long run these technologies will end up inhibiting our progress as a society. Computers have made our lives much easier. They help us manage tasks with their digital calendar feature, budget our monthly spending with finance programs, and communicate with friends and family much more efficiently. Computers have made it easier for someone to communicate with just a click of a button through email. Email is the modern day version of writing a letter. Instead of writing your thoughts, you type them and it gets to its destination in minutes rather than days or weeks.

When working in an office setting instead of getting up and talking to someone you can simply tell them through an email, and save the time walking ten feet around the corner. Not only can you send information quicker than ever but technology continues to improve; and there are ways we can communicate face to face while being thousands of miles away. The modern day web cam allows us to communicate with friends around the world; you simply hook up your web cam and download a program such as Skype to help you communicate face to face. Who would have thought that with advancements in technology you would be able to look at your computer and have a face to face conversation with someone miles away? Computers now have built in webcams, making it easy to communicate face to face for many different reasons.

For example, students who are sick or are unable to attend school for a long period of time now have opportunities to sit in on instruction from home. With a built in webcam students can Skype their teachers and listen to instruction as they teach. This is extremely beneficial in the educational world. In the work world Skype has also changed many things. Since the webcam enables us to communicate face to face by simply looking at a computer screen employment opportunities have changed. For example, if an applicant lives out of state an employer can do a Skype interview, instead of them flying in and possibly not getting the job. There are also online virtual conferences you can attend via Skype. Computers have changed our ways of communication forever. Not only have computers changed our lives, but another device that we depend on is a cell phone.

Cell phones now play a huge role on in our lives. We can communicate with a quick phone call or sms messaging. According to the university of Alberta students report using cell phones for different ways other than communication, like an alarm clock, games for boredom, Picture sending, address book, and mobile entertainment. [ (Nurullah, 2009) ] Sms messaging is a great way for us to communicate with the use of cell phones. We use text messaging when we are too busy to talk, with the family, in class, or even to have a difficult conversation that would be uncomfortable face to face. People use their cell phones to text anywhere anytime it is an easy way to communicate, just with the simple movements of your thumbs. “ Teens from ages 13-17 average 231 phone calls and 1,742 text messages a month” [ (Anita Gurian, 2011) ]

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The usage of cell phones also allows us to place reminders about school assignments for students, birthdays, appointments on their calendar’s, which is a positive aspect of cell phone use and our technologies. William Ogburn had theories of social change his theories include invention, discover, and diffusion. When relating my social change topic to inventions, it relates to the invention of technology and how it affects the social life on relationships to teens. When Ogburn identified discover he said “Discover is a new way of seeing reality, as a second process of change.”(Henslin 2010) As you can see the way we communicate today has been a huge social movement. It really makes you realize how our means of communication have drastically changed, due to developments in new technology. In diffusion the invention of technology has spread all over the world. The technologies that we have today do benefit us in this era, but there are also a number of arguments against them.

For example, “An effect on Children’s Education” an article I read, states that “Computer use will replace the time that children and students should be spending doing activities for brain development” in the early years younger children learned using hands on and creative play to develop qualities. When using computers it mainly shows symbols, computers can portray the five senses however children need interactions to actually feel and experience the senses hands on. Another way that technologies are disrupting learning environment is that a lot of school work is done with the use of computers for example quick short assignments are being typed out when they could easily be hand written, this is an issue for kids that are in elementary school learning how to read properly and write.

Handwriting is a skill that is absolutely nesecessary for us to have. When a child has to spend a little more time writing information is more easily retained. Computers in the school should only be suitable for long assignments, older adults, or an actual computer learning classes. Furthermore the use of cell phones is having a slight impact on teen education, instead of participating in class you see a lot of students text messaging, listening to music, searching the web ect. With the use of phones in class rooms students can now send pictures of a quiz for example to another student, or instead of passing notes they can message each other answers. Not only have cell phones become a distraction for student during school but they are drastically limiting their social skills.

Teenagers prefer to tell their friends something via text rather than in person. It makes it easier to tell someone something difficult through a text because you never have to see them face to face. This is a dilemma in our world because when the younger generations are adults, how are they going to be able to handle face to face communication? This is where the use of cell phones is majorly inhibiting the human race socially. When technologies become the main attraction in a person’s life they have a recognizable change in behavior. Some become lazy and may become antisocial and sometimes one can feel lost without their devices at hand. I have seen this first hand when working as a child care provider with children being able to watch television, play video games, using their phones, or on the computer too long, when it came to that time that they need to stop they throw temper tantrums. With relying on our technology devices too much it is not only a change in behavior but it can also take a toll on their health as well. The human eye is not designed to look at one particular object for hours.

When a person is stuck watching there tv, video game, computer, or phone your eyes can become an infected with blurred vision, irritation, eye strain which can lead to an infection. Other effects that can affect your health when using these technologies is weight gain, back problems and also headaches, However it can be argued that these health problems is the fault of the person rather than the technologies. One of the most persuasive argument, nonetheless, is the issue of safety. Stolen information is tremendous issue when using computer devices; apart from sharring personal information such as full names address ect. In society, today people save personal information on their computers and even their phones.

There are people who can gain access to your personal files by hacking it in numerous ways. You might be thinking to yourself that I do not save any personal information on my devices, however unknowingly if you ever shop online or loose your phone it is possible for a hacker or someone to gain access to your financial information. Why do we depend on these technologies so much? Not only are there computers or our cell phones, but we use them in the checkout stand at the grocery store, we pay with our credit cards, we use atms to pull money out, even some of our cars use computer chips to run.

What is the world going to do if one day something goes wrong and we are then again without technology? Is the world going to know how to function? It is obvious that computers make our everyday life easier, but as we get more remarkably transformed to rely on them we are putting ourselves at risk for the future. In this era we do need the use of computers, but we should learn to not be so much dependent on them as it causes threats for human kind.

Works Cited
Anita Gurian, P. (2011). Texting and talking: Kids and Cell Phones. Retrieved March 7, 2012, from www.aboutourkids.org: http://www.aboutourkids.org/articles/texting_talking_kids_cell_phones Henslin, J. M. (2010). Sociology A down-to-earth-approach. Allyn and bacon. Nurullah, A. S. (2009). The cell phone as an agent of social change . Alberta : David pierce .

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