Why is it that every time I look around I see packs of people with earbuds in, staring intently at their phone screens? I have seen people run into others in the hallways, much to their embarrassment, simply because they were too focused on their screens. Friends sitting at the same table during lunch aren’t even acknowledging each other, let alone engaging in conversation. This particular incident actually happened to me recently, and I thought it was so ironic that I took a picture. Our society nowadays has come to rely on technology– whether it is a cell phone, laptop, iPad, or iPod. Technology provides us with something to do when we are bored, like surfing Netflix to catch up on our favorite show, or instills a force of habit upon us, like continually checking posts on Twitter. It has also made our lives a lot easier, with new machines that do the work for us. The first touchscreen phone, the IBM Simon, was made twenty years ago. It could send emails and faxes, make calls, schedule appointments, and access a few other features (time.com). Now we can listen to music, check the weather, look up a topic for a research project, cram for a test, and play games, all with the touch of a button or swipe of a finger. Also, we can connect with others quickly and easily.
Technology can get us into trouble very quickly though. Texting and driving claims numerous lives each year, simply because people can’t put down their phones. We can become isolated from our peers, living through the Internet instead of going out and experiencing real life firsthand. Even just waiting for the next iPhone can turn a normally calm and rational person into a crazy individual. Many young children are growing up as the generation born with a touch screen in their hands. What ever happened to coloring books and crayons, or blocks and Legos? Instead, these new learning apps teach children virtually. Some may argue that this is more innovative, but where is that sense of reality that a child can get with the real thing? In this manner, technology disconnects us from the world.
Overall, while technology may seem like something that makes our lives easier (and it definitely does), but it also can harm our relationships with others, and even consume our lives. Try going without your phone for one day, if you can manage, and see what you discover.