Has necessity turned to madness?

In an effort to simplify our lives with technology, we have over-complicated them.

Meghan O'Connor

 

We all depend on technology. There is no sense in denying it. From the moment that I wake up in the morning to the moment that I close my eyes to go to sleep, some form of technology surrounds me.

My phone is plastered to my side at all times, and without it I feel a sense of loneliness.

Our efforts to simplify our lives with technology have only become an over-complication.

It is embarrassing how many times a day my fingers will automatically start to type “Facebook” into my Internet browser. It has become an extension of my day rather than a supplement to keep in touch with one another.

So, instead of having one telephone to call my friends to see how they are doing, I have email, Facebook, Twitter, texting, Skype. It’s exhausting.

Our avid use of the Internet has taken away interactions that we would have with humans face-to-face. Remember the times when you had to go to the library, the physical library, and talk to a librarian, an actual librarian, in order to find research material for a paper? Well, that may have been elementary school for me, but it did happen.

We have replaced experiences in physical environments with instantaneous experiences in virtual environments. 

Ever hear the phrase multitasking? This phrase is usually followed by “you need to get better at multitasking” or “if only you knew how to multitask, you could get so much done.” Well, truth be told, our brains are not programmed for multitasking. We should only be focusing on one task at a time, and with the increase in technology this has become a seemingly impossible task.

Technology has made our world smaller: What happens in one place now happens all over the world. Whatever is put on the Internet is there for the world to see.

This results in endless information. So much so that when we conduct research for a class we can simply put our chosen topic into Google. No matter how obscure or individual you thought your idea was, more often than not someone else has put it on the Internet.

This leaves us not with a research assignment but merely a reaffirmation assignment. We are affirming our beliefs by those who have conducted the same research already: a confirmation bias, thus, leaving us to forget how to think for ourselves.

Not only has our ability to think for ourselves become suppressed, but also our creativity is becoming compromised.

Pinterest, for example, is a hub for creative ideas about fashion, health and food, among others. Those ideas are then taken by readers and claimed as their own. Artistic thinking is becoming narrowed since we no longer have to do it ourselves.

Technology has led me to question what ideas were ever really mine or if I merely saw someone else do it or post it online. Is the use of electronic gadgets leaving us to perform electronically as well?

While I may not have all of the answers, I certainly have a lot of questions. I fear that in another 20 or 30 years we will have become so dependent on electronic devices that our lives will only be caked and clouded with technology. Though we may feel like our devices make our lives easier, which they certainly do, the limits of the human body and the limits of our technology still leave a lot left to reach.