Technology should be reduced in our lives because some people are too attached to their technology and it is affecting their social lives. This phenomenon was exposed when a school in San Francisco attempted a difficult challenge, to disconnect from technology for 3 days. They had to put away all technology and store it away. The whole school participated in it, including teachers and some parents, to raise awareness of how influential technology is in the lives of the school. Unlike most schools, they had an iPad program where every student had an iPad for their school work instead of textbooks, so this seemed particularly difficult to do. The results for this experiment were varied and interesting. Some students were so attached to their digital devices that they could not complete the challenge. It created anxiety because they felt they were missing out on something. Another student said that it gave him an opportunity to have a nice conversation with his parent when he needed help with homework. Normally he would have just looked up the answer, but because of the challenge he turned to his parent. One student said, "I usually take a really long time doing homework and that’s because I get sidetracked with technology and my phone." This a reason why technology negatively affects our lives because it shows how different our lives could be if we just took a second to set down our devices, looked up, had a normal face to face conversation, as opposed to texting or calling someone digitally.
|Screen Shot from EWG|
The Environmental Working Group says that it's not just your phone by itself that sends off radiation exposure, but its the technology in the phone cases that helps send off more radiation. Some phone cases are so poorly made that they intensify the radiation. According to Pong Research Corporation these
cases block the antenna making it work harder for a signal which then realizes more radiation. The chart above shows the amount of SAR watts sent off with no case versus with a case. SAR watts is the amount of energy absorbed by a human. The amount of SAR watts is higher with a case, with a 70% increase compared to no case.
Another reason technology is negative in our lives is because if you store your life online then “you gamble with your memories.” One downside to this is that our daily lives are captured in digital form. Not many people keep physical records anymore. Not many people handwrite letters or print out photos as much as they used to. In the year 2500, if you were to visit a museum about the year 2015 there will not be much to look at because most of the data will not be saved because it will either be damaged or deleted. It is hard to keep technology updated all the time. It would be hard to run a floppy disk or VHS tape today even though it's only been around 20 years. Google Vice President Vint Cerf says that this is the “lost century”. One big negative is that our data is not always saved in one concrete thing, it is often saved to a cloud and can be accessed by a private company. We are nonchalantly putting our data into a big “black hole.’”
People disagree with the fact that technology is negative in our lives because the use of technology is innovative, efficient and easier. It is true that technology can make our lives easier. Email was the one first ways companies changed their way to communicate. Email is faster and takes up less paper than writing letters. They allow you to let a lot of information to many people without calling a meeting. The down sides to this are that poorly written emails can create confusion and frustration. Also writing emails take away from other projects that you could be working on.
Overall, the effects of technology on our lives is negative. We know this because when we get our technology, such as phones, tablets and computers, taken away from us we have a hard time coping with it. We need to look up every once in a while and communicate instead of being isolated within a different world. To add on we also cannot trust the places we store our data to to keep it safe. It may be damaged, lost or stolen if we are not careful. Sometimes we take for granted how lucky we are to have the technology that we have, but do not realize how much we actually use technology and how much it surrounds us. Our life does not have to revolve around technology if we just take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
Conclusion-Updated 28 May 2015
This was a very hard topic to tackle. Right from the beginning I had to choose a side. It was either I thought technology was a positive thing or a negative thing. I could not choose to be on the fence. I had to take a stance and defend it. I choose to say the technology was overall negative and that it should be reduced in our lives. As I started my research, it was fairly easy to find sources that were clearly against technology. Further in my research I found it harder to find sources that supported my argument. I think the reason for this is because overall there are more positives to technology than negatives but those few negatives are so strong that they outweigh the positives. It’s like if you were to put a rock and one hundred feathers on a scale. There are more feathers than rocks but the rock still outweighs the feathers. Our class throughout the trimester has talked about some bad things that have happened specifically because of the internet and technology. I believe there is a direct correlation between the amount of people who are uneducated about proper use of the internet and social media and the amount of issues that frequently show up. There were some comments that did change my mind a little. One person said that they used Facebook to reconnect with their old friends from highschool. They also mentioned that they enjoyed facetiming their family members. This got me thinking. I never really took this into consideration that technology is a good way to interact with the friends and family that you do not get the chance to see very often. If you want to reconnect with an old friend or old teacher, technology is a good way to do so. If I was to rewrite this essay I would add in this argument that was brought to my eyes. Another point brought up in the comments was that technology has helped make things faster and more efficient. It allows things to calculate and process faster. I think this is also very important because technology has helped us understand disease and medicine better, which helps us live longer. To wrap up what I am saying is that technology in our lives can either be a bad thing or a good thing. You can have a good argument for both sides of the debate. When it comes down to it, at the end of the day you can either make technology a bad thing or good thing. It all comes down to you and your actions.