Living in the modern tech age and too dependent on computers, technology and Internet – How far is this true and good?
May 2, 2014
by Ramandeep Kaur
‘Technology dependence’ in psychology parlance is more apt than ‘technology addiction’. Use of technology is so immense that doctors have started recommending to go for ‘technology detox’. Have you heard about this? As per Oxford Dictionary definition of Technology Detox is:
‘A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.’
To understand the intensity of technology dependency, ask yourself (if you use Internet, computer or any such technology) or your friend to spend a day without his or her gadget. Response will be yes I can, just like any other addicted person would give if confronted with the same question. But in reality, one cannot spend even an hour if mobile phone is switched off, or Internet is down, or computer is hanged. Hence today’s world is dependent upon computer, technology and Internet.
There is no denial, cell phones, laptops and other personal electronic gadgets help us to connect with our family and friends instantly. Working parents in today’s busy lives manage everything so easily with the use of information and communication technology (ICT). But certainly these devices are negatively influencing our relationships. A family sitting together has often been seen using individual cell phones or laptops etc.
Technology is changing at the speed of light. After every few months or so old product is replaced by its new version which is claimed to be faster and smarter. Think of a day at office without Internet connection. Though you will be happy for sure and wander here and there without work but ask your boss. Imagine a day without cell phone in your hand or television at your home. Actually these have become an indispensible part of our lives that we cannot imagine such things.
There is a drastic difference in your and your kids’ life, which is just a one generation apart. Those evening games after school, watching cartoons or movies just on Sundays, socializing with friends are no longer a part of life. More than 75% kids play indoor games on computers or smart phones or other such personal electronic devices and watch TV. Technology has given us a choice. A child is free to play games outside but he or she now has a choice to play games on electronic gadgets. Build an atmosphere of motivation and see a change in your kid. Force him or her to play out door games. But as far as office work is concerned or a training that needs the use of technology then of course we are totally dependent upon computers and technology.
We live in modern tech age of information which is dependent upon technology. It has made our life easier. But young generation can be called addicted or completely dependent upon technology. They use all their free life surfing net for entertainment or information.
An article was published in a 2010 New York Times stating that technology is shaping our personalities. According to some experts excessive use of technology make us impatient, impulsive and selfish.
Definitely technology and computer has made work easier which can be done from anywhere at any time but this is also a negative aspect of work. You do not know when your working hours start and when these end. A 2010 study made it clear that use of ICT including computer, email, Internet and cell phones has made work lot more easier but at the same time our lives have become more stressful as workload and pace of work has increased.
A survey was conducted on 12,000 adults from Brazil, India, China, France, Indonesia, the US, Japan and Italy. 61% millenials (whose age is between 18-24 years) think that technology is converting people to less human. 59% feel that society is now dependent upon technology and 36% want technology to become more intuitive.
Experts believe that technology has entered into every realm of life. Even many operations and other such crucial tasks are carried out with the help of computers or just by robots. There are computer driven planes, security apps and devices for women, and at the same time technology fulfill the social needs of human by providing social sites and hundreds of connections.
But certainly we are addicted to the computers, Internet and technology. Gadgets have become an integral part of our lives. But excess of everything is bad and this is applicable to this situation as well. We must give ourselves a break from all the gadgets at least once in a week or so. Can you do this? If not then you are completely dependent upon technology.
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The Internet as we know it today really came into its own in 1997, and even then most Internet sites were crude. In the last decade or so, broadband has become commonplace and mobile devices are now highly integrated with the Internet.
That’s changed everything. We have become increasingly dependent on the Internet for things we need to maintain our normal life. If this trend continues, as most expect it will, we may not be able to survive so easily without the Internet.
And this is a huge risk we are taking. As recently as last July, Keith Alexander, the head of the country’s Cyber Command and the head and the National Security Agency announced that we are unprepared. Cyberattacks are on the increase, and a recent Defense Department report now assesses the risk as “grave.” And Congress has again failed to act to take any decisive measures to defend against this risk.
It seems very plausible that one day there may indeed be a catastrophic failure of the Internet, and it may be one that we cannot recover from quickly. It’s possible we could be without the Internet for weeks, months—or even years—in the case of an attack from something more serious like an EMP Bomb.
Given this, our culture really needs to reassess our dependence on the Internet and the rush to put everything in the cloud. As we connect more things to the Internet, our infrastructure may perform better, but it’s also greatly weakened.
It’s distinctly possible that we could, in one fell swoop, lose all services like the electric grid, water and sewer and almost all communications (telephone and television). Now picture this world, and picture how we’ll be able to survive if all of our assets have moved to the cloud. Not only could we be without utilities, but as we move to ebooks and online documentation, we could find ourselves without reference materials and without access to the instructions we’ll need to repair the damage. And if we need to travel and GPS and online maps are down, how will we find our way?
Everyone understands the concept of backing up and knows how important is, but where are our backups for the Internet? In fact, they are the old-school things that we have been steadily losing and replacing with the Internet, and if our culture continues this blind race to digitize everything, we could lose it all.
I suggest we all rethink just a bit and remember that we do need backups. Do go to a bookstore and buy printed books now and then. Do buy a printed atlas and printed maps, and keep them available. Do keep that old radio around. You may find one day you actually need them. They are the backups.
Remember, we live in a market-driven society, so if we don’t buy them, we may find no one will make them any longer. It’s ironic but true: The single best thing we may have to secure our future is to maintain some of the old-school ways from our past.
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