Topic N14: People have become overly dependent on technology. For many years, the technological evolution, advancement, and results continue to spread at a record pace. Yet, the integration of such technology into human social lives remains questionable. While certain advances are considered positive, there is a question of whether we are completely attached to technology and would be able to survive without it. Our addiction to it has escalated with its growing complexity and many people now struggle to think for themselves. Expeditious technological growth is expected to continue in the coming years. Various technological trends have the prospective to impact and change the dynamic in multiple cultures around the globe. Nowadays, mobile phones have become the promoted choice for disclosure and internet research.
There were 4,6 billion mobile phone subscribers in 2009 up from 1,8 billion in 2004 (39% increase in total). It is also predicted that there will be 6,9 billion mobile phone members by 2020 which explains the idea that people are getting overly dependent on technology. In addition, mapping, messaging, music and especially video downloads are among the current most popular mobile internet sites accessed by users. Facebook, for instance, the world’s most popular social networking site has more than 600 million users which explains how technology increasingly affected relationships and started replacing traditions, routines, life activities with new aspects. Google helped to ensure the expenditure of information because it is the most efficient search engine ever created and it did a revolution in the cultural, business and economic sectors with expanding services.
Knowing that technology facilitates so many tasks, different categories of people no longer rely on themselves. They use machines and technology to resolve mathematical equations and problems instead of using their cognitive abilities. Nobody tries to calculate anything in their heads because everyone has a calculator on their phone. Another element that bothers people is the fact that there is a whole generation of children who are being raised in a such a way that technology fills most of their needs. The cognitive development can be harmed as so many kids just sit around on their computers to do their homework. Now we have washing machines that do all the work, games consoles that entertain us instead of meeting and exchange discussions and TV that wipes out communication. Furthermore, for hurricanes, for instance, most people are able to prepare themselves for a several day period because of the news updates from television and computers.
They also use appliances to cook instead of being creative with the meals and rely on themselves. Cars, trains, planes and all the methods of transport in general, create a risk of losing social skills because people don’t meet in the streets as they were used to in the past and individuals need to make a choice of whether or not to spend all of their time in front of a screen, and to be heavily influenced by technology to satisfy their needs. The following statement itself depicts the situation “Living without technology is like living without air.” The rise of computers as a dominant presence in our lives is exciting as it is useful, but the potential dangers that this device brings cannot be ignored. Our increasing dependence on computers must disturb the existence of the face-to-face human interaction and handwritten personal correspondence. In this context, texting whether it is done with phones or other devices is somehow killing the language. Using abbreviations like “btw” instead of “by the way” and “LOL” as an alternative to “Laughing out loud” is creating this new kind of grammar. In fact, there has been a lot of talks recently about the possibility of computers replacing books and erasing the linguistic knowledge we once had in our life.
People tend to learn the language of social networks instead of reading appealing and interesting literary works of good writers and prefer writing false and incorrect sentences so the computer fixes them. It is true that computers hold so many data and information but the emerging technologies are forcing people to change the linguistic environment to a new invaluable set of vocabulary. Technology and ordinary traditional lives should form an integral alliance so to help our changing world in a responsible, intelligent manner and avoid the dangers that accompany such a dependent society and a quickly evolving world. And as Nassim Nicholas Taleb mentioned: “The difference between technology and slavery is that slaves are fully aware that they are not free”. To sum up, there are both pros and cons of technology use but it’s undeniable that the rise of engineering methods changed our lives.
People’s dependence doesn’t have to be debilitating and they should choose the spiritual world instead of the material because technology feeds kids with anxiety and disorientation if it is consumed with dependency. It should equally encourage our human-human relationships without turning our lives into e-dependent lives in which morals and values may evaporate.