Editorial: Is technological advancement worth it?

cellphone

Listen, I might be a hypocrite for writing this, because I have a phone and a laptop to write my course papers, watch Netflix and so forth. Though I certainly don’t feel like my life revolves around it, I can still see there are issues with technology.

Don’t get me wrong, technological advances have been extremely beneficial for so many things. They are what’s likely going to lead to easier lifestyles for those with diseases or disabilities, help find answers or cures to things that will change the world and so on.

Technology can also allow us to stay connected with those who live far away. While phones may be a great tool, there is a lot of bad that comes from them.

Last week when I was walking back from class, there was a guy walking in front of me who almost got himself hit by a bus. He didn’t have headphones in; he was simply looking at his phone. Just looking. Imagine being so focused on whatever is on your screen that, even without headphones in, you can almost walk into a moving bus. It isn’t hard to imagine, because we’ve probably all had a moment like that before. I don’t think this guy would have noticed the bus at all if he hadn’t have gotten so incredibly close to walking in front of it that he must have seen it in his peripheral vision.

Phones have become something that people are so attached to that they don’t know what they would do without one. I think there are people who value their phones more than they value some of the people in their life.

Not to mention, that, on those phones, social media is causing all kinds of problems. The value someone puts on an Instagram post, or the importance of how many “Snapstreaks” you have are now daily priorities. Now, I’m someone who uses social media, so I’m not saying having social media has to be a negative thing in your life. But if what’s on those social media accounts is consuming your life, controlling it or even chipping away at your mental health, is it worth it?

Upcoming generations will have grown up with phones. They’ll have grown up with Snapchat and Instagram. They’ll have grown up with the idea that building relationships means commenting the most emojis on someone’s post or being mentioned in someone’s story — but that’s not building relationships. It increasingly affects the ability of some people to carry a conversation in person or socialize without a device in hand.

There may be a lot of good from technology, but it’s also led to a lot of negative consequences. Human relationships are supposed to get better with the ability to communicate more frequently and quickly, not deteriorate into something that may become unrecognizable.

 

 -Isabelle Cropper

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