Technology has become such an integral part of our lives. Even now, I realize as I am typing away on my polychromatic keyboard that I spend more time using technology than I do with human interaction. Technology is everywhere. We see it every day in our homes, our classrooms, our working environments. It is unavoidable and it continues to spread to all corners of the globe. It infects thousands daily and continues spreading to this day. As technology continues advancing and improving, more people end up getting caught in it and it will never stop. Technology has a harmful effect on everyone, young and old.
I vaguely remember the times when technology was not a staple in my life. The only piece of technology my family owned was an old machine with a screen and an antenna that needed to be adjusted during certain periods. Although my siblings and I were fascinated by the appliance, we were not necessarily obsessed with it. We watched small programs and then went on with our lives, finding the outdoors more enjoyable than being cooped up inside all day. I ran with my siblings all the time, chasing sunsets, catching bugs, climbing trees and making imaginary worlds without a care in the world. We used to pretend that we were pirates inside our makeshift forts, made with large banana leaves, coconut shells and discarded planks we found in the abandoned restaurant building. Nowadays, we barely speak to each other anymore.
My older brother got his first phone in 5th grade. From then on, the only things that he cared about were late night conversations with his friends and playing games on the small plastic screen. I could not comprehend at the time; how strong his addiction was to his phone. Until a year later, when I obtained my first phone. Almost immediately, I was hooked. I began using it whenever I could, during conversations, while I was studying, even late in the evening when I was supposed to be sleeping. My life became centered around the 7-inch glowing screen.
Because of phones, many individuals have become more spoiled. They expect all their answers handed to them in 8-bit text. People believe that the internet can answer all their problems when in reality, it does not. Sure, the internet can be helpful, but it does not have all the answers. A consequence of having easy access to the internet is laziness. Getting your homework done is easy when you can just look it up and not have to go through all the trouble of solving an equation. This also leads to shorter attention spans. A habit that my brother has developed after obtaining his phone, is checking the plastic block every five minutes. This has led to him in learning how to switch from his phone to a normal task and the cycle goes back and forth. As this goes on, it becomes a habit and clashes with attentiveness.
Another negative effect is that they become a distraction. People are so focused on their phones that they do not notice the events happening in front of them. My brother once walked into a wall because he was so absorbed in completing a stage in Plants vs. Zombies. Another time, my best friend almost tripped over a pothole because she was too focused on texting her mother about how another student inconvenienced her during 2nd period by playing his music too loud and not returning the borrowed pencil she lent him. Though the effects of phones are centered more around millennials, adults are also caught in the hassle. My dad almost burned down the kitchen because he forgot that he was cooking something in the oven and he was too preoccupied in scrolling through ESPN.
Phones also give people more stress. I do not think that I can count how many sleepless days I have burned through because I wanted to use my phone. One moment I am using my phone for a measly 30 minutes and then I look at the time and I realize I have been using my phone for 4 hours. Time really does go fast when you have easy access to all the fun in the world at the tip of your fingertips. Then, there’s also the annoying alarms and telemarketers that blow up your phone on a daily basis. Of course, the alarms are usually tied to work, but they still cause a bunch of stress.
The invention of technology was to make lives easier and to connect people from all around the world. It was not meant to replace what we could accomplish or take over our lives and control our decisions. Phones have taken over our lives and have caused negative effects to both the youth and the adults. They are distracting, spoil individuals and cause stress. If there is no balance between our phones and our lives then we will end up causing harm to not only ourselves but to the people around us.