Wed12132017

Last updateWed, 13 Dec 2017 8am

Features

Is Technology Controlling Our Lives?

Technology Controlling LivesYears and years ago, the internet was an escape from the world. Now, the world is our escape from the internet and the abundance of technology.

While technology can be very beneficial, it can control our lives without us even knowing it. Yes, it is nice having the ability to access anything and anyone at any time, but can we go five minutes without our phones?

Eddy Occhipinti, Associate Athletics Director/Marketing & Sponsorships believes that technology has greatly impacted our daily lives and society as a whole.

“In some respects, technology is incredibly helpful and has made many aspects of people’s lives easier and more convenient. In other ways, and depending on what and how, technological advances can be seen as harmful, depending on your perception and point of view. Like anything, if we allow it to control us, it will. I do think technology and its convenience has made us all very dependent on it, for better or worse,” he said.

Technology is eliminating face-to-face communication more and more. Business Insider states that the average person users their cell phone 2,617 times a day, so it’s no wonder interpersonal communication has become a rarity.

As you walk from class to class across campus, students’ eyes don’t leave their phone. Then, once you get to class, more students are glued to their phone, sending that last minute text before the professor arrives, or posting on their Snapchat story, fun phrases like, “I hate this class.”

When was the last time you were asked out in person and not through a text or Tinder message? When was the last time you sent someone a card to wish them a happy birthday instead of a text?

There are clearly downsides of technology, which Sue Starke Ph.D., associate professor of English believes. “We’re beginning to see some of the societal downsides of the ways people use newer personal technology. I believe that people will eventually adjust and develop new codes of behavior and etiquette to respond to and control disruptive aspects of new technologies,” Starke said.

She added that it is important to recognize these problems so that new norms can be developed to deal with them. We have to learn to control technology, and not allow technology to control us.

Technology and social media bring us instant communication, instant access to anything, and tons of entertainment, like Netflix or Hulu. That is exactly why it is so hard to be without our precious little cell phones.

Senior communication student, Elliot McPherson, admits that it can be a challenge losing immediate access to the above commodities.

“That’s why nobody ever wants to lose their phone, because it makes life a little harder. Not to mention that future generations are being brought up more dependent on it than we were. It’s a grey area with the fact that it has real benefits, but real social drawbacks,” he said.

Similar to what Starke said, McPherson also added that technology is always evolving, so we will eventually have to figure out what course of action to take, and what norms to establish.

Until those new norms come to be, it is important to realize that we can survive without our cell phones, and we must take the time to unplug. Believe it or not, unplugging can leave us feeling happier.

When we constantly see others post about their lives, it can leave us feeling lonely, jealous, or unhappy. Maybe your boyfriend doesn’t treat you the way he should, but you see your friend being treated like a princess. That can make you feel unhappy and desperate to find a better guy. Or perhaps you see a classmate’s “transformation Tuesday” post on Instagram while wishing that you had that fit body.

Unplugging also gives us the ability to open our eyes and truly pay attention to what’s in front of us. Go bundle up and watch the sunset on the beach or spend some quality time with your significant other. Engage in meaningful, authentic, face-to-face communication. The moment that you are in, you will never get back, so don’t miss it by scrolling through Facebook or “liking” all of your crush’s Instagram posts.

With finals approaching and winter break right around the corner, try unplugging and see what the world has to offer, rather than using technology as an escape from the world.

Spend some one-on-one time with friends or your significant other. Turn your phone off for a night and go take a hot bubble bath followed by hot chocolate. Remember that there is a beautiful world to be seen when you look up from your phone.

PHOTO TAKEN by Amber Galati

 

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