Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bad Habits? Thank Technology

“How many times do you look at your phone screen each day?”
It's a question that we are asked by our teachers, surveys, and angrily by our parents and grandparents. But honestly, no one knows the answer. It has become a habit to have our phones constantly by our sides just like babies and their binkies. Today, people with nonstop connection to precious technology have inherited habits that are simply unnecessary and diminishing to human existence. These habits have caused problems within ourselves and the society around us. This alludes to the concept known as ubiquitous computing which states computers are EVERYWHERE, seriously. Because of this, we have no other choice but to conform to these habits.

These habits, that everyone is guilty of, are ones that we definitely wouldn't have if iPhones, actually all technology, didn't exist. Since computers are everywhere we have no other choice but to adapt and be forced into these bad habits. What habits am I talking about? Well, think about these and try to tell yourself you don’t do them. Do you pull your cellphone out during college lectures, dinner at restaurants with your family, when you're going to the bathroom (everyone does it, don't lie)? Do you reach for your cell phone the moment you wake up in the morning? Do you take pictures of pointless things that you end up deleting an hour later? Or what about texting and driving and using Maps when you can just look at the big, green signs. And last but not least, do you scroll aimlessly through Apps when you're waiting around?

These habits wouldn't be evident if technology didn't exist and honestly the world would be better off without these habits embedded in everyone. Instead of paying attention and gaining all the information necessary to pass the class, students are scrolling through their Twitter because we HAVE to keep up with everyone's super interesting lives every 90 seconds. Even though our parents gave birth to us we would rather text our friends about plans rather than have a conversation at the dinner table. Why do we take out our phones instantly when we see something beautiful or funny instead of just taking in the experience and enjoying it? Because these awful habits tell us if we don't take out our phones we are going to miss something. During elevator rides everyone whips out their phones and stares at the screen pretending they’re doing something to avoid eye contact and conversation. This habit is the worst and most noticed. Constant contact with our phones has forced us to be unsocial because instead of looking up at the people we look down to the small screen where we are being "social" through apps on our phone.

The main way these technology habits cause danger is when we are on the roads. In fact, texting and driving causes more than 1,600,000 accidents per year (National Safety Council). If we can't stop ourselves from looking at our phones for just twenty minutes then what does that say? It says that technology has us so gripped around its finger that we can't stop ourselves from doing these habits. 

I'm not saying we are villains. We can't control these habits because it’s just the way the world is conforming and transitioning. Although I personally think it’s sad, I do the same things as any other young adult. I will admit it. Having technology at the grasp of our fingertips is helpful in certain ways but there is always a negative on the flip side. As technology keeps enhancing I'm interested and a little nervous to see what the future holds for the sake of society.

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