Brave New World - How Technology Has Come to Take Over Our Lives

by Garreth Myers

The statistics are scary. According to a recent study conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, children today spend up to 75 hours a week using technology gadgets. That’s 75 hours of time spent plugged into iPods, watching TV, using the Internet, and escaping into the world of video games.

Studies also show that there is a direct co-relation between the amount of hours spent with gadgets and the increasing levels of obesity, violence, and breakdown of families in our society today. As parents, we may bemoan the fact that our kids no longer read or go out to play but there is a considerable difference in the role technology plays in our lives as well. What with cell phones and PDAs, laptops and GPS systems, we are constantly communicating, planning, and searching. We juggle our days away doing this, that, and the other but barely have enough time for our personal relationships and ourselves.

Experts believe that the more we rely on technology to get us places, to do our work and to keep us organized, the more we set ourselves up for a fall. The same gadgets that we use to enhance our social lives are the ones that are damaging it as well. Technology seems to have made our lives more impersonal and distant. As we switch on our phones and type on our keypads, our ability to communicate in person with each other seems to have diminished. It’s now easier than ever before to work from your home, to shop online and to even conduct entire relationships through mail and Skype. There seems to be little reason to actually leave the confines of your home and get out there to experience life. As technology proceeds to develop at a blinding pace, gadgets of today also become relics of tomorrow in the blink of an eye. Cell phones, satellite systems, the Internet – nothing remains static. The next big thing is always around the corner and this only serves to put extra pressure on our pockets in a bid to remain up to date. There seems to be no doubt then that technology has taken over our lives and many may say for the worse.

On the flip side, ask any child or teenager today about the ills of technology, and chances are you would be met with a blank stare. To the new generation, technology is a way of life. It may change in appearance from day to day but it’s a constant that makes lives easier and let’s not forget more fun as well. They choose to forgo the doomsday prophecies and accept the fact that technology has created a whole new world of interconnectedness. Thanks to the Internet and social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, you can now interact with people around the world instantly. Social networking has given people the opportunity to peer beyond their immediate lives and glimpse a vast worldwide network with all its political, social and ethical issues. According to one succinct statement made by a college going student, “blaming technology for decreasing social interaction is like blaming McDonalds for your 300 pounds of excess weight!” Ultimately it’s all about taking responsibility for one’s actions and being able to walk the fine line between technology being the ruin of you or technology being your savior.



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