In recent years, technology plagued our societies and let us know that it is here to stay. With the new generations leaning into that side of world development as their interest, it became harder to see the positive results of embracing technology. Today, in South Korea, the officials classify technology addiction next to alcohol and drug addiction. The number of hours that people spend on their technology is way more than what they usually spend on socializing and forming cognitive relationships. As a result, the streets of today have countless people walking together while looking at their smartphones individually, and disregarding one of the primal instincts of humanity.
1. Technology exposure
That newly found technology addiction is spreading rapidly due to many factors. One of them is the early exposure to technology and the quick interest of kids to technological themes and devices. For instance, a 4-year-old gets his hands on a tablet or even a toy version of a tablet, that exposure leaves them looking for more freedom and new ways to attach themselves to that tablet, and that in turn creates a feeling of need toward the tablet. In the end, the kid will favor the use of the tablet or any other piece of technology that his parents present them with to keep them occupied over doing basic human interactions, which is already alarming at this age because it may cause some social and psychological issues that might stick to the kid’s character. But is the child is well supported and surrounded by their family, they may receive some complaints about the heavy usage of the technology, to which they have to comply, but that need for technology stays in place. Several years after, when the child is grown and conscious, they realize that everyone else is using the same technology as they are, in some cases, even their respective parents. That addiction or interest they had as a child continues the process by which buying the products that we see today in the streets.
2. Social norms
It is fair to say that there was a time where such behavior as sitting next to someone with a phone in hand would be unfit. But unfortunately, since everyone is using that technology and understands why the one sitting across from them in doing so, that same behavior is acceptable and even encouraged in some cases. It is safe to say that society now functions differently from what it used to and that the technology addiction is now just a normal way of tackling daily life matters, especially since everything can be done today with the swipe of fingers or a few taps on a screen. That is heavily supported by the glorification of those same screens in technology development. The recent models of those screens got larger, brighter, and more vibrant, which is a way to keep the users hooked onto the usage of those screens as long as possible. Today, taking a subway or ring the train or bus is a very odd experience considering the fact that one can still find it crowded. Yet, the person might find themselves alone because of every passenger using their device to stay up to date with actualities or connect to a group of people in a digital setting or entertaining themselves in another way.
3. The internet
One of the negative side effects of having such a wide network where people can share and receive data is that it makes some of its users addicted to the technology they use to make that connection. The internet is the basis of today’s technology, and the addiction to technology is either through its advertising or just the interest in other ways of accessing it. And in the streaming era that we live in today, the time spent on the internet is doubled. From music to personal pictures to ordering and selling, it all exists on a portable device connected to the internet. Podcasts are replacing radio shows slowly, and music is now streamed via cloud services, and that adds up to the number of hours spent browsing for it on the device. When the compatibility of certain devices such as Google Home or Apple products infiltrate the house of a person, their lives become infinitely more manageable and dependent on that technology, which creates this mutual bond od coexistence between humans and machines. Allowing such technology in a person’s life is easy, but the single fact that going from that technology and all it has to offer is far more difficult. And the more technology is advertised as this haven and keeps delivering accordingly, and the more people will get to know it through internet headlines and give that life a try until they get hooked on it.
4. The answer
While all of what is mentioned before is the repercussion of the overuse and early exposure of technology, to nullify the effect of technology addiction, one must care to his family members on a first basis. The care and appreciation that parents show their kids is a very effective way of showing them that human relationships are more valuable than digital interactions. Another viable solution is the limitation of time spent next to or on technology because cutting technology completely from life can backfire in the worst ways. A popular method that people use in recent years is taking a break from social media and technological services, as it can help clear the mind from secondary thoughts and worries, as well as mitigate health issues that come with technology addiction.
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Originally published on Live Positively.