By Kendall Tich
With the announcement of Google Glass, “smart” glasses that allow you to technologically interact with the world around you, I have been thinking a lot about how technology has affected our world. Cell phones, computers, location technology and other communication devices have significantly improved many aspects of society, but perhaps these same devices are also having a negative impact on our world.
Because my family lives overseas and my only way to communicate with them is over the phone and Skype, I may be biased in saying that I think technology as a means of communication is one of man’s greatest inventions.
According to the U.N. Telecom Agency Report, the world has about six billion cell phone subscribers currently. This means that six billion people out of close to seven billion people worldwide would agree with me in saying that cell phones have become a necessary asset to our world. Useful as they may be, however, there are still people who would argue that the world has become too dependent on technology, and this dependency is increasing.
Perhaps one of the most controversial aspects of technological dependency is in regards to education. It is still unknown as to whether technology is helping or hurting the long-term education of students.
Technology tends to distract people, including college students, from family, friends and assignments in the real world. Technological advancements have made it increasingly easy to connect with others. However, this can also lead to over-connection and overuse. This is when technology dependency starts to become a problem.
I have two cousins who are around two and four years old. Over the summer, their parents told me that they are already learning to use iPads and iPhones at these young ages and know more than their parents do. I thought back to what I was doing when I was four years old—playing with Barbies, running around outside with neighbors and doing arts and crafts with my siblings.
Most of my childhood activities required some kind of face-to-face interaction, but the activities of modern childhood such as video games, communication devices and the Internet, don’t require any interaction at all. Since much technological advancement is fairly new to the world, it is still unknown as to how the decreasing amount of real life interaction will affect the current childhood generation that has seemingly become dependent on technology.
On the other hand, technology can increase performance and produce more and perhaps better results in a shorter amount of time. Technology advancements have made “multi-tasking”
possible and have made it easier to get things done faster and more efficiently.
Thanks to technological advances, people are carrying around Kindles, iPads and Nooks that are allowing them to obtain books instantly and read those same books on the go. Advancements like this have certainly helped schools and education, since it is easy to obtain reading material for classes at a lower price and by the click of a button.
The world has come a long way in terms of advancements in technology and with the announcement of the release of Google Glass in the future, I have been wondering as to how far technology will go.
Google Glass alone is perhaps the most revolutionary addition to the long line of technological advancements that came before it.
Many would argue that the increased dependency on technology will lead to absolute dependency and that the human brain will soon lose ability, memory and creativity. This is because many of our day-to-day tasks can be performed by some kind of technology. On the other hand, technology has brought our world to a point of complete connectedness.
You can communicate with people across borders within seconds and this type of communication is what has the potential to lead to agreement, familiarity and connection of all people across the world.
It is not necessarily technology itself that is harming our society, but rather the way we are incorporating it into our lives. When face-to-face interaction becomes a struggle, or avoiding a cell phone or computer for a short amount of time isn’t an option, that is when technology can start to create problems.