Do you know that an average person spends almost 4 years of his life on the cell phone? Worse still do you know with the current trends this number is bound to go way up in the next few years to come? Is internet taking the better part of your days? If so, do you think that the time you invest on internet can be considered fruitful or productive? Follow me through and Ill help you see from my perspective.
My works thesis can be based on the following two questions:
- Is internet and technology changing the way we live our lives?
- Is it doing more harm than good or the reverse?
- Below are the reasons why internet in our age is a necessary evil.
A few years back, internet was basically used for research purposes and communication. Any new idea that was deemed educative, creative and exceptional would be posted on the internet for sharing purposes. In fact, the internet per say was mainly used to send and receive emails. Its function was that simple and whoever said simplicity is an art definitely had some sense of reason in him/her. To students like me, internet was the last resort of obtaining information about something. Yes, and by last resort I mean really last after one had looked for the same from all sorts of textbooks, articles, journals and personal notes. One would even consult a friend, parent or hold discussions with fellow students all in an attempt to get a better understanding before resorting to the internet.
Even then, he/she would still have to confirm with the books concerning the information obtained from internet. On the other issue concerning the advances the technology is making and its impacts. Growing up, the cell phone was an electronic gadget of sending and receiving information, Period! The television was mainly used to watch news and occasionally a leisure activity on selected days (needless to say only when all other schoolwork and house chores had been completed). Weekends would be spent with friends playing, storytelling because gadgets like Play Stations were unheard of then.
So how does this compare to modern day? Modern day world is punctuated with media overstimulation. With electronic gadgets of all sorts ranging from cell phones, tablets and laptops among others; everything has been turned upside down. It is kind of ironic how these touch-screens have made us lose touch with people, reality, and discipline and to some extent ethics. Phones are no longer gadgets of communication only. In fact, currently phones are more ornamental and fashion statements than they are communication tools. This is why you will find people (especially the young) replacing their cell phones time after time to keep up with the changing technology and obtain the latest devices.
However, the big question is, how are they being used if not communication purposes? With blooming social sites today, people are spending too much of their time on the same (Ryan, Chester and Reece). Technology in conjunction with internet has made us more selfish and separate than ever. This is because while it claims to be connecting people, all it really does is disconnect. That is why you will find people would rather chat, skype or connect with friends on social sites rather than in person. Social sites such as Facebook and Instagram have completely stolen our interactive skills and social lives (Allmer). One, for instance, would have over ten thousand friends on Facebook yet in his/her real life; a few countable acquaintances that are also drifting because of real connections and communications are in place.
Such social sites are also the reason we continue to believe in social lies; one will sit at home the whole day on the phone or computer talking to millions of the so called friends that have a very superficial understanding of you as a person (Chia). It gives you the false feeling of being in sync with the world whereas in real sense you are not. In todays world, your popularity has everything to do with your friends, followers or the number of likes you get on pictures and statuses you post on social sites and nothing to do with your social, communication and interpersonal skills. What does this tell us? That as long as you know what to post or which picture to upload on the internet you are good to go. Some even go far and start measuring their self-worth by these numbers of followers and friends on such social sites (Malik and Khan).
Most peoples best friend nowadays is the phone and they care less about other people. It is so common these days to find someone using his/her phone while actually talking to them. In classrooms, these gadgets are making it impossible for students to concentrate and they are slowly replacing the reading culture of students. In offices and work places, we see employees using the internet to access these social sites instead of working. Children alike, instead of playing with other kids like olden times, they would rather stay indoors and play with their Play Stations, browse the net and as a result they grow up to be very anti-social people with no real friends to connect with. It is even so hard to know your neighbor in the first place as you are so engrossed in the technology and what the internet has to offer.
The same internet also offers a platform of enhancing cyber bullying (Hamachek). Of course, as more and more people use these social sites as their sole source of interaction, ideological differences are bound to arise and what happens when a person tends to have a slightly different opinion. He/she is disregarded and called all sorts of names by people he/she doesnt even know. This is apparently an easy thing to do because there is no real confrontation and no one can be victimized for such. Rather a coward approach.
On grammar and spelling, when is the last time you sent a text without abbreviations? Does this promote your grammar or does it simply tarnish it? No kidding, we are even forgetting the spelling of basic wordings because modern technology comes with auto-correct. Conversations have been reduced to chats.
In conclusion, the internet and technology were great innovations and in the right hands can be used for noble courses. However, they should not change and become an important part of your lifestyle replacing friends, family, careers and even education. We should set a limit to the time we spend on such and personally I am looking forward to a generation that will smile instead of frowning when we have low batteries on our phones as it is a step closer to enhancing personal interaction.
Allmer, Thomas. "(Dis)Like Facebook? : dialectical and critical perspectives on social media." (2014): 39-55.
Chia, Stella. "How Social Influence Mediates Media Effects on Adolescents' Materialism." (2010): 400-419.
Hamachek, Don. "Cyber Bullying." Journal of Adolescence (2015): 659-660.
Malik, S and M Khan. "Impact of facebook addiction on narcissistic behavior and self-esteem among students." Impact of facebook addiction on narcissistic behavior and self-esteem among students. (2015): 260-263.
Ryan, T, et al. "The uses and abuses of Facebook: A review of Facebook addiction." Journal of behavioral addictions, (2014): 133-148.
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