Is it easier to live with technology or without technology? Technology unarguably reduces tediousness. It is much more efficient to use Google Maps than a paper map when you need to get to a specific location. Likewise, it is easier to search up a recipe online, rather than thumbing through a cookbook for it. Sure, technology makes life simpler, but is living really easier?
Last summer, I went one whole day without my phone. I could lie and say that I did this on purpose, but in reality, I actually lost my phone. I woke up to an IHome alarm clock that I dragged out of my basement. It was humbling to hit a physical snooze button, rather than tapping a home screen until my phone stops buzzing. I took my dog on a walk to the beach after I got out of bed. Usually, I would use walks with my dog as a prime opportunity to post on social media, but without my phone, I took in the moment. I ran errands. I stood in line and observed the people around me; what they were doing, what they were wearing. This was my first time in a while where I was able to take in my surroundings, and not bounce from app to app on my phone while I pick something up, or while I shop. I listened to the radio in my car, rather than my music on the AUX, and I learned that the radio actually isn’t that bad. To some, a day without their phone may be one of the worst things imaginable. I’m definitely addicted to my phone, but the day I spent without it was actually one of the most calming and peaceful days I’ve ever had.
I would say that life is easier with technology, it assists us and guides us in many different disciplines. However, I would argue that living is easier without being constantly glued to my phone. I can take in the world and see the things that I would often miss. I am able to learn more and do more in my personal life. It’ll probably be a while before I go another day without my phone, but I’m bound to lose it again in my lifetime. When the time comes, I think I actually might look forward to it.
This past class we talked about How we read: Close, Hyper, Machine we and how it is preventing us from reading to comprehend better due to the media holes. Media holes take away from our original intent of reading an article. After talking about this reading, it got me thinking about our attention spans, how we all have shorter attention spans, and how this could be due to the increase of technology.
While looking into this idea of a lack of attention span, I was talking to Jess, and she told me about a video she found about social media and how we have changed. After watching this , I have learned that social media can be used in the wrong ways and can become a toxic part of our days. On average people spend 2-3 hours a day on social media, and 3.4 million people use social media every single day. Increase social media use increases the time we use alone and this, in turn, increases anxiety and depression. This is because we are constantly filling every second that we have alone with the time on our phones. This keeps you away from higher quality purposes. With being on our phones so much it is replacing our time we could be using to improve ourselves, and that’s time we can never get back.
The reason I am talking about this video is because our brains are constantly working, but it has become a reflex to open social media every time we open our phone and has become an innate go to when we are alone. I feel that this is also true when it comes to comprehension. Our attention spans have become much shorter because we can constantly scroll with a flick of the thumb or finger and we get something new on our screen. This has increased our idea of skimming while on a screen. You can constantly get distracted when doing homework on screens because of the number of things that are on your screen at once. It has become harder to closely read a text from beginning to end without our minds thinking about what we are thinking and then going to other sources to look into our thinking or to even “feel” and have the urge to go on social media. Our phones can also be a distraction while you are doing a task because your phone is like a cigarette. You become addicted to it and you always need a break at some point to “check” your phone. This is how we get to always going on social media and one task that should take 30 minutes turns into a few hours. Since the increase in technology, there has become a reliance on screens and social media, which can be toxic for people. You lose time on your phone when you could be having that time for yourself. If you delete social media off your phone for 30 days, you can do all the things you wanted to do but never had time for due to us using social media every free second, we have.