Is technology Good or bad?


cellphone_at_dinner

It could be argued that cell phones have become like a life line for people when in public.

Walking around the Shippensburg University campus, I usually notice a large majority of my fellow students staring into their phones, as if their eyeballs are tied to their displays by invisible strings.

Once, I noticed a group of friends standing in a circle.

They were all texting, tweeting or web surfing on their smartphones protected by brightly-colored cases.

Technology can be great, when used in moderation.

But, I feel that it has become all too comfortable to text someone instead of call, and to chat on Skype instead of chatting with them in person.

We should be living in the moment and getting the most out of our short lives by interacting with the people who are right here in front of us.

It sends out that unspoken message when you text while someone is trying to talk to you, that is, whoever I am texting right now is more important than you.

Recently, I sat near a couple at a restaurant.

It was bad enough that they both had their heads looking down at their phones, but it was worse when I discovered who they were texting — each other.

It seems that restaurants are an especially attractive place to act like, as I tend to call my friends, a screen kid (someone who spends too much time staring at phone screens, computer screens, etc.)

When my 18-year-old sister and I went out for dinner, I timed her phone usage during the wait for our food without her knowing it. She spent 66 percent of the time on her phone.

It seems a lot of people my age cannot spare a free moment without looking at their cell phone.
It is probably impulsive, kind of like a nervous habit such as biting your nails or shaking your leg.
Or perhaps it is more like an addiction.

A co-worker once accidentally left her phone at home so she could not text while at work.
I noticed her mood drop. I even observed her reaching in her pocket for the phone that was non-exsistent.

Can people experience technology withdrawal?

Oh yes, they can.

According to research done on 200 students at the University of Maryland, it is very real.

These students were asked to go without technology for 24 hours and many of them described it with the same words that recovering alcoholics and drug addicts used.

They said things such as being moody, lonely and isolated, frantically craving, jittery, anxious, in withdrawal and crazy.

Yet, at the same time some of them found themselves to be freer and less stressed when away from their constantly beeping and blipping phones.

Yes, technology can be wonderful and useful, so I am not saying we ought to cut off our strings to it, but we certainly can afford to loosen them.

We can come up with something better to do than scroll down Facebook’s never-ending news feed.

Let us dare to leave our phones at home, to really get out there and experience a breath of technology-free air every once in awhile.


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