Technology = detachment?


Our society is gradually becoming more attached to technology. I am prone to believe our society is also becoming more detached from their surroundings. Look around at all the people on the University of Oregon campus who are wearing headphones. How about all the people in an airport who connect to the Internet; what about the kids who sit in the back seat of a car and watch the latest movie?

There are positives and negatives to every piece of technology. Some long term affects of technology are yet to be determined. Since the beginning of the 21st century school children have carried cell phones with them. Parents buy cell phones to reach their kids and free up landlines. Did you know that it is considered hazardous to have a cell phone around an infant?  Amanda Lenhart said August 19, 2009, “Teenagers have previously lagged behind adults in their ownership of cell phones, but several years of survey data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project show that those ages 12-17 are closing the gap in cell phone ownership.” In 2005 Pew research reported, “Almost one in five (19%) of those ages 18-28 have iPods/MP3 players.” In 2008, “Young adults between 18 and 29 years old are the age group most likely to own MP3 players, 61% of whom own these gadgets.”

Are growing numbers of connectivity a good thing? It is easy to avoid your surroundings by surfing the web on your palm pilot. Technology enables you to interact with more people. The question is what type of relationships are being formed; solid bonds or friends just to talk to in a virtual world, those whom an individual has no physical interaction with. Do people get so caught up in the online life that they forget to interact with people face to face? Or do people no longer feel comfortable interacting with people without a device of separation?

It’s strange to me to see a bus filled with students all of whom are going to the same spot not interact with one another. When did people start listening to their parents when they said, “don’t talk to strangers”. I believe that our society will face major problems if the vast majority of society prefers to be caught up in a virtual life rather than what is going on around them.

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