To me, technology is like any animal or plant. Each company is constantly in competition with the others, working to adapt and evolve to make their product the biggest and shiniest to attract their prey, the prey being us humans. Technology infects us like a virus, it takes over our schools, it invades our own homes and even haunts our dreams with the pinging and the blinking of the screens. In the same way, plants are interdependent on the sunlight to allow them to photosynthesise, we humans have become interdependent on technology craving it the same way we crave our coffee in the morning to wake up. The question is: is our need for technology such a bad thing?
Technology is important. It has become a substantial source for survival, for example its use in schools. As someone who is currently preparing to take their GCSEs I use technology every day. All of my homework is set electronically on one app giving me easy access to all resources required and communication with teachers. I often spend my afternoons online, using websites such as Senecca and Maths Watch to extend my learning. This is not a bad thing. Technology is advancing our knowledge and helping more people to pass their exams every year. Technology is furthering the advancement of the future generation.
While I do spend much of my time online for school reasons, I do admit to a social media addiction. As a teenager Instagram and Snapchat plays an important part of my life. Unfortunately due to my bad choice of phones I only have space for one of those apps and so I went with the path of Snapchat. Wrong choice. The creators of Snapchat are quite clever. The same way games give you a daily reward for logging on every day, Snapchat gives you streaks. If you send a ‘snap’ to your buddy every day and if they send one back (which you have to open) you create a streak with them. This implores people to log on every day to send their snaps, but not just once a day, no. Because you have to open the snaps you receive for the streak to continue, you get users logging on constantly throughout the day, stress building up within if they haven’t received a ‘snap’ back. I know this because it has happened to me, I have urged myself to stay awake before to wait for the ‘snap’ back so we don’t lose our streak because for some reason if I can keep that streak then this gives me a feeling of accomplishment. If I had gone to sleep at a normal time that night then I would not have been so tired at school the next day and I would have listened to the teacher and not lost out on marks on a test the following week. I would have had a sense of accomplishment for getting a good mark.
While technology furthers our education, it knocks us back as well.
Adults often associate teenagers with mobile devices and believe all they use on it is applications such as Snapchat and Instagram, this is not strictly true. As I mentioned previously, we teenagers need our mobile devices for educational applications too for example ‘showmyhomework’ but this is not the only thing teenagers use their phones for.
Youtube is a common app for us young people. Youtube has videos for everybody: gaming tutorials for the video gamers; theories on the latest sci-fi film for the nerds; vines and pranks for anybody in need of entertainment and much more. People can waste hours on Youtube without realising due to the creation of autoplay, I have often said I’ll watch this two minute video and then I’ll start on my homework. Then two hours later as the door slams shut with my mum on the inside, I remove my headphones, hastily, and unhappily look at the huge pile of work I have to do, which should have been half gone by then.
Technological devices are amazing, whether it is a laptop, phone or tablet with one click you have access to everything: yesterday’s X-Factor audition fails; homework set for maths by Mr Smith; the latest fan theory for Avengers 4; Kim Kardashian’s latest Instagram photo or an update on Brexit negotiations. However with one more click you find yourself in a darker place. I have often heard whispers in the shadows of my school. Hushed conversations of cyber bullying, porn and the dark web.
Technology provides us with two worlds. A utopia with endless information, help, support and opportunities but it also provides us with dystopia. A place in which everyone is filled with a craving for likes and comments. A place in which your day disappears with the click of the play button. A place in which reality disappears and teenagers are shown this unrealistic image of sex and drugs, an image which then influences our young people to do the same. A place where weapons can be bought with a click of a button. A place where your future can be destroyed with a click of a button.
I agree with Yunus, there is not a doubt in my mind that technology is important, without it I would not be getting the test results I am getting but if I had some more self-control and let my streaks disappear or if I had the confidence to press the pause button on a Youtube video once in a while. I would not be getting the test results I am getting; I would get better.
Thankfully my eyes have been opened and I am self aware of what I use technology for but a lot of my generation is not and this needs to change. We are the future, but if Apple, Samsung and Google keep throwing bigger, shinier products in our face. Global warming will never be stopped. Elections will turn into a social media contest and more people like Trump will be elected. Poverty will continue and our future will be robots. Children will not know the colour of the sky because no one will look up. Children won’t speak, they’ll grow up texting. Glasses will become cool because a lot more people are going to need them. Our world will not survive. The same way asteroids killed the dinosaurs, technology will destroy the human race if we don’t learn to use it properly.