Technology Vs. Living
You know the scenario. You are laying in bed; it’s almost midnight. Everyone appears asleep, but here you are still staring into the lit-up square of mobile phone. You are tired but what if you fall asleep and miss an interesting tweet, or what if your boyfriend wants to text you? Your best friend may have a crisis or there may be some gossip you can glean from your Facebook wall – technology never sleeps.
You open up all the social media sites, perfect time to scroll through photos, statuses and messages. It now being 12.30am and time for bed has no bearing on technological usage; many individuals have no downtime when it comes to their phones, laptops and television. I certainly don’t. You continue to read, scroll, creep, discover, message until your eyes grow tired and your limbs heavy, but it is always a challenge to stop. Oh and also, you always seem to drop your phone on your face.
In Britain today, technology rules our lives – people just cannot stop using the internet, watching television and interacting through screens. According to BBC News, individuals today spend more time on technology then they do asleep. That’s right; sleep has become less of a priority than technological usage. How has this happened? How can technology rate as more important than something that helps you to stay alive? We have become a culture of technological dependency and this is creating a country that fails to prioritise the important activities, but promotes focusing on things that purely entertain, rather than maintaining healthy standards of living.
With access to a multitude of technological sources, we are spoilt for choice. With watching television being the most popular, Britain are also lovers of anything internet-related: using mobile phones and laptops. With the ability to be entertained easily with these products, it is not surprising that people forget how to spend time doing everyday things, natural things. If you asked people to list their top ways to be entertained, I’m sure that walking, reading and outdoor sports would rank lower than playing on game consoles, texting and watching films. Is it just me, or is this rather sad?
The fact that people spend more time on technology than sleeping is a disturbing statistic, and one that is having serious consequences on health and social interaction. For children especially, this technologically advanced society is allowing them to be lazy. With the majority of children preferring to watch TV and play computer games, their lack of desire to run outside and play is bound to have serious implications on their health and social development. Without regular physical exercise, children are more at risk of obesity and diabetes, in addition to the damage staring at screens all day must cause. In addition to the health risks, if children are brought up to play solely with technology, their lives become less social and they end up playing independently, rather than making friends like they would if they were playing sports and running around outside like they should.
In 2014, if this is where we are at, how will we cope in the future? This summer I went for a pub meal and sat next to a family who were all ensconced in their individual form of technology. The parents on iPads, the young children on phones – they hardly spoke for the duration of a three course meal. I stared at them in horror; I could not believe how damaging technology is becoming for not just health and social skills, but for family dynamics too. If we are facing such problems now, how will technology have taken over in ten years’ time?
If technology continues to advance and dominate, it will do more than prevail over sleep. Using technology will begin to be a primary activity and this will affect relationships, health and social development. Children born in the next ten years will not be able to appreciate the natural things; they will fall asleep with their phone in their hand and their TV on in the background. I don’t think there is anything that can stop the domination of technological dependency but we can try to remember the things we are missing out on. It would be a travesty for children born in ten years to not know what it feels like to run around outside, to go for walks without their iPod or to dance with no headphones. Technology is limited, it can only do certain things, sleep on the other hand is vital – a television can’t keep you alive after all.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.