Technology…Friend or Foe?

I find it to be a coincidence that I was asked to write a paper discussing the internet and technology when I was recently asked to complete a similar assignment, the only difference is the assignment was in Spanish. Apparently technology is a topic of discussion across the globe. Although I find technology to be extremely prominent and beneficial in my everyday life, it terrifies me. It terrifies me that there are times where I can sit in a room with all of my roommates and not a word will be spoken for as long as 10 minutes because each of our faces are buried in our phones, it disturbs me that the amount of time a simple homework assignment can take because I can’t stop checking my phone. There are nights I stop and internally ridicule myself because I know should have been asleep hours prior but instead I decide to scroll through Instagram. Starting off with random people I don’t even know, and end up on their second cousin’s girlfriend’s page about fitness. I wasted an extra two hours of precious sleep to watch someone I don’t even know explain how important it is to have an hour glass shape rather than a pear…who even am I and what is my issue tends to be what I mutter at myself. I can remember my friend saying one

day “its like a drug, we need our daily fix”. A drug. She referred to social media as a drug, I wanted so badly in that moment to argue against her but I couldn’t. She was right. Just like drug addicts, we need our daily fix, and until we get that fix we are just itching to get it.

As technology has advanced, so has the number of ways to access the internet. If a person is not on their desktop they are on their laptop, if not the laptop then the tablet, and of course the smartphone is within reaching distance and if that isn’t close enough then some people even have a smart watch on their wrist…what’s next? A screen built into our hands? When I was in middle school leading up to high school technology influenced my life, but looking back the access I had was very limited in comparison to right now. My friends and I would obsess over AIM (instant messenger- for those who were deprived as a child). Heyyyitskateex3 was online talking with her pals way more than I’d like to admit. For what reason? What could have possibly been so important that middle schoolers were instant messaging from the second they got off the bus to the moments before bed time. “OMG Julie did U C the pizza they srved @ lunch today… gross!!”. The fact of the matter is my desktop was down stairs in the basement, so once I was up stairs I was cut off. No secretly texting under the dinner table, no scrolling though social media while watching a family movie, and once I was in bed there was no source of internet or technology within reaching distance. Well… except for my alarm clock because if that wasn’t in reaching distance I’d never get out of bed in the morning. Once I got a cellphone that thing did not ever leave reaching distance, always on my nightstand or even at times under my pillow. My cellphone could be the death of me…literally. One time I woke up in the morning with the charging cord around my neck, what an interesting headline it could have been: “Plymouth State University Student Tragically Dies from Strangulation of Cellphone Cord”.

If I can say one thing about technology and the internet it’s this: boy is it nice to have a reason to get away from it. I also hate myself for saying I need a reason to not have my phone rather than just putting the damn thing down. About a month ago my Instagram account was hacked and I have not been able to log back on, it has been an interesting experience. But don’t worry I wasn’t completely deprived of my social media cravings, I of course have Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook to fill the gapping void. Parts of me want to make a new account so I can get back on the grid and see what friends, family and even the randos I don’t know are posting but on the other hand I get nervous. When I say nervous I worry I will become obsessed again, constantly worrying what people think of my photos or who likes which post at what time. Constantly critiquing every photo, I take, “I can’t put that on Instagram look at how awkward my hand looks” or “I love this picture from the weekend but I just posted a photo in this outfit a few weeks ago”. I over analyzed every little detail Instagram presented, thats right even worrying what the photo caption should be. Caring too much about what others think is a problem within itself but adding social media only fuels the constant worry. I want to be better with my social media tendencies and interaction with technology. A person can easily buy physical things now and in the future, but you won’t always have the here and the now with the people you hold close to your heart. I need to remind myself life is precious, and to live in the moment rather than through a computer screen.

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