A Relationship in Metaphors

Technology is an ever-present existence in everyone’s lives, whether they like it or not. Even when we’re not using technology, we all receive the influence and effects of it, positive and negative. In everyday life, it is not the most common activity to analyze one’s relationship with technology. As this is a rare opportunity for me to do so while feeling productive knowing it is for a school assignment, I will try my best in this reflection!

I have decided to structure this analysis in the form of metaphors that represent different aspects of my relationship with technology. To start things off, I will reflect on technology in regards to my everyday life.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Technology in Everyday Life: Clothes

When going about my daily routine – getting ready, going to classes, hanging out with friends, etc. – technology feels like clothes. Of course, this has nothing to do with the physical texture or material of the two. Rather, technology is something as essential as clothes to me, and when I don’t have it, I feel exposed and vulnerable. However, when technology is at my convenience, I start to forget how important it is to me after a while. This is similar to how our skin grows accustomed to the sensation of clothing against it, touch receptors desensitized to the material.

I have a strong dependency on technology in everyday life. If I were stripped of my phone, computer, and other devices, I’d feel insecure and out of place, as if my connection to the world was severed. Well, the digital world is a better term for it, but sometimes the digital world can feel like our entire world. I am aware that this mindset may not be the healthiest and I should work on relieving my dependency. However, I am sure that I am not alone in this experience, which may be even scarier to think about.

Technology and Social Media: A Child

This may sound odd, but my relationship with social media reminds me of a relationship between mother and child, me being the mother and social media being the child. This may seem counterintuitive to my earlier section where I claimed I had a dependency on technology rather than the other way around. However, when it comes to social media, it feels like a child that requires much of my attention throughout the day. Like many mothers who thrive off of caring for their child, sometimes I feel like social media gives a sense of completeness to my day. If I don’t interact with social media for a while, it starts to feel unnatural. But on the other hand, caring for a child can be extremely draining. The same can be said for my situation; Dedicating my focus to social media for too long can make me feel fatigued and almost…icky? I’m not sure if that’s the right word for this, but it’s a gross, slimy feeling as if my brain has melted into mush. I don’t think that feeling is associated with babies, though.

But social media – and children – are not all that bad. They can give you a sense of connection to others. For social media, this connection can be with close friends or strangers from all over the world. And as for the latter, you can connect foremost with your child, but also with others who are experiencing the life of parenthood and with the person you may be co-parenting with. Okay, I’ll stop trying to drag out this metaphor because I feel like it’s not making sense anymore.

Technology and Entertainment: Candy

Entertainment falls under a similar category of technology as social media. However, they feel quite different to me. Instead of a dependent child, entertainment is like candy.

Maybe I should specify what kind of entertainment I like first. I read a lot of webtoons, manga, novels and occasionally enjoy a TV show or game if I find one that is particularly interesting. I am quite picky with what I choose to entertain myself with, similar to how I am a picky eater with everything, including candy. However, when I do find something that fits my taste, I become very happy and almost giddy, knowing that I’ll be satisfied until I’m done indulging in my recent findings. Then I continue to search for more.

Just like my experiences with social media, though, too much entertainment can be overwhelming. On days when I can do nothing for its entirety (exclusively in the Summer), I become tempted to just lay down in my bed all day, reading webtoons or novels until the sun goes down. There have been a few times when I did exactly that only to end up with a headache and tired eyes from staring at a screen all day. Even my brain became muddled after reading so many stories and losing touch with reality for such a prolonged time. This reminds me of eating too much candy; your tongue becomes cloyingly sweet, your stomach feels full yet empty, and you know that you haven’t gotten any nutrients out of it.

In Conclusion

There are so many other aspects of my relationship with technology I could cover, but I will hold back so that I do not bore you with an unnecessarily long post. But overall, it was fun to think of metaphors that could represent my experiences with technology. It put things into a different perspective and forced me to work harder as I tried to explain my reasoning behind them. I recommend trying to do this as well if you have the time and interest!

Featured image credit: Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

2 Replies to “A Relationship in Metaphors”

  1. Wow, Lannie! I loved the way you used metaphors to communicate your relationship with technology! That is so creative and made me think about what I would say!
    I think your insights are really deep and reflective and I admire the way you communicated your thoughts. Great post!

  2. Lannie,
    I found your metaphor approach to be an insightful entry point to reflecting on tech in your life. They all worked quite well to capture a different aspect of your tech life.

    I especially like the parent / child analogy. Social really does require attention. And constant tending to. (Especially if a person feel like they need to continually post some content to stay in the game). I can’t imagine why someone would want to be an “influencer.” Although I imagine some of them out-source content creation to underlings. Still that constant need to be in the spotlight must be exhausting.

    I really enjoyed your post.

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