I asked some people in my everyday life what they use technology for and here are some of the answers I got. Enjoy!
Years ago, I was estatic to start to use social media. Specifically, I began using both Snapchat and Instagram while in middle school, and it was a really fun way for me to keep up with classmates outside of school. I found mostly positives, and very little negatives at the time. How great is it that you can instantly get quick snapshots and updates about your friends lives? It provides great talking points, and makes it so easy to stay connected with those, especially with people who are far away. But is social media really worth it? What makes it different from simply texting each other?
The first thing I started to notice was how easy it was to scroll, and scroll, and scroll. Instagram, for example, lets you follow as many accounts as you please, so you only view the posts of a specific amount of people. However, if you run out of posts, it will start recommending you an endless amount of posts from public accounts. I still find it difficult for myself to stop endlessly scrolling, especially once I’m invested in multiple apps. Even apps like Snapchat, which were initially focused solely on messaging, quickly ventured on to advertising public profiles to view, original shows, etc.
Even apps like YouTube have started to venture more and more into the same territory that other social media platforms. Similar to Snapchat, it started out with humble beginnings. It was a platform for users to quickly upload and share their own videos. Of course, once you’re done watching a video, the fun doesn’t end there. Then you get recommended an entire grid of videos based off what you just watched, you get personalized ads tailored to what you’ve been searching for, and as of recently, they even add Youtube Shorts. This feature makes it so you don’t even have to watch full length videos or click on a new video, they’re just short clips that play endlessly. It took me a long time to figure it out, but slowly I started to realize that it is the developer’s job to keep you engaged, to keep you scrolling, and to keep your attention solely on their app. The more and more features that developers add to their apps only emphasize this idea.
As a child, I loved video games. How is this different from social media? While I do think that addiction to both social media and video games can be a real problem, I think games have had a much more positive impact on my life than social media has. Social media, in the end, isn’t too impressionable on our memories. I started to realize this when one day after scrolling through Instagram for over half an hour, I realized that I barely remembered any specific thing I saw, and it didn’t really cause my any significant joy. It was merely just a vice to pass the time. However, as a child playing video games, whether by myself or with family/friends, it was a concentrated effort. I was focused on a challenge, or exploring a fantastical world, or something that provoked some part of my imagination. Also, games brought me closer together with many friends I met at school. My parents made sure I only played video games a very limited amount of time in the day, so it didn’t impede on my schoolwork, extracurriculars, or my time spent with friends.
I feel lucky that I grew up with video game consoles, rather than growing up with a tablet. I have seen some parents who allow their children hours to browse apps like YouTube Kids, which functions very closely to social media. It’s one thing to have apps like these waste the time of adults, but it’s a whole different thing for someone to get addicted to scrolling through mostly meaningless information when they’re just a kid. In the end, I think social media is fine in moderation, and when whoever is using it understands how the app is using their information and personal preferences to entice them to continue browsing their platform. I continue to use it, but over the years I’ve become much more aware of how it’s impacting me, and if there are better uses for my time.
My phone is my friend
In my pocket everday
It’s fun and helpful
Some say it’s bad
It helps me communicate
And keep in touch with friends
After a long day,
My phone can help me unwind,
Keeping me happy!
My relationship with technology has its positives and negatives. My phone is something that I can’t go a second without, and this isn’t because I need to go on my socials, but it is my main source of communication. When I was younger my parents definitely monitored my screen time and for most of my childhood, I was doing many extra curricular’s so I did not have the time to look at a screen the whole day. As I got older and went to an out of state college, my phone has been my main source of communication. I Facetime my parents everyday and this is how I feel connected to them. Being away from them for a long period of time has been quite a big adjustment for me, but being able to talk to them and see their faces helps me to get through the hard days. Technology also is a great way for me to unwind after a long day. Ever since attending college, I have taken on many opportunities and responsibilities and my days usually start at 8am and end at 10pm so being able to come home and have my phone to unwind and relax has helped to keep me sane.
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.
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.
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: Animated Heaven, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
My experience with technology has been a love/hate relationship for a long time.
Technology can be a burden at times through the way we utilize it. Growing up, Instagram became popular beginning of middle school. An already awkward, hard time just became even harder.
Comparing myself vs those on my phone screen became a constant habit. It can be damaging to see photos of people who appear happier than you with lives better than you and still remain content with your own life.
It became too much of a habit to mindlessly go on my phone and go on Instagram. I would scroll for hours even though it didn’t bring me any joy. Once I could recognize that I was wasting too much of my time staring a screen, looking into the filtered lives of others, I wanted to fix it.
Trying to break a habit, I set a timer on my phone for the app with a passcode my friend set that I do not know. Since then, I have been much more conscious of my time spent on my screen which has improved my life greatly. Technology can be great, but there is a lot of potential to go down a dark hole that consumes more of our time than it ever should. With that being said, there is love and appreciation I have for technology for helping me many times.
I have very little directional awareness and the thought of not being able to use GoogleMaps to figure out in two seconds where I am going sounds horrifying.
I appreciate technology to keep me closer to loved ones. Having my dad in Arizona, my mom in California, and my partner in the military all around the world, it helps keep me close to all.
As a future educator, I am relieved I have technology to assist me to be the best teacher I can be. If a student has a question I am not sure about, I have the power of Google to help me answer. Lesson ideas, videos to show real-life examples, calculators, and many other helpful tools.
For my future, I plan to balance how I use technology to utilize it to my benefit but not let it be time and emotionally-draining.
As a young adult trying to find my place in a seemingly forever changing world, technology was a way to connect with the people around me, sharing a love for always knowing what other people are doing, and caring way too much about lives that have no effect on mine. I was phone obsessed, loving the way I could text my friends and stay in constant contact with the people I loved. But with technology, came social media. I was always checking the number of followers I had, the number of likes, and planning specific outfits and opportunities to create content that I knew my “friends” aka followers would like. Every photo was planned: a cute outfit, a happy smile, and a fun activity, designed specifically to create envy from other people looking in on these snapshots of moments in my life. At the lowest point in my life, my social media had me looking like I was at my happiest. If they didn’t see me every day, the people looking at my accounts would have absolutely no idea that I was finding it hard to function in my every day life.
Despite knowing how I was using social media, I failed to understand that others were using it in the same way, looking at peoples posts and feeling like I was missing the secret ingredient to happiness that everyone else had… according to their social media posts. Social media has created an entire world where we have no way of knowing what’s real and what’s fabricated to give viewers a certain idea or impression. It’s made everyones best moments seem like their every day moments, giving viewers a sense of envy and a feeling as if they’re missing out on something in their own lives.
Every like on social media brought me a feeling of elation, every new follower sparked a release of dopamine, making me feel like I was on top of the world- a winner in the world wide popularity contest. It was exhilarating and fun to create new photos and captions and videos, but it was exhausting to see everyone else best moments and constantly feel like I was trying to measure up.
As an educator, and a future parent, the idea of my students and kids being raised on social media is both exciting… and terrifying to me. As someone who wasn’t allowed any sort of social media until I was 13, I still struggled immensely to keep my mind in a positive place and to teach myself that social media was not an accurate depiction of real life. Children seem to be joining the world of social media at such a young age, running headfirst into the world of admiration and basing your worth off of numbers on a screen.
I hope that all educators take the opportunity to teach children about the world of technology they’ve been born into and to caution them on the illegitimacy of everything they encounter. While this world of social media is fun and exciting, it’s not always what it seems to be, and often times, younger children are blind to that fact. I plan to teach my students that not everything they see online is real and that they can live a fulfilling, incredibly happy life without thinking about what other people think of them. It’s so important to live authentically and without thinking about other peoples opinions. All children deserve the chance to live their lives freely and on their own accord, worrying about what makes them happy and making choices that make their own hearts happy. I hope that all educators take the chance to stress that while social media is a fun and incredibly engaging way to stay connected and share moments from our lives with others, it should not be taken to heart and should certainly not dictate the way that people live their lives.
My personal relationship with technology
As the title suggests, I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I think there are so many ways that technology has enhanced our lives, especially when I hear stories from my parents or grandparents. For example, if COVID had happened even ten years earlier, would we still be able to get a college education? As challenging and draining as classes can be on Zoom, at least I was still able to work on my degree and interact with my professors and classmates through quarantine.
However, there are lots of cons of tech too. Sometimes technology can feel too invasive (I HATE targeted ads), cyberbullying is a real problem, and it is so addictive that it can take away from building in-person connections because so many people I know have become “screen-agers.”
While I certainly had more technology than my parents did growing up, I still like to think of myself as someone who grew up without being glued to a screen. I am not part of the generation of iPad kids and I remember the days of playing outside after school. We would ride scooters with kids in our neighborhood, set up lemonade stands, play hide and seek or sardines, take trips to the library, and make “food” out of mud (we had a whole outdoor kitchen set up in the backyard and I know my mom hated that we would steal dirt from all of her plants to make “cupcakes” and “pasta” that she had to sample). I worry that the students I teach will have no desire for play and exploration because they will be too attached to their screens. This thought makes me so sad because I remember my childhood so fondly and all of my best memories do NOT involve technology.
On the other hand, technology has made my life my life easier and more enjoyable in so many ways. Any time I have a mundane question, the answer is just one google search away. And with Netflix, Spotify, Hulu and all other entertainment platforms, I never have to worry about being bored. During the beginning of quarantine, my friends and I would spend every night on a Zoom call watching movies on Netflix Party, playing Jackbox Games, or keeping up on the Bachelor. Even though I would have preferred seeing them in-person, these calls were so beneficial for my mental health and I am thankful for that side of technology.
Now back to another negative of technology. I think that with the advent of social media, there are so many unrealistic standards being presented. People obviously present the best version of themselves on platforms like Instagram, but at times it can feel really fake. This can be dangerous for teenagers and young adults who feel that they have to live up to impossible standards of beauty. With this also comes things like anonymous cyberbullying. I had Instagram for a few years, but finally deleted it because I was spending too much time keeping up with people I wasn’t super close to. While I do miss having it at times because I feel out of the loop, I also much prefer seeing the real side of my friends when I hang out with them in-person.
As you can see through these examples, there are so many pros and cons of technology. The bottom line, though, is that technology is abundant in our lives and it is up to us to figure out the most responsible and useful ways to make it a part of our lives. I cannot wait to find ways to incorporate technology in my classroom while also making sure my students know how many things they can do without using a screen.
A 2022 time capsule of the ways technology has influenced my life through the years.
Thinking back to the last 10, 20, and 40 years, technology has evolved exponentially. It is hard to imagine what future tech will bring. Will we finally get flying cars? Will we even have in-person schools or will kid get instruction from robots?
Here is a small compilation of my daily technology so in 10, 20, and 40 years in the future, students can say, “Ms. Bennett, your phones really had buttons on it at one time?” and “Ms. Bennett, did you really have to use cords and wires to charge and connect things? That is crazy!”
Starting in the 2000s era, iTunes, Wikipedia, Microsoft Windows, and Xbox were just beginning. Blue Ray, DVR, and Facebook hit the streets for users to access information in new and improved ways.
I remember using VHS tapes to watch Disney movies all the time. We had a big TV downstairs, about as wide as it was across. Sometimes it would stop working and I was a professional at hitting it in the right spot on the side to get it started again. The great part about VHS takes was that if you took the tape out of the player, it would save your spot, and you could resume another time. However, that also means that viewers had to rewind the film once the movie was over to get to the beginning. On special occasions like a birthday party, we could walk to the local blockbuster to rent a new movie.
My parents were still using film cameras where you had a limited number of shots per film roll before sending it off to be developed. We still have boxes of photos that my mom developed and printed to use for photo albums sitting around downstairs.
In 2005 Youtube was created and Twitter a year later. Apple released the first iPhone in 2007. The draw that kids have to phones is not limited to the current generation of kids. I remember wanting to play on my mom’s work Blackberry phone so badly even though it did not have any games. The new technology was much more fun than her personal flip phone that she also carried.
Around this time my parents got their first digital camera which allowed them to take unlimited photos. This allowed them to take more photos at one time, see them right away, and print only the desired photos.
At my house, we had a CD player that held upwards of 500 CDs. It connected to two speakers in the house and we would have it on shuffle all the time. Our house was filled with the sounds of everything from classic rock to Jack Johnson.
While the iPod was officially released in 2001, I got my shuffle around the 2010 era and then upgraded to a used iPod Nano a few years later. The shuffle you could actually shake to “shuffle” your songs, and the Nano had solitaire downloaded, so I spent hours playing with the little screen. My babysitter helped me transfer music from mixtapes onto iTunes where I then downloaded it onto the iPod- all on the home desktop computer of course. Neither device had a speaker so users had headphones (with cords to connect).
My personal technology was limited to my iPod, the home computer, and the TV in the living room. I was on the cusp of the iPad generation but my parents deliberately chose to not allow excess technology to promote independent play and hobbies.
In 2015 I got my first iPhone and was active on Instagram. I remember posting my first selfie was so excited to receive 10 likes from my cousins, a few friends from school, and my mom. I also used Snapchat, Youtube, Tumbler, Pinterest, and Facebook (to keep up with my grandma).
The draw of food pictures, cat videos, and inspirational stories quickly hooked me on the endless scroll of social media.
Now, at arguably the height of social media, there is hardly a day that I don’t go on Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, or other platforms. My phone and AirPods come with me on almost every outing and I stare at a screen for hours a day. I use my digital camera with a 128 GB memory card to take as many photos as I want and not worry about storage. My laptop and Bluetooth mouse allow me to edit photos, attend classes, and work on papers where ever and whenever I want.
As for technology in the home, we finally got rid of our landline home phone before the 2020 election to avoid the election spam phone calls. My mom had been holding on to the landline so there was always a way to reach one of us at home but ultimately the advancement of technology won and the phone became unused and just another bill. \
Modern technology often comes at the cost of privacy. Similar to the Truman Show, our movement, actions, and beliefs are pretty much all accessible. Through social media people often share personal beliefs At my college house we have a Ring Doorbell camera that is connected to all of the roommates’ phones. This allows us to track who is coming and going and what packages we receive. This security means that any roommate can see who is coming and going for better or for worse. I also share my phone location with my roommates and family. Again, while it allows security because people know where you are, there is no privacy.
However, with all that said, I do not think the technological era is all bad. Social media and technology often bring people together, present people with new information and opposing views, and make life more accessible. Looking back on the evolution of technology over the last 20 years, I look forward to what the future will bring and what it means for education.
For this interview, I chose to interview my dad! He was born in 1961 and always talks about how fast the world is changing, so I thought it would be fun to interview him about his life with technology!
1.What was your first memory with technology?
“My first memory with technology was with a video game called Pong hooked up to my TV. We used a controller to play. I must have been 11 or 12, so the early 70’s. It was the only game we had but we loved it. It was all the rage in my neighborhood.”
2. What piece of technology were you most excited to get?
“Phones were always just tools to me. The iPhone and the iPad were probably the most exciting because of the invention of the apps and the video calls. It reminded me of the spy movies and books that I watched/ read growing up. I just think it was a really clear example of technology evolving before my eyes.”
3. What piece of technology improved your life the most?
“The laptop was so nice because you could start to do work from anywhere. I am not sure if the iPhone improved my life as it certainly made it more complicated, but it made life easier in lots of ways. I have access to more than everything that I need. The iPhone made my life so much more efficient.”
4. Do you have any predictions for what technology will look like in the future?
“I think eventually we will move away from hand-held anything. I think Elon Musk was talking about having a computer chip inserted into your head. This freaks me out and I will not participate in it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a big deal. I think that block chain technology holds the most promise – this is the stuff that Bitcoin is based on. It timestamps data and it moves it quicker and more secure way. It holds amazing promise and I think that this technology paired with AI will become a huge part of the future. Crazy sci-fi novels are quickly becoming reality, in my opinion.”
5. Is there anything that you would change about technology?
“I think that technology is just a tool, and people forget that. Think about the hammer metaphor. A good person with a hammer would build a house, a bad person with a hammer would break into a house. I think that technology is the same way. Think about countries breaking into each other’s countries. We rely so much on systems of technology that lives are at stake. It is amazing in how it makes life much easier, but if there was a disaster, it would be life-threatening. I think it is important to design systems that are bullet proof from a safety standpoint, especially the systems that so many people rely on (power, water, data security, etc.).”
6. Is there one piece of technology that you can’t live without now?
“Probably my iPhone. It is a supercomputer, I could literally do everything off of it. I can do my banking, create work PowerPoint presentations, call people, the opportunities are infinite. There are over 1.85 million apps available to download – I think I would be fine with just my iPhone. I don’t feel attached to it at all and I could move back to a flip phone at the end of the day, but it makes my life so much more efficient and portable.”
Imagine: It’s 9:00 AM on a Sunday morning. You sit on your couch, drinking coffee, pondering the positive and negative effects that technology has on your life. While sitting, waiting, and trying to compile a mental list of ways technology has made the world a better and worse place, your phone digs. A Snapchat comes through. You must open it right away because that seems like a much better way to spend your time than doing homework. After replying to the Snapchat, you get distracted by a TikTok notification which in turn wraps you into the never-ending “For You Page.”
Tik-Tok, Tik-Tok. An hour passes.
You still can not manage to finish your assignments because you have become completely engulfed in the different cat memes, recipe videos, and makeup tutorials that have now taken over the amount of time that you could have been spending on your homework.
It seems almost ironic for me to sit here and try to discuss the negativities that technology has had on the world and my life, when, in full transparency, I have allowed it to control many aspects of my life, including my last hour of time that I should have been working on assignments. I feel like we can all agree that technology is not going anywhere, so we may as well embrace different parts of it and allow it to benefit us, while also understanding that there are negatives that we need to be cautious of.
To begin on a lighter note, there are many ways in which technology has personally benefitted me. I have grown up in a military family, which has caused me to move from state to state, leaving my friends from different cities behind every few years. While sending letters in the mail is always an option, technology such as texting and social media has allowed me to keep in touch with so many different people that I have met throughout my moving experiences. The distance does not seem so negative when I can call my friends who live 2,000 miles away to catch up or see what they are doing through their Instagram posts. Similarly, my family and partner both live on the opposite sides of the United States. By having devices that allow us to communicate via FaceTime, the months in between when I see the most important people in my life does not seem like as much of a struggle.
Not only has technology benefitted my life on a personal level, but also a professional level. By having ample experience with different technology, I have been hired for multiple job positions. I worked as a photographer and video producer which allowed me to develop passions for photo/video editing which is now one of my favorite hobbies. On top of this, I have been assigned to create the TikToks for marketing for my job as a bridal stylist. Through these TikToks, our business has grown and many people are discovering the shop because of this platform (one of my videos actually received 1.2 million views!) Not only has technology helped my part time jobs, but I know it will help my teaching career as well. In my student teaching classroom, we use technology on a daily basis. I have found engaging and fun lessons from other teachers on Instagram and TikTok that I have tried in my own classroom. Similarly, we use technology for the students to be able to follow along by teaching with the iPad/projector. Students have been able to use exciting subject specific applications that allow them to learn different material in a way that benefits and interests them. We also use technology to allow the students to get up and dance through brain-breaks and mindfulness exercises. Technology in a professional setting has allowed created opportunities that did not previously exist.
With this being said, it is important to recognize the negative effects that technology can have on our lives because it is important to be able to create a balance between the real world and the virtual world. So many aspects of the world we live in is controlled by the technology at our finger-tips. As I was discussing earlier, we have become so dependent on technology and the distractions that it causes. Instead of using my time this morning to focus, I was enthralled by random, almost-meaningless videos. Instead of using my time to brainstorm by going on a walk or going outside, I spent my time negatively. Technology has become a crutch to fill the void. In social situations, when we run out of topics to talk about, most of us could admit that we take out our phone to fill the awkward silences. There have been countless times when my family is hanging out in the same room and we are all silent and on our phones instead of enjoying each others company. The first thing I do in the morning is check my phone and the last thing I do at night is scroll on my social medias one last time before setting my phone on my night stand. Why have we become so obsessed with the people on our screens instead of the life right in front of us? This obsession has caused us to develop a toxic mentality of the “perfect image” and deteriorated our personal skills. What are we trying to prove? Social media has actually enabled us to become less social people in the real world.
It is important to understand both the benefits and downfalls that technology has had on our everyday life. Technology seems as though it is around to stay; therefore, by understanding how we can better ourselves and our lives, we must understand how we can use technology in a meaningful way without allowing it to completely take over our ability to be a social and functioning society.
It is not an exaggeration to say that technology runs the world. It is no surprise that basic necessities such as groceries can now be delivered straight to your door with the press of a button. Personally, I have mixed feelings about it all. There are moments where I want to experience a world without Instagram and online shopping, yet the next, I am so glad I don’t have to wait a week for a pigeon to deliver my message. In this post, I want to talk about and reflect on the ways technology both positively and negatively impacts my life.
I am positive I am not alone in saying that social media and other mobile apps consume a large area of my life. I will get into bed at 11:00 pm, and not actually put my phone down until an hour later.
It is incredible how fast the time passes when I start scrolling on TikTok and watching YouTube videos (My most recent obsession being the reality house series…highly recommend). I must admit, I am pretty ashamed when my screen time report comes back every week and visually shows me how much time I wasted on my phone.
Aside from keeping me up all night, my doctor reminds me every single year how unhealthy it is and every single year I tell myself I’ll start changing my habits…Still working on that resolution.
To put it bluntly, technology is addicting. However, I believe that there are more positive than negative aspects to it.
Firstly, music is a huge part of my life and I can confidently say that I listen to music every single day and I have a playlist for every mood (even when I start getting homesick). It is nice to have the world’s music in one place with all the different streaming apps.
Second of all, without the internet and the collaboration it allows between people all over the world, I would 100% run out of recipes to try when I get bored of the same old. Cooking and baking is something I love to do, but I can only ask my mom to pass down so many meals – the internet is so vast and is full of countless dinner and dessert ideas.
Lastly, technology makes it so much easier to connect with those I love. My family are the most important people in my life and going to college away from home would have been so much harder if I could not contact them at any given time. Like I said, waiting for a pigeon carrier is not ideal.
Technology has its faults, but the good definitely outweighs the bad and I am glad to be coming up in the golden age of tech.
Today I will be interviewing my mom Reagan, born in 1967, and her upbringing in today’s technological world. Not only will I be talking of her experiences, but I will be drawing similarities and differences between her life from childhood into college compared to my own.
- How would you describe your childhood without technology?
- R: “Well, my childhood was quite different to your own. I mean, growing up, there wasn’t much of technology other than landlines. I didn’t know any different, technology was remote and in the background most of the time. For me, it was awesome. Getting to live in the moment rather than feel attached to a product was amazing, I felt free and independent. Especially when going off to do things with friends, my parents had to trust me to follow the rule of coming home. I was able to find some independence from them in those scenarios.”
- What do you think of the accessibility to different media in society today?
- I find is so crazy how we basically have the world at the push of a button. All of the different streaming services that we can access and all of the different forms of media that are also available are insane. It is nice to be able to jump from YouTube to Netflix. Even though I have only known a world of technology growing up, the amount of access we have to other states, other countries, other people is mindboggling.
- “There is a lot of it, like you said, super accessible, and yet with how much there is it feels like there is still nothing to watch. The accessibility we have to technology in today’s society oftentimes feels of lower quality to cable television. Plenty of streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu, have so many shows, which impacts the amount of time given to that singular show. What I have watched shows the quality. Not only is quality something media impacts, but with the accessibility it often seems like people are sticking their heads in the sand and procrastinating, I mean I am that way sometimes.”
- What has been your reaction to the fast pace evolution of technology throughout the past couple of decades?
- It is neverending. It is so wild that Apple is able to release a new iPhone every year. That devices are able to become more compact and mobile. I remember playing video games with my brother on our Xbox, not even Xbox 360, and now we can walk around with a Nintendo Switch and play against other while mobile. Sometimes, it is scary how quickly technology evolves. The unknown of technology and how far it can go does scare me when I think about it too much.
- “Initially when mobile phones were introduced, I was surprised. It was exciting to have such a convenient piece of technology, to make phone calls while on the go. Now, having the world in my pocket scares me. Having access to media like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can bring a lot of hurt to people’s mental health. Being able to see the news at the snap of our fingers is unsettling. Having gone most of my life without technology to how far it has gotten in today’s world has messed with me.”
- Do you think today’s technological world is helping or hurting our society?
- I think technology, like many other things, has a contribution to both sides of the argument. We are able to connect with one another internationally like no one has been able to do before. We hear our news quicker than ever before. Technology can help us feel connected to others outside of our circle. With my phone, I am able to have this interview with my mother, who is over 100 miles away from me as we speak.
- Yet there are drawbacks to having such accessible information. Misinformation and hate can be spread far easier in today’s world. Social media apps like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube can set up an ideal life that leaves others wanting more rather than enjoying what they have. The destruction of one’s self-image is often the result of high societal standards via technology and social media. It is hard to truly be authentic online, it is quite vulnerable.
- “In my mind, I miss how my childhood was. Like I said, the freedom and independence was amazing throughout elementary, middle, and high school. Your dad and I tried to keep you away from technology for the longest time. Yet, we succumbed to it because so was every other parent. The world I see, seems to only be hurt by technology. It has been hard to watch others become dependent on the internet, dependent on a small metal device.”
Having grown up in two very different generations, my mom and I have quite different opinions on a variety of things related to technology. We both do agree on how the convenience is nice. Having the ability to travel with our phones to different parts of the world and still be in contact with one another is revolutionary. Seeing each other face to face while thousands of miles apart is, once again, mindboggling. We also both know technology will never go away and that it is intriguing to see where we go next as a society.
Machine Evolution by H Alberto Gongora from NounProject.com