The Love of Technology

Technology… the knack of so arranging the world so that we don’t have to experience it. ~Max Frisch

Our devotion to technology is exceeding our commitment to our live relationships, or so says the many reports about the far-reaching impact that our devices have on everything from intimate partnerships to the raising of children. Forget the imminent danger of smart phones and moving vehicles, there are laws to protect us from ourselves for that. But on a more intimate level, our collective distraction levels fueled by the belief that something more important than what we are doing, or someone more interesting than the person we are with is waiting for us and is just a chime away on our smart phone. Our innate human need to connect is being multiplied by the exponential power of technology and in the process creating a new version of ourselves. Some researchers compare it to addictive behaviors, but most young people I know just think this is how it was always meant to be.

Recent research has started to uncover the impact of this recent rewiring of our brain and the inherent multi-tasking that our mobile and entertainment devices create. Frequent users of technology suffer serious deficits in their ability to focus and problem solve. This is even true among young children who are routinely accustomed to dealing with three or more technologies at a time. At the work place, many employees who work with computers now use up to 37 various programs and technologies in an hour.

Even more concerning is how technology is impacting the development of our infants and children. One significant measure of a childs development is through language acquisition. Parents who are continuously distracted by their smart phones and digital devices speak dramatically less to their babies and toddlers, effectively transforming the advantages that more educated parents have without thinking, long bestowed on their children.

I know that I am guilty of the digital neglect that many if not most children now accept as the landscape of their childhoods. My children are older and understand with resignation the imperative I have about my work life which fuels my own smart phone obsession. But I remember well when they were younger, and all you could do was talk on a cell phone, how they would go out of their way to create increasingly louder levels of distraction to reclaim my attention. R U here Mom? is not just the text message I receive from them when they are waiting to be picked up. The insidious lack of attention that happens from sitting side by side, each of us immersed in a separate universe in our respective devices is hardly being together at all.

60 comments

Ram Reddy
Ram Reddy3 years ago

Good article Wndy,thanks

David Ross
David Ross5 years ago

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Zee Kallah
.5 years ago

Me, I like the simple life.

Course, I've got this computer, don't I?

Bring a television into my apartment and I'll exorcise the dang thing.

I go over to McDonald's near by to watch the news.

lol

Gordana Roljic
Gordana Roljic5 years ago

nice article

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

Good article.

Patrick Whyte
Patrick Whyte6 years ago

thanks

Patrick Whyte
Patrick Whyte6 years ago

interesting

Diane A.
Diane A6 years ago

I think many of us are substituting the illusion of being connected for actually being connected as it involves much less risk. You do not have to make yourself emotionally vulnerable to have 480 facebook friends. But you do need to open up and share your true self, even the ugly bits, if you want to have 4 good friends that you can call any time of Day or Night in a real emergency.

jacqueline s.
jacqui s6 years ago

Thanks for the article, it never fails to shock me how people will sit busily texting or making calls on their mobile phones whilst in the cinema, theatre, restaurant with others etc, I think it's the height of rudeness to pay such little attention to those you are with, nevermind paying attention to the here & now & enjoying the experience. I'm also bemused as to why people will pay good money to go to an event if they cannot watch / listen to all of it because they've got their heads down texting throughout the performance etc, or leave the room to accept non important / non life threatening/changing phone calls.... rant over.... I'm showing my age I think :-)

androniki koutsoureli
NIKY NINA6 years ago

technology is ok it's our ego and disordered mentality that causes the problems...