The walk from the Stone Age to the Computer Age has been a long one and the journey itself has changed human beings in many ways, starting with their looks, habitats, fashion, lifestyles, etc. Technology has become such a great part of our lives that we are connected to it everyday such that it has become a part and parcel of our lives.While it keeps us going and make things better and easier for us, it is undeniable the toll it takes on the individual and thereby the society as a whole. Let us delve into some of the negative impacts that technology has upon the society.
Since Google for many is also a virtual doctor, we are open to access the cause of our symptoms, various diseases and its dire effects. While this awareness is good in a way, we also tend to connect a simple headache to a possible tumour! Also, a major part of our lives have been ruled by the number of likes and comments our posts receive. Thus the above are evidence that technology allows the individual to suffer from disturbances both emotional and mental and also adds to it a bunch of phobias and delusions.
11. Impact on children
It has become a common sight for us to meet a toddler or a kindergarten going child go about with a smart phone or iPad in his or her hand. Parents allow this as a quick relief from their tantrums and also as a means to keep them quiet and engaged as well. But what we fail to realise here is that if technology has negative impacts on adults, this would only be threefold for children who are first generation users of it. Since our little ones are the first generation to have full and unlimited access to technology as they grow up, the long term effects it will have upon them is yet to be discerned.
This is one of the most common negative impacts that technology brings to us. We tend to lean on technology for almost everything to such a point that life would never really be the same without it. Studies have proven that when cell phones are taken away from the subjects they claim to have heard their phones ringing or its vibration. This is similar to the withdrawal symptoms a person recovering from drug addiction experiences.
9. Reduced attention span
While receiving daily news in just 140 words or having videos just 10 minutes long have added to our comfort and convenience, the negative impact it holds is the reduction of one’s attention span from the usual average of 12 minutes to a much reduced 5 minutes! Those who use technological gadgets on a daily basis of atleast 5 hours have trouble remembering names, birthdays and as is often a case- a cooking vessel on the stove.
8. The lack of social bonds among individuals
Interviews, starting from one for an internship to big job firms are also conducted online and it is true that this does add to our convenience. Also, there have been rising number of relationships that grew over social media and many relationships that exist via the same. These social networking sites have created a virtual world where the users have grown complacent and this slices down their need to meet someone face-to-face or have social bonds with others in the actual world. It’s like a virtual world within the actual where each individual has been reduced to his own singular world. Thus everything gets shrunk to a screen and most of us fail to acquire the social skills for good communication and interaction.
7. Tendonitis in the thumb
Popularly known as the Blackberry or iPhone Thumb, this is a form of repetitive strain injury that comes with the regular use of thumbs to press buttons on mobile phones. The same also arises from too much of video games. This is something pretty common now since most of our works or assignments are done by typing and there is also a rising use of mobiles devices and tablets to discuss and plan things online through a virtual community instead of meeting up people in person. This causes pain in our thumbs and other activities such as writing, cutting etc take up extra pain and effort.
6. The warped reality of a virtual world
For those who crave for an escape from reality, Internet serves the purpose. Also, in the virtual world of Internet, you meet more than just a couple of people everyday, smartass comments are applauded and you thrive in your own secure world. But this reduces one’s confidence level to meet and socialise with the public and reduces one to his or her own cocoon of the virtual world weaved by its own fantasies.
5. A hike in the level of deceit
Technology also harbours many cyber criminals who seem to rise in number with each passing day. Fake social profiles on social networking sites and other fraud means are on a hike whereby many are drawn into traps, both monetary and otherwise. Such trolls can also affect the masses at large and bring us loss of time, hardwork and finance.
Technology evolves and upgrades itself day by day and with the coming of the latest and new, the turnover rate for upgrades is also increasing. This continuous streaming in and out with the old and new is layering up the toxicity in our air and land. When this E-waste is not disposed off properly (which is often the case), it causes lethal chemicals to seep into the ground. In addition, the plants where electronics are produced also emit harmful toxins into the atmosphere. The little or almost no regulation observed with the disposal of personal E-waste just adds to the mess. If air pollution, water pollution and the like we’re not enough, we just gave our planet another reason to die.
3. Compromise on sleep habits
We work with electronic gadgets almost around the clock and stay glued to it for hours at a stretch. It so happens that we work our way around electronic gadgets so much that unconsciously we alter our sleeping patterns accordingly as well. The online activities draw in our attention and we stay glued to the activities and the constant stream of information that keeps flooding in. Moreover, the sleep chemical melatonin is affected from the glow emitted from the electronic screens. Since sleep is when most of our cells repair themselves and our body rejuvenates and our brain processes things, lack of proper sleeps takes a toll on all these.
2. The virtual world and its gift of isolation
We all must know that one friend or acquaintance who, even when among friends or family would still be glued to their mobile or tablet screens and laugh at private jokes. This is a kind of social isolation where their world revolves around the virtual world of iPods, latest mobile devices, computers etc. This kind of social isolation involves one’s lack of contact with the other people in their daily lives such as their classmates, co-workers, friends, family etc. Thus we turn into our own solitudes even among a crowd, a loner among multitude.
If the lack of human contact, overeating and lack of exercise are reason enough for depression, technology serves it to you on a silver platter. The recent surge in the use of anti depressants is proof of that. The addiction and excessive use of technology throws the individual into a state of depression.
While technology is a part and parcel of our lives, it is high time we realise that this coin has two sides to it. I do not state that we walk away from technology and grow averse to it. All it takes is a little control so that we do not end up getting worked up and compromised.