Though countless others have written on the subject of people who overuse tech devices before it seems that another point of view is long overdue. Articles addressing the necessity for the constant cell phone use of texting and e-mail retrievals make valid points while others point out how this causes us to neglect family and friends directly in front of us. Both sides have valid arguments. Does this mean both sides are right? Perhaps to a small degree and delving deeper into the debate will create a better understanding of just how important proper and appropriate applications of usage are if society and community are to be preserved.
Smartphones and tablets are part of mainstream life now. There is no way around it and there shouldn’t be at this point. Work can be more manageable and keeping in touch with friends and family is frequent and instantaneous! Does this eliminate the need for face to face interactions? Sometimes it does. The basic human need for companionship and in person interactions are suffering more and more though. It’s far too easy to send a quick text, feel validated for fulfilling the obligation of communications and move on while updating a status or checking that inbox full of mostly advertisements. Perhaps the latter is not as important as we thought when we are alone and begin to miss those old fashioned voice calls. People may soon forget what that was like and feel a void in their hearts that can’t be filled for reasons long forgotten by a tech savvy generation or two.
Look around the next time you are in a crowded public place. The supermarket on a busy day is a great way to be alone. Every isle is packed with shoppers glued to tiny screens, not always with shopping lists. They’ve forgotten how to make eye contact. They’ve started to loose that human element of empathy not because it doesn’t exist but rather because the opportunity to observe others has been robbed by our own ideal that a screen can hold all the information and news we need. Gone yet not lost is the fine art of people watching. They are out there hoping to connect on some level with another member of their community in a real and personal way. It could be the old lady who can’t reach something on a shelf and as she struggles the screen trapped people never see the chance to help.
As the world of needed apps, social media and e-mail communications grow another aspect shrivels. In order to thrive again as humans who are good and kind at heart it’s time to put away tech devices often. In doing so the possibility of a great society filled with responsible, caring and active citizens will flourish. Technology is great, WE are greater and far more vital.