A few days ago I forgot my smartphone at home. When I realised it, I panicked. How I was going to survive through the day without my phone? How I was going to check Twitter and Facebook or play Candy Crush? What if I received a life-changing call and I could not answer it? What if my mother called me and thought that something bad had happened to me because ti went unanswered? What if all my contacts sent me messages through WhatsApp? At first, I was continually looking at the place where I usually have it in my desk, but as the day was passing, I completely forgot about it and I could survive the day without it.
This situation made me think how people are completely dependent on cell phones in particular and on technology in general. It is true that technology makes our lives easier, but it is also true that it makes us isolated from the rest of the world. Why are we going to meet our friends if we can talk to them using an application? Why are we going to buy clothes on a shop when we can do it in an online shop? Why are we going to the cinema hall when we can watch films through Internet movie platforms?
And the list is much, much longer. I’m sure you have seen lots of people in front of a beautiful landscape taking thousands of photographs instead of just enjoying it. Parents recording videos of their kids doing something for the first time, instead of just witnessing that awesome moment. A group of friends having dinner around a table using their phone, instead of talking to each other, people walking along the street typing as if life depends on it, not paying attention to what happens around them (with the risk it implies).
What concerns me more is how this technology abuse is going to affect our children. It is not unusual to see toddlers playing games or watching videos with their parent’s phones or tablets, using them better than an adult. And when teenagers have to prepare an essay for high school, they just go to Wikipedia and copy/paste it, without even reading what it says. Or what is even worst, teenagers pay more attention to social networks than to real people and they publish all their life there, making it available to anyone, who can use it against them.
With all this, I am not saying that technology is something bad (I have a job thanks to it J). What I am trying to convey is that sometimes we forget that technology is something that has to help us and not something we depend upon or something we get addicted to. That is what we need to keep in mind and that is what we have to teach our children.
So, now I encourage you to think how dependent you are on technology and to try to spend some time without using your phone, your tablet or your computer, just enjoying a real conversation, reading a hardcover book or going for a walk. I know it is difficult, but I can guarantee you it is really worth it.