Misuse, overconsumption of technology negatively affects culture

In 2007, society experienced a technological breakthrough when Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the iPhone. Fast forward to 2019 and almost everyone owns a smartphone. 

Smartphones, laptops, tablets and many other electronic devices are now a staple part of life, and electronic devices have become an addiction for many. It’s not that technology is necessarily a bad thing, it’s just that people misuse it. Overall, the jump society has experienced over the last twelve years has changed how individuals think and process information. 

The ability to access communication, entertainment, and information at the touch of a finger has changed the way people operate on a daily basis. And the instant connection has a way of keeping people intrigued. The addiction to technology isn’t just a term thrown around by older generations, it’s actually a real thing. The use of technology causes dopamine levels to rise, thus creating an addiction. 

However technology isn’t all bad; in many cases, for those who don’t overuse their cell phones or other devices, technology can provide a much improved level of communication. 

Smartphones give users a mobile device capable of making calls all around the world, from anywhere in the world, instantly. Sending a text is a simple and quick way to contact someone when they’re not available for a phone call. Reminders are great for forgetful people like me (although somehow I always manage to swipe my reminders and not pay any attention), and notes are a great way to jot something down when you don’t have a pen or paper on hand.

But technology has become increasingly annoying. Being a part of a one-sided conversations when one person is on their phone and it’s like you’re speaking to a wall. There’s probably not many people who can say they haven’t unintentionally ignored someone who was talking to them because they were looking at their phones. I’ll admit I have been guilty of this myself.

Although people do have easier and faster access to shopping and paying, that also makes it easier to spend too much money. People frequently pay friends or collaborators with services like PayPal or Venmo, making money as easy as the click of a button. Phone apps like Android Pay or Apple Pay allow consumers to pay at checkout with their phones at places like Target or Walmart as well. Online shopping has also put fuel in the fire with simple ideas such as one day delivery and Amazon Prime Day, as well as garage sale type companies like eBay and Wish. 

Technology is helpful in a lot of ways, but many people misuse it, which can lead to significant problems. Everyone, but especially teenagers, need to focus more on their real lives instead of their digital lives and invest in face-to-face communication. Life seems to move faster and faster, but people need to slow down and find a balance and know when to step away from the screen.