What are the unforeseen consequences of all the tech in our lives?
This article is letter (T) of our “Value My Content" series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Value My Content" showcases the value individuals can receive from their content . Find links to more articles in the series below.
The effects of technology can be seen across the board, infiltrating every little corner of our lives. Apps monitor sleep movements and REM cycles to tell us how rested we are. Social media feeds are filled with fake news that cause us to be extra discerning. Our friend circles grows smaller and smaller as we rely more on devices to fulfill our needs.
Unless you’ve been under a WiFi-deprived rock, you know technology brings downsides along with its benefits.
Tech’s Effects - The Pro’s
1. Connection. The internet connects more people to each other. Complete strangers with no overlapping mutual friends are being matched on dating apps. People are also connected to deep depths of information from the latest news, job opportunities, virtual communities, entertainment, and education… all at their fingertips.
2. Less Waste. Goodbye tons and tons of paper work and paper waste. Your digital counterparts have taken your place. The environment says thank you.
3. Less Work. Automation technologies combined with Narrow Artificial Intelligences replace the monotonous or dangerous jobs humans would rather not do.
Tech’s Effects – The Con’s
1. Shallow Relationships. It’s easier to peg small texts, little emojis, and “likes” to keep in contact with friends. But is this really quality interaction with our nearest and dearest? No digital interaction has yet to become on par with face to face interaction. It’s looking like a lonely virtual world out there.
2. Digital Exploitation. Online privacy is an oxymoron. Tons of trackers invisibly cling to your device and harvest your online activity. Your datamined content is then sold to advertisers so they can create more convincing, personalized ads for you. Hackers run amok severely unsecured IoT devices. We believe digital empowerment begins once the everyday person’s content belongs to them and they receive the value. Not online corporations.
3. Time Wasting. The internet is an infinitely fun playground with any topic, game, or content you could want to interact with. Too much of a good thing can be bad. It’s an all too common scenario where the hours magically fly by once you are sucked into YouTube’s “Recommended For You” autoplay videos.
How To Go On a Digital Diet
Benefits or not, a lot of us can agree that we spend way too much time staring at our screens. You know, instead of gazing into our lover’s eyes (or something like that). Here are a few tips to lay off the social media/ netflix/ meme/ shopping binges.
Tip #1: You know yourself best. When do you tend to mindlessly grab at your phone and start scrolling? After work? In the morning? Keep your phone out of sight to keep it out of mind.
Tip #2: When given the choice to interact with human beings around you, don’t give into social anxiety and pull out your phone to avoid talking to people. Keep it real by choosing real over virtual every time.
Tip #3: Go on a Digital Diet even if you don’t consider yourself addicted… yet. Prevention is always more effective than a cure. Keep an arm’s distance from the apps, games, and websites you know you have a hard time resisting.
Like with all things in life, there’s a good and bad side to it. Even more so, not all things in life can be neatly slotted into “good” or “bad.” Technology is a tool. How well it serves us depends on how smartly we use it. Now that you know, will you allow technology to control you? What steps will you take to utilize technology to better your life?
This article is part of our “Value My Content” series where we write an article for each letter of the phrase. “Value My Content showcases the value individuals can receive from their content.
Click below to read more articles in the “Value My Content” series: