Gone are the days where people interact in physical form, where children learn from basic wooden toys or where people read actual books for entertainment. The creation of technological gadgets has changed how the world functions, but more importantly, how society and families function as a whole.
Technology has a lot of pluses – it can help geographically isolated children receive an education, it can allow companies to video conference and make businesses increase their productivity. But there are also a lot of cons that come with this technology gadget overload.
More and more people are experiencing isolation and depression through the lack of human contact. Less people are actually interacting physically and are relying on gaming consoles, mobile phones, tablets and iPad’s to keep in contact with the world. Rather than meeting in person and building long lasting relationships, people are using online dating sites for short term goals. In a fast paced world, these devices are often used as a way to tune out and as a means to ‘speak’ to family and friends through sites like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. But how much ‘contact’ is this really when it lacks any physical interaction? The repercussions of this behaviour are enormous.
People are becoming so reliant on communicating through their devices that they’ve forgotten how to interact in person. Isolation through technology – in the extreme cases – causes Agoraphobia. They become shy with talking to anyone, nervous in public and, in some cases, can even develop anxiety when forced into the public arena. At this rate, applying for a job or interacting with real people at the workplace is going to be difficult for future generations.
Tasting the forbidden Apple
In the past, school libraries would have been full at lunchtimes with kids reading or researching. Or they were running around playing and getting their daily exercise. Instead, now all you see are students on their phones. Bullying is at an all-time high due to so many students having access to devices to record and make fun of their peers, which in turn has led to a record high in children as young as 9 committing suicide. This epidemic is so out of control that as of next year, the Australian Government is introducing strict new rules where mobile phones are being banned during school hours in an attempt to reduce these statistics. In the schools where this is already being trialled, teachers have noticed a huge change – there has been a return of social skills as students are actually communicating and interacting again as well as an increase in reading levels and basic comprehension with so many students actually returning to books again.
Family dynamics are another area that have been hugely affected with more people reporting that they feel alone and social skills declining. Too many people are using technology as a means of tuning out – kids disappear into their room after school and parents fall into the world of social media instead of sitting around the family dinner table. The only way this can improve is with a return to the old ways and old fashioned values where entertainment was family time of some description.
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