Technology is definitely shaping us, making our lives easier. However, what’s the price? When Grace Pastoor’s parents saw her phone bill, they were stunned. They found an 80 page bill consisting of 34,000 texts. “Amanda Lenhart, Pew Research Center Senior Research Specialist and co-author of the study, said the increase in teen text messaging can be attributed to unlimited text plans and peer-to-peer habits.”
Future of Technology: Doomed to Addiction?
Texting isn’t the only thing on the rise. Teens and adults alike are spending more and more time emailing, on Facebook, watching tv, etc. In essence, more time is being spent looking at a screen. With mobile technology, we carry a screen wherever we go with smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. Texting has become a preferred means of communication… which means that you and your friends would rather look at phones and type than face each other and talk. While some argue that texting is easier and faster, it’s also less personable. If this trend continues, how will the future of technology affect relationships and communications?
According to doctors, there’s clear evidence linking excessive screen time with a range of problems — from physical conditions like obesity to mental ones like ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that media overexposure is particularly damaging to children’s health. “There is a definite relationship between the amount of time kids spend watching screens per day and cognitive and educational problems later on,” says psychologist Dr Aric Sigman. Additionally, too much screen time increases the risk of aggressive behavior and poor school performance later on. Doctors worry about what impact the future of technology will have on our health.
With this in mind, it is more important than ever to learn to unplug. The fact of the matter is that unplugging, for those who spend hours in front of a screen, can be harder than it sounds. Start gradually… one less tv show on Hulu, turning off the phone for a few hours, checking email less, etc. More time away from a screen can lead to relaxation and clarity. I find that taking a break to go on a run or spend time with friends or family can be a great way to calm my mind after hours of screen time.
Technology is here to stay. But balancing your time well can lead to a healthier lifestyle that will prepare you for the future of technology.