Opinion: Too much technology

The year is 2014, and we are living in a truly incredible era. We have cured several illnesses that were lethal just 50 years ago, the quality of our technology is steadily increasing, and knowledge has never been so easily accessible.

However, despite the fact that most of the people in my generation have a world’s worth of knowledge right at their fingertips, many spend more time mindlessly playing games or scrolling through social media sites rather than learning about the world around them and socializing with others.

I cannot count the number of times when I have seen people out at dinner, at a party, or even with their families, where everyone is sitting, not talking, and are glued to their phones. I cannot count the number of times that teachers have complained about students spending so much time on the internet, and then telling them to check the website for homework. Or little kids, many of them below the age of six, playing with their parents’ smartphones rather than coloring or playing. Something about this picture is very sad.

Albert Einstein, one of the leading minds of the 20th century, once said, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”
With more and more people becoming addicted to social media and technology every day, it appears Einstein’s fear is coming true: knowledge is more available, yet less valuable and, therefore, not as sought after.

However, as the generation that has grown up on the cusp of this massive advance in technology, we are the last ones who can actively prevent creating a “generation of idiots.”

There are several things that we can do to take over our lives before technology eventually does. Limit the time you spend on your smartphone or computer to a reasonable amount, and try not to spend more than an hour on social media every day.

Next time you want to know something, don’t run immediately to Google or Wikipedia. Instead, try looking it up in a book. Yes, it’s less convenient, but going to the trouble of trying to find knowledge will not only make you appreciate it, but it will also improve your memory.

And teachers, please stop putting every single thing online. I understand that it saves paper, but it makes it a lot easier for kids to get glued to their computer doing time wasting activities, and all it takes is a bad internet connection for a student to not be able to do homework.

I do not pretend to be innocent in this issue. I often times have caught myself checking Snapchat incessantly or mindlessly scrolling through iFunny rather than spending time with my friends or family.
But every day I try to spend less time on my computer and more time reading or playing games or just talking to the ones I love. And let me tell you, it is a lot more fun and rewarding than typing a message to someone through a screen or looking at a picture.

Technology is great. It helps us find knowledge easily, it opens up communication to people we can’t talk to every day, and it can be very entertaining if there is nothing else to do. However, there is a point where it becomes an addiction that is extremely difficult to shake. It is our job, as the leaders of this age of technology, that the internet and technology remains a useful tool and not a way to bypass human interaction.