Are you Smarter than your Smartphone?

According to The Wall Street Journal, out of 1,100 teens and adults, the majority of smartphone users under 35 years old check their devices many times throughout a day, usually without receiving an alert. This was just a snapshot of people, but in reality this is a worldwide issue. Whether technology is good or bad has been a big debate because of all the advancements happening through the past couple of years. Technology has caused our generation to be antisocial, lazy, and dangerous. Technology has made our world more antisocial than ever. It is easier to keep in touch by using social media and many people are taking advantage of this. People have been proven to check their social networks many times a day. Wall Street Journal proves this by showing it in a Pew Research survey stating that, “71% use Facebook at least occasionally, and 45% of Facebook users check the site several times per day.” Some may think that this is a good thing, but it’s actually not, because we are not taking time to improve connections in real life, rather we are keeping shallow relationships online.  According to the Wall Street Journal, psychologists explain the benefits we derive from social interactions as bonding and bridging.  “virtual-world friends provide mostly bridging social capital, while real-world friends provide bonding social capital. For example, a hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji.”  Easy access to technology is taking away the emotional support we receive from face-to-face contact. Technology is making us lazier people on a daily basis. A study from the University of Waterloo in Canada states that there is a relationship between relying on devices and not thinking hard about solving the problem on your own. There are many problems in life that the internet can’t answer. Gordon Pennycook, co-author of the study and doctoral candidate in psychology at Waterloo states, “The problem with relying on the Internet too much is that you can’t know you have the correct answer unless you think about it in an analytical or logical way.” He talks about how people that have high intelligence usually think about problems in a logical manner, which leads to second guessing. Pennycook and his co-author Nathaniel Barr conducted a test on 660 people. They found that those who were less intelligent ended up looking up the answer on their phone, rather than strategically figuring it out themselves. This shows that if we always rely on the internet to give us information instead of learning it ourselves or thinking analytically, it might be harmful. Our brains constantly want new information and rewards these new discoveries with increases in dopamine levels, which affect the pleasure center in our brains.  Now, we get this new information with Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc., so we can continue to fulfill this desire. In conclusion, we shouldn’t rely on the internet for answers, but rather figure out the problems ourselves. Our generation has became more dangerous with the help of technology. The main reason this technology is dangerous is because of the distraction that it creates. The noises that our phones make distract us and get our attention. We constantly need to check our devices and want to know what is happening in our virtual world, according to Larry Rosen a professor of psychology at California State University. Technology can be a big threat when you are mobile and need to concentrate on things like the road. For example, when driving, it makes sense that handheld devices are banned in the UK, and in construction zones in several states across the U.S.  Research shows that when a driver is using a device, their response time slows by around 37.5%. This response time is surprisingly a lot slower than the response time a person has after taking a drug or after moderate alcohol use. Walking is another activity to avoid when using a device. Countries have different responses to people who use their devices while walking. In London, experimenters attached cushioning pads to lampposts and billboards to try to reduce injuries. The human brain can only pay attention to so many things at once and concentrate on only one of them. There have been serious incidents when using phones while being mobile and in one survey, a quarter of the kids said that they have been distracted when crossing the road. There are reports of people falling off of cliffs and getting hit by trains while taking selfies. As you can see, using mobile devices while being moblie isn’t the best choice. The use of technology has caused our generation to become antisocial, lazy, and dangerous. We are using our devices all day, every day, and this causes us to build our relationships in a virtual way, rather than face-to-face. Our generation has become lazy because of technology because even though people strive for new information, asking the internet all of your questions instead of figuring the answer out on your own, isn’t the best option. Finally, technology has made our generation dangerous because of how many people are distracted while driving or walking. Ultimately, be smarter than your smartphone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *