Although technology has certainly enhanced the quality of life for most people, it’s also created confusion and even exasperation among a significant portion of the population.
Parents frequently feel as if early immersion in technology is sapping the creativity of their children, and elderly people often experience feelings of helplessness and frustration when faced with too many technological advances at once. Even the language of technology can be intimidating for some.
However, when treated as useful tool, rather than a lifestyle, technology has the power to significantly enhance the lives of people the world over.
The Internet Can Make Everyday Life Easier
Most people now have more information at their fingertips thanks to the Internet than at any other time in history, and this has the opportunity to result in a highly educated population. Today’s Internet users have also gained substantial exposure to other cultures and lifestyles that most citizens of the past did not have the chance to experience.
Buying plane tickets, making hotel reservation, banking, purchasing books, finding recipes, reading daily news sources and looking for money-saving deals on local goods and services are just a few of the ways that the average person uses the Internet to make everyday life more convenient. Most people use online resources on a daily basis in the running of their households. Even paying bills is easier if done online. The Internet has a vast potential to free up time that used to be spent on mundane activities.
However, that time is often used on unproductive and even harmful activities using the very tool that freed up the time in the first place. Things like identity theft and privacy issues become common when information stored online is hacked or shared, and social media platforms can make personal information publically viewable by potential employers. Making wise choices concerning personal use of technology is essential for the happiness of those who use technological tools on a regular basis.
Are Social Media Sites and Smartphones Taking the Place of Healthy Social Interaction?
Many people correspond with family members and friends through social media, email or texting. In fact, an estimated 93% of people now use cellphones, and millions access popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook daily.
Although this provides a convenient way to keep in touch with others, it can also minimize the amount of time that is spent in face-to-face interaction, and this can have a dehumanizing effect. Social media in particular is frequently abused by bullies and others who are looking to cause harm.
The Challenges of Achieving a Healthy Balance
As people spend more time online for a number of reasons, Internet addiction is becoming a significant problem for many people, according to the Texas State University counseling center.
Breaking free of this can be extremely challenging, particularly since it is difficult to navigate through many everyday activities without using Internet technology in some form. There are services available designed to help those who have become addicted to Internet use overcome their problem.
Take online shopping for example – while it’s phenomenal we can go to a gaming website like Card Kingdom and make a near-instant purchase, there has to be a balance, and finding that balance seems to be the key to utilizing technology the right way.
It’s important for parents to teach their children to use technology responsibly, but many parents have not yet learned to do this themselves. Today’s teenagers will be the first generation to have completely grown up with the Internet as a significant presence in their lives, and the long-term effects of this remains to be seen.