As someone who was born near the end of the 20th century, I have personally witnessed an exponential growth in technology throughout my short lifetime. I have seen the shift from cassette tapes to CDs to mp3 files, the shift from VCR tapes to DVDs to Blu-Ray DVDs, and the shift from desktop computers to laptops to smartphones with full internet browsing capabilities. I can recall all the hype people made about “The New Millennium” and the futuristic potential it held. Everyone was both excited and worried about the new role technology would play in our lives, and they awaited the coming of a new age.
I must admit that I, and my whole immediate family, have always been a bit technology resistant. My parents never understood spending money on anything that was not necessary. For this reason, I always had a phone, a television, and a music player but I never had the latest models. While some people would say that our family is resistant to change, I would argue that our priorities differ from most people in our society. We simply believe that there are more important things in life than having an iPhone 5 or a Blu-Ray player.
My family has also always made me think critically about mankind’s reliance on technology by raising important questions. Have we become so reliant on technology that we do not know how to function without it? Are we missing out on life experiences because we are so distracted by technology? While many people have become completely absorbed in new technology, my family has taught me to remain grounded and not to rely too heavily on these devices. After all, you never know when a storm will shut off the power or when you will be stuck somewhere without cell phone reception.
Convenience & Practicality
I could go on and on about how I do not let technology run my life, but in reality I do own a laptop, an iPod, a Nook, and an iPhone 4–each of which enhances my life in some way. It took me until August 2013 to finally buy a smart phone, and I honestly can’t imagine not having it during my 3 month move out of state. Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram helped me keep in touch with my long distance boyfriend, the Chase App allowed me to photo deposit my check without driving in the chaotic downtown area, and the GPS saved me from hours of getting lost more times than I care to count. Do I absolutely need my iPhone? No. Does it make my life easier in multiple ways? Yes, it does.
Maintaining a Balance
I believe the key to living in the age of technology is to maintain a balance, and do not let it control your entire life. While technology has made our lives easier in many ways, it does have some questionable qualities that we must also consider. For this reason, we should use technology to our advantage but we must always be weary of its disadvantages.