I will go ahead and answer this right away: Yes, I do believe we are too distracted. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who isn’t completely engrossed in all of the technology that surrounds us. There are tons and tons of sites out there that are demanding our constant and undivided attention every moment of every day. Whether it be posting on Facebook, tweeting on Twitter, or “snapping” on Snapchat, we are always connected.
Not only do we have a plethora of social media sites at our disposal, but technology has been infusing itself into every nook and cranny of our lives. Many of our appliances now come equipped with Wi-Fi compatibility. Now you can control your coffee maker with a tablet or even sync up your grocery list with your fridge. Additionally, everything you could possibly want now has a mobile app that you can access on your phone. This can range from checking Facebook, to accessing your bank account, and even controlling your thermostat, all with the touch of a button.
Is all of this technology a bad thing? Has it gone too far? One article suggests that there is a give and take when it comes to being plugged in. Data consumption is similar to food consumption. If we eat everything in sight with no regard to what is good or bad for us, then it can lead to health issues. This is similar to how we digest data – too much of it can lead to higher stress levels, lack of focus, and even spending less time with loved ones. There seems to be some kind of threshold of how much information our minds can process, much like how much we can eat before we get sick. There is no set limit for how much is too much, this is something that needs to be regulated individually.
However, this is not a recent problem. There has always been a give and take with human interaction and knowledge when it comes to technology. We have progressed from a society that used to tell stories orally, to one that hand wrote books of information and then mass produced them with the printing press, to a society that we can instantly connect with anyone over the internet. While we may be missing out on real human interaction, this technology does come with it’s benefits.
Always being connected and having the kind of technology that we have access to has led to tons of great discoveries in literally every field. We can learn on a global scale and we can process things much quicker thanks to automation. It has also lowered costs associated with many businesses, which in turn allows them to sell their product (ideally) at a lower price. There are obvious downsides to these things, but think about where we would be without technology. We have access to a nearly infinite amount of data and have made massive innovations in medicine.
When all is said and done, I believe that technology is a great and wonderful tool that has arguably helped more people than it has hurt. There are definitely pro’s and con’s to it, as with everything, but it really comes down to how we use what is given to us. Too much of a good thing, in this case technology, can be very hazardous to our health and even our productivity. We should always make sure that we make time to get away from the constant barrage of stimuli and allow ourselves to unplug. We have allowed ourselves to become distracted with media and technology, but at what cost? How much is it costing us to always be on Facebook or trying to keep up with our favorite shows? Maybe it is time for all of us to re-evaluate what is truly important in our lives.
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