Technology, a Gift, and a Curse Joe Kephart Penn State University Technology have been evolving faster and faster as time goes on. As technology evolves, we as humans evolve to follow in its footsteps. While it may make our lives easier, it is slowly taking away basic interaction skills and replacing them with screens and social media. While that may not be the case for everyone, for some and occasionally myself, I will resort to using my phone rather being in an awkward situation. On the other hand, technology can make work more efficient and conversations with your best friend who is half-way across the country seem like they are right there with you. Leading me to consider it a gift and a curse.
Growing up, I did not have cousins close in age and was an only child for eight years, this led to me being alone a lot. Of course I played with friends and stuff like that, but at home I was by myself majority of the time. Personally, I believe that kids need time to themselves in order to have an imagination, "When children grow up with time alone with their thoughts, they feel a certain ground under their feet (Turkle, 2015). I believe growing up with that background is the reason that I am okay with being left alone with my own thoughts and no use of technology, to an extent. At home I am able to do that but I will eventually get distracted and go on my phone or get on my computer. One exception is if I am in public by myself and experience a "boring-bit," like Turkle mentioned in the book, I will naturally pull out my phone to distract myself.
Being alone with your own thoughts is a way to relax and decompress since you are not focused on completing a task or something of that nature. Studies have shown that through media fasting, "our systems will recalibrate, become more attuned, and we will consume more measured doses of media, or at least gain greater self-awareness of the impact, often construed as negative, of a life infused by real-time media"(Woodstock 2014). I often will leave my phone on the other side of the room and do not touch it, close to the saying, "out of sight, out of mind." The time I spend away from my phone, I tend to enjoy whatever I am doing more.
I know people, including myself, who, when they realize they do not have their phone with them, panic sets in and the thought of potential scenarios of what would happen in an emergency without a phone. Just the other day, my phone shut down out of nowhere and would not turn on even though it was fully charged. I panicked and thought that I lost all my photos, contacts, etc. Since I was at school when this happened, I thought about what would happen on my way home if something were to happen. Eventually I was able to get my phone to turn back on and was able to relax. A study based on mobile technology and internet usage concluded that 91% of Americans own a cell phone and nearly 89% of Americans use the internet on an almost daily basis (Smith, 2014). A significant num...