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A Recommendation: Moderation

In our current world, technological advances have excelled beyond the imagination of many before us. In the pockets of millions, cell phones create a new world of communication, some of which operate like mini-computers. Televisions with hundreds of channels are constantly turned on in homes. If you take a minute to think about what life would be like without laundry machines, dishwashers, cars, computers, and much more, it may seem like we’re completely revolved around them, but is this good or bad? I believe that people have become overly dependent on technology, especially devices for entertainment.

Technology, such as digital devices, deprives the brain of necessary downtime. Taking time away from devices to relax our minds should allow one to learn and remember better. Loren Frank, an assistant professor at the University of California supports this claim, saying downtime allows the brain to go over experiences it’s had and form them into permanent memories (Richtel). The brain needs rest. Constantly checking a phone, computer, etc. interferes with this essential rest. Using games on cell phones, for example, to “refresh” the brain is probably tiring it instead. Taking time away from technology for parts of the day is beneficial. Devices should be used in moderation.

Too much use of technology could be changing people’s personalities. Increasing impatience and forgetfulness are examples of changing personality traits due to technology. A professor, Dr. Kimberly Young, who has led research on addiction from technology, said the following: “Technology, like food, is an essential part of daily life, and those suffering disordered online behavior cannot give it up entirely and instead have to learn moderation and controlled use,” (Parker-Pope). Addictive behaviors are being associated with use of technology. It is changing qualities of people, and could affect how they act when separated from their devices. Negative personal qualities are emerging from technology when it’s used- for some, almost obsessively.

The overuse of technology among parents could negatively affect children. Feelings of hurt, jealously, and competition may occur among children whose parents use technology. As Ms. Im witnessed, who works in early childhood development, a toddler literally bit his mother’s leg when she continually ignored him for her cell phone (Scelfo). Some children are acting out to get their parents’ attention while they’re on devices. A parent’s focus should be on their child, especially in public places and if they’re young. Excessive technological use can distract parents from their most important job- parenting.

Some would argue that technology can improve one’s intellectuality, because there’s so much information out there, like on the internet. Although there are certainly things that can be learned and used to one’s benefit from technology, if it isn’t used in a reasonable amount, technology can have its bad side effects. Like with many other things, moderation is a key point. For example, food is beneficial to the body, since it keeps it running, but eating to excess can cause weight gain, diabetes, or heart problems. Technology can make people’s lives more efficient and convenient, but its use can also be abused.

I do believe that some have become overly dependent on technology. It can prevent our brains from working better, change our behavior, and even affect relationships with others we’re around. There are times I catch myself constantly worrying about who is texting me, or what’s being talked about on Facebook and Twitter. It’s important to recognize that these things are not necessities; yes, we can manage to live without them. Limiting time using technology helps me keep my head in the real world and not the world I see through a screen. It is great watching a favorite show, play Angry Birds, or use an I-pod to listen to music, but keep in mind that there’s also more than material things in life that are just as great.



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