April 18, 2016
Is Technology Turning Me Into a Robot?
I open my eyes around 9 am each morning, and the first thing I do is reach for my cell phone that’s hiding behind my pillow or under the bed. My father always advised me not to keep my phone near the head when I slept but I do it anyway because it’s an easier reach. I grab my phone and I check every social media outlet I own for at least half an hour before I realize that I have to use the restroom. At this point I’ve already overlooked my growling stomach. Since I skipped breakfast to check Facebook my metabolism has slowed down by 14% and by the time I arrive at work I’m irritated because my body didn’t get the necessary nutrients it needed to create enough energy to sustain my mental ability to function at a normal rate. This causes my body not to have all the necessary supliments to maintain a healthy energy level. I sit at the desk and stare at the painting of an ivory sailboat my boss’s grandmother painted for him when he lived in Hawaii; daydreaming about the incomplete assignments I’ve been meaning to get to. The vibration of my phone distracts me and I pick it up to check my texts.
I’ll stay on the phone for the remainder of my work period because time passes by quickly when I’m on my phone distracted from the peaceful boredom I endure at work.
After I’m through with work I usually go on a walk in the city. I try not to stare at my phone as I’m walking but I’m still connected to the headphones that spit out music from the phone into my ears.
As I look around everyone is staring at his or her phone screens. I look at these people and I pity them because all they do is stare at their tiny phone screens. They’re not connected to reality; they’re connected to a piece of technology. As I look at my phone to check the time I realize that I too am one of these people. I depend on my phone more than I depend on anything else. I start to feel embarrassed because I am one of those people I just blatantly judged. As I reach my destination I pull out my phone to take a picture of something I find beautiful, without even appreciating it fully with my own eyes. It’s come to the point where it’s no longer an obsession for a teenage girl; rather it’s become a part of who I am. This leads me to believe that I am slowly turning into a robot.
Yesterday I took a walk in a children’s park and I noticed four homeless women sitting on their makeshift bed that stretched along the restroom building at the park. Their clothes were ripped and their hair was messy but they were all staring at their phones. One woman looked up at me as I was swinging but that was it, she looked up once and continued to use her phone. I thought to myself “well if they got off their phones and got a job maybe they wouldn’t be homeless”. But as soon as I thought that I remembered that I have a final project due in four weeks that I haven’t even started on because I’ve been so distracted by my phone. I could be using my valuable time to help these homeless women who weren’t blessed with the same talents and abilities as I have been, but I chose to sit on a park swing still connected to my ear buds. Modern society accepts this path of blindness. We view mindless clicks on the keyboard as a higher form of communication than actual verbal dialect.
When my friends and I get together for the most part we’re creating great memories. However we often use Snapchat to record those memories, for split seconds, not even realizing that we’re losing sight of human contact and sharing this friendship with a wired device. The truth is nobody is really that interested in our lives. It’s just a platform that feeds our narcissistic personalities, while in reality we feel alone in the world because our friends ignore us for a touch screen. I subconsciously find myself on my phone for at least half of the day, every day, seven days a week. I realized that my actions have led me to believe that I am turning into some sort of a human robot hybrid. It’s not the easiest thing to admit and I’m ashamed of my actions. I can’t help but feel like we’re entering the “tech plague” and evolving into species that don’t even have to think for ourselves anymore because we have software called Google that will answer all of our questions for us in .9 seconds.
However all these negative changes to society don’t mean that we should stop hoping for a brighter future. We can be the generation who stops the “Wall-E” foretold future. We have to remember what it was like when we didn’t depend on technology to calculate even the simplest most basic math problems for us. Remember what it used to be like when parents didn’t use ipads as babysitters and strip children from the complete nurture and attention they need. We should remember what it felt like to be completely free. Free of the anxiety we get when we realize we forgot to bring a charger on a 7 hour road trip. Free of the concerned look we get on our faces when the battery is on 2% and we have to leave the conversation to charge it.
It’s great to have a social media outlet to embrace creativity and uniqueness of each individual that applies their precious time into this platform; to connect us to family and friends we’ve lost touch with. But do they really have to know what you ate for dinner every time you eat dinner? We tend to use this power to over share, which only brings conflict to our sensitive egos. Sure it’s handy to have all the information at our fingertips, it builds businesses and makes jobs so much easier, as well as brings more money into our country. What I’m concerned about is the fact that we used to fear and mock authors who wrote books about the government inserting tiny chips into our brains and controlling all five of our senses. Yet at the pace we’re going, the chips don’t even have to be inserted, we carry them voluntarily in our tiny pockets.
My hope isn’t to discourage anyone from using the technological advances that can clearly do great things for us, rather to slow down and look at the world through our own eyes as opposed to an iphone camera lens. We don’t have to turn into robots if we don’t want to, the choice is ours and it’s right at our fingertips