Have People Become Overly Dependent on Technology?
People have become extremely dependent on technology. Imagine that you are approaching a phone booth and unable to make a call because the area where you deposit the coins wouldn’t accept your quarters. Or you are unable to withdraw money from an ATM machine because the system is down. Then picture having to travel to another gas station because the electronic gas pumps are down at your favorite gas station, the one with the cheapest gas. Or how about a cashier being able to figure out what change is owed without the cash register displaying the information?
What did people do before these types of equipment and systems were assisted by technology? They probable used a home telephone to make a call, a bank teller, a bicycle to get around and a pencil and paper or a calculator to figure out the amount of change to give back. Many people coped pretty well. In my opinion people have become so used to using technology they are not aware that they are dependent. It is normal because people are so use to finding items to assist them with completing a task easier and quicker than the previous generation did in the past.
They do not realize they have become dependent until they are forced to do without. One example of how people have become dependent on technology is that there is no longer a necessity to go into a bookstore and purchase a hardcover or paperback book. The aspect of standing in line waiting for the hottest release to come out is also not a requirement. “People are turning to technologies such as the Kindle, the Nook, iPods, iPads and even cell phones to turn the pages of their favorite books” (Clarke, & Besnoy, 2010, p.47). It is very easy now to just turn on your favorite piece of technology and download the latest book listed on the bestseller list without leaving the comfort of your home or office. No worries about getting in the car and driving to a brick and mortar store only to discover that the book is not in stock, hasn’t arrived yet or is sold out. The longest a person may have to wait is 10 minutes depending on the speed it takes to complete the purchase and download the book app and the book.
Compared to the 20 or 30 minutes that it would take to drive to the store, find a parking space, stand in line, purchase the book and return home, a 10 minute wait is nothing. Also a person can perform some other task while they are waiting the 10 minutes that it takes the technology to download the book. People do not have to worry about the book getting lost; having to be careful not to get food on the pages or rip them because it is only a digital page not a physical book. The education system has even felt the effects of technology on the way kids learn.
“Mobile learning and hand-held devices are emerging as the next phases in technology development in schools” (Younie, & Leask, 2013, p. 10). There are many schools that now issue laptops or tablets to children to complete their work. This enables many children to research answers and found out information without leaving the confines of the school classroom or their home. Many children do not look up information in an encyclopedia or a book on the particular subject; they just put search words in google. com and let the internet search engine find the answers for them.
They can look up answers to math problems without learning the concept of how to resolve the problem themselves. The children can help each other out with answers by private messaging or taking screen shots of the answer and sending it to other children in the class. They can utilize chat rooms or discussion boards to have dialogues on topics that were addressed in class. They can even share information, from online textbooks, that they think were pertinent parts of the reading with each other. The students no longer have to take written notes, they can copy and paste information into a Word document from an online textbook.
They also do not have to submit a written test for most tests can be taken online and submitted straight to the teacher’s email account or online work area. Then there are the cellphones that so many people are dependent on. They can listen to music; make phone calls, text, play games, watch movies and many other things. So many people are dependent on these things that “looking at a phone is the first thing most people do each day after waking up and the last thing they do before going to sleep”(Adams, 2013).
In a survey that I completed, over 50% of the people surveyed stated the form of technology that most people can’t live without is a cellphone. Several of the people questioned also stated that they do so much and have so much information in their cellphone, like important contacts, addresses, pictures, and phone numbers, that if they misplaced it they would not be able to function. Since these small devices can be utilized for both business and pleasure and used to communicate throughout the world, people find it hard to contemplate going through their day to day tasks and not being able to depend on checking their cellphone.
The drawback on being dependent on a cellphone is that many people won’t get out of the car and ask for directions instead of using the GPS on the cellphone or asking google where it is. They won’t purchase a map and try to navigate with that. They won’t write a letter instead of sending a three word text message with acronyms in it that change all the time or mean different things to different generations. The obvious situations like washing clothes and keeping your food cold are things that many people take for granted without realizing that this too is also being dependent on technology.
Washing clothes by hand and drying them outside on the line is something that few people take the time to accomplish. It does seem like it would be a waste of time when you have a washing machine and dryer that can complete this task in half the time that it would take to do so by hand. And who knows how you would keep food cold other than buying ice and storing things in an ice chest but of course the store that person purchases ice from would have had to use some type of technology to create the ice cubes.
You would then also have to purchase ice cubes every day and you would not be able to keep everything in that chest so it would defeat the purpose. So of course I remark that we are definitely dependent on technology for these forms of equipment that we use in our daily lives The day to day interactions at work have also been changed by technology. Many businesses use digital telephones and forms of monitoring and recording all incoming and outgoing calls to help keep track of transactions and the employee’s interactions with clients.
Other businesses are dependent on using email or video conferencing to communicate with clients and other companies that provide services for them. A transaction can be completed solely online through a website via an internet connection without any human interaction other than the delivery person who delivers the product. As for the delivery system, people are also dependent on technology for that. A package gets scanned from the drop off point and at every stop it makes. In some instances a human does not even perform the scan an optical scanner attached to the conveyor belt scans it as it passesthrough the processing warehouse. The sender can get online and track all the stops that a package makes until it reaches its destination. At this time, per the post office in Panama City, Florida, there is no way that a package can change its course through human intervention, it can only go to its destination or back to its originator. The package can be intercepted at its destination point and redirected if it is sent via a method that uses a tracking barcode and the requestor pays a small fee.
“It appears that best practices and recognized strategies are inadequate for the current market, so management must constantly seek new ways to maintain long-term competitiveness” (Svatosova, 2012, p. 1). With the development of powerful new tools such as social media, mobile computing, and cloud computing, technology has transformed the way companies operate and how they will progress in the future. Though these advances have made people overly dependent on utilizing some form of technology it is with hope that the world will continue to grow and evolve into a stronger and better place to live.