Column: Take a Break from Technology

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By Savannah Roberson | sroberson8@radford.edu

Growing up, I never understood why my parents didn’t get me a phone or an iPod even though all my friends already had them. However, now, I’m thankful I had a while to be a kid before I came to rely on technology as many seem to do now.

Of course, we definitely need technology, some of the most meaningful and essential advances in our world today are due to technology, and we certainly wouldn’t be as developed or able to adapt as well as we can in so many fields if we didn’t have it.

It’s a great thing, and helps people in so many different ways—but the flip side (and there is a flip side) is that we are almost unarguably developing an over-reliance on it.

One of the most troubling things I see today are toddlers and even babies who are entertained almost entirely by iPads, tablets, or phones. It’s hard to go through a grocery store or walk down the street without seeing a parent with a child who is completely engrossed in some kind of electronic device.

While I think it’s okay to let kids watch TV and play with electronics now and then, one of my biggest concerns is that kids are being exposed to technology much earlier than they should be. If we keep pushing the exposure age back and raising people who feel like they truly can’t live without technology, I think we will cross a line from which we can’t come back.

If we continue into our extreme reliance and even obsession with technology, we will lose bits and pieces of ourselves, as humans, that can’t be recreated or replaced.

One of the easiest ways I think we can monitor our use of technology is to become more aware of how early we are exposing kids to it. There’s a time and a place for technology, but this doesn’t mean that we should give kids iPads when they’re still in strollers.

More exposure to things unrelated to technology will help create a healthy distance early on that will make sure we don’t have adults who can’t function without iPhones.

Parents also need to monitor their kids more.

An article from Scientific American states that “parents are often unable to unplug from their own digital devices.” I think it’s crucial that blame isn’t casted on toddlers and teenagers but realizing the overreliance on technology that society currently faces is a problem that spans most age groups.

It would probably do all of us good to take a break from technology to appreciate our friends, family, and even nature without the interference of Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook.

By putting our phones down for just a few minutes a day, it’s much easier to increase our awareness of what is around us and learn that we don’t need to be in tune with technology every second of the day.

Photo credit: (Aleksandar Cvetanovic on Unsplash)