I don’t remember a time without computers or the Internet. I do, however, remember a time without iPhones or any type of smart phone, laptops, Wi-Fi, Facebook or Twitter, and when the Apple logo was still rainbow colors. Without a doubt, computers and the Internet have had a large influence on my life. Even having grown up in Colombia, I had access to computers and technology from a young age, waiting for what seemed like forever to play educational games. I grew up around this technology, and like the rest of our generation and some of those in the generation before us, we’ve managed to adapt, but it’s not just about adapting. Technology is become such a large part of our lives that it’s become part of ourselves.
It doesn’t take a lot of thinking to realize that they definitely call it “Web 2.0” for a very good reason. We take it for granted, but the pace at which technology advance and continues to do so is astonishing. What were once large, slow, and relatively simple machines have become small, quick, and powerful, capable of computing things we can’t even understand. I can’t escape the thought of how quickly everything changed, and how dependent we are on the Internet now. All of this of course, has consequences. The quick-pace of advancement and high cost for technology leaves people behind, and in a world that basically requires your online participation in order to have any sort of relevance, that’s a problem, but being online almost inherently means giving up your privacy (George Orwell was right), and its all just for the sake of convince and the simple fact that the rest of the world is digital, so you have to be, too. So now that you’re online, good luck logging off.
If you hear the word “technology”, you’re bound to see “addicted” in the same sentence. It’s a common criticism that we’ve all heard a million times. Blah blah technology blah blah people don’t interact face to face anymore blah everyone is always looking down at their phones blah health problems blah. While I love having my iPhone on me when I’m stuck in the waiting room alone for an hour with the option to stare at the wall or to scroll through Twitter, no doubt in that moment smart phones are the best thing to ever happen ever and who cares if I spend the hour playing Candy Crush and staring down at my phone, but that of course isn’t always the case.
While the Internet is important, the omnipotent power and presence that it has now is pretty scary and it lends itself to some complicated issues. While computers and the Internet should be accessible to everyone, and people should be “Internet literate” as well as knowledgeable in regards to Internet privacy, we need to take a step back from our phones while we learn about and help resolve these issues. As long as people continue to depend on technology throughout their day not just for work but also for “hits” of entertainment and information throughout the day, I don’t think anything can get achieved. I personally hate thinking that I’m so attached to my device that god forbid I don’t check my phone every 10 minutes, and I think it’s important that we make a conscious effort to separate ourselves from our devices so that we can focus on why Internet privacy matters, for example, instead of being so constantly distracted by the Internet that we’re numb to the issues that have arisen from the technological developments we’re making.