I am privileged. I am not afraid to admit it. In my world, technology is a way of life. I wake up; I check my phone. I go to class; I use my Apple MacBook Pro. I am constantly online with my devices, which allows me to stay connected to everyone. I have been exposed to these instruments at a very young age and now, it is engrained in my daily habits.
Growing up in the Philippines, a developing country, my mother was not privileged. In her time, when the VCR, Walkman, and the first cell phones were invented, my mother did not have the luxury to be able to afford these accessories. While children in America were experimenting with these new devices, my mother was not. She was living in a world where technology did not dictate her everyday life.
When my mother came to America in her 20s, she was not used to the fast-paced society that technology had created in this country. Not only was she a foreigner, but she also had to learn how to use such devices in order to fit in with this new world. Technology was the first step at survival in America, and she knew she quickly had to understand how to work these tools in order to adjust to this country.
My mother and I grew up in completely different countries, exposed to completely different ways of life. Her exposure to technology at a later age made adaptation into society much more complex than mine. My communicative skills are much different than hers, and this goes far beyond any language barrier that may occur. The way my mother uses technology and the way I use it are similar, but the ways we grew accustomed to it are far from the same.
Americans take for granted how lucky they are. The Internet is always at the tips of our fingertips, and access to information has never been so instantaneous. We are fortunate to be able to afford such luxuries, but at the end of the day, the question that is asked is “has technology actually helped us?”
According to a survey done by the New York Times, the United States is the world’s laziest country. We have become so reliant on technology that essentially, everything that needs to be done can be completed from the couches of our homes. We can shop, pay our bills, communicate with family/friends, etc. all from our devices. But is this a good thing?
In my opinion, technology is and will be the death of any interaction or activity that we have done in the past. The obesity rates will continue to increase due to the lack of motivation for people to do anything. We soon will be unable to hold actual conversations with people in physical contact because we are so used to talking to other people through social media websites. Eventually, stores will be put out of business because they can just ship their products from warehouses to customers. Technology has made an impact on society that is irreversible.
I envy my mother because she knew life without technology. In her free time, instead of signing on to Facebook, my mother physically interacted with her friends. Technology is a part of every aspect of my life because the world I live in has forced me to make room for these devices. But sometimes, I need a break from being connected through social media 24/7. I need a break from the fear I get from not being informed about something simply because I may not be on my phone at a certain time. I need a break from hurting my eyes because I constantly am looking up-close at my phone or laptop. But will that break ever come?