Feeling the weight of 9 app updates and 22 unread emails hanging over your head? We investigate whether tech is ruling or enhancing your life.
Technology. It exists to enhance our lives. And in the beginning, that’s exactly what it did.
The advent of the internet made information discovery easier. The addition of maps made going places simpler. And social media allowed us to stay connected with loved ones across the globe.
But as more and more apps, additions and “must-haves” infiltrate our day-to-day, it’s time we asked ourselves the question: is tech ruling or enhancing our lives?
The argument against tech
For those in office jobs, technology has blurred the lines between being “on the clock” and “off”. Gone are the days when work stopped when you left your desk. Thanks to email, Slack and Skype, some people find themselves working well into the night.
For parents of young children, tech related concerns extend into the home. Studies show that the amount of screen time kids are allowed has adverse effects on their cognitive ability. In fact, children who reported more than two hours a day of screen time got lower scores on thinking and language tests.
Then there are the increasing rates in anxiety and depression in young people. While the connection to technology, and in particular social media, is not yet proven, many experts deem it responsible.
The enhancements it bringsWhile the negative effects of technology are clear as day, it’s time to play devil’s advocate. After all, it’s not all bad. Especially given that, without technology, you wouldn’t be reading this very article.
In recent years, the tech industry has launched a string of mindfulness apps to help you relax, organisation apps that encourage strong habits, and services – such as Uber – that make it safer to get around after a night on the town. Not to mention food delivery apps which make slaving over a hot stove a figment of the past.
Then there’s the ability to study online. Without technology, there’s no way you could complete a degree online while juggling work and family life. For many students, online study has made their goals a reality.
Which side wins?The answer lies in what you value. If you’re someone who thrives on being efficient, multitasking and being social, then technology isn’t likely to be something you struggle to manage.
But if you’re the quiet type – someone who values time alone and the therapy that comes with doing things slow and steady, you might be feeling technology’s pinch.
The key is to use tech that empowers you. If there’s a new app that everyone’s buzzing about, but you don’t feel that it will benefit your life, guess what? You don’t have to download it.
While tech helps us control our lives, it shouldn’t control us.