Technology is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of human life. Over the past few years, humanity’s dependence on computer technology has increased exponentially. Computer networks offer good media for communication, business, and entertainment thus increasing humanity’s dependence on technology.
Computer technology evolves at a very fast pace forcing humanity to adapt accordingly. These changes in lifestyle have raised questions as to the impact of technology on humanity. While advanced technology has revolutionized human life, dependency on it has resulted in the unraveling of social bonds, the emergence of various mental and physical ailments as well as increasing the rate of growth of the disparity between the rich and the poor, and as such indicating humanity’s progressing demise.
Despite its significance in modern human life, dependence on computer technology is the main drive behind the deterioration of humanity. By controlling the job market, education, and entertainment, computer technology forces humanity to become more dependent on it as time passes. This dependency not only endangers our lives, but it is also slowly destroying what makes us human. Looking at the various important aspect of life such as health, social ties, and communication, we can see the various ways that dependency on technology harms humanity.
The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 1 hour of vigorous-intensity physical activities each day for children between 5-17 years and a minimum of 150 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity for adults between 18-64 years (WHO par. 2). For children, physical activities include planned exercises, recreation, chores, sports, games, and transportation. These physical activities ensure that individuals are able to maintain healthy body weight and will improve metabolism, cardiovascular health, bone health, muscular fitness, and cardiorespiratory fitness.
Dependence on computer technology for entertainment, communication, and business has reduced situations where individuals must rely on physical activity (Jackson par. 12). Children, especially teenagers, are so immersed in social media and computerized forms of entertainment that they lack the time to engage in physical activities. This is generating a generation of people suffering from obesity, heart problems, eyesight problems, and ADHD. While computer technology offers many advantages, human dependence on it is cultivating a weak generation that may fall to pieces in the near future.
Surveys in Europe and the US indicate that between 1.6% and 8.2% of the generation population is addicted to the internet (Lo et al p.16). This addiction has raised several issues such as marital problems, problems in school, and professional problems. Addiction to the internet can also result in depression and anxiety in these individuals. The Merrill study found out that college students are functionally unable to survive without computer networks. In the study, they found out that students are addicted to social media and develop anxiety issues similar to those of drug addicts when forced to abstain from computers or cell phones (Phillip Merrill par.1).
Deterioration of Social Ties
Over the past few decades, dependence on new technology has increased the rate of social isolation. Dependence on computer technology has led to social isolation, less face-to-face contact with close social ties, and less diverse social networks. While the number of people using the internet increases, people are finding fewer and fewer friends to share important discussions. Computer networks are overlooking emotions in favor of convenience in communication. In her blog The Huffington Post, Rosenberg argues that social media gives individuals a false sense of friendship and connection but offers little chance for deep conversation resulting in people feeling dissatisfied and lonely (Rosenberg par. 10).
Online social networks are responsible for less interaction between people in the same neighborhood and discourage people from participating in voluntary associations. It is becoming more likely to find neighborhoods in which individuals have little contact with each other. In his article on Edge.com, Nicholas Carr argues that patience is in short supply because of dependence on computer technology (Carr, “2013” par.5). Making friends and keeping them requires time and patience. However, our dependence on computer technology deprives humanity of the time needed to form these essential social bonds. Poor social ties have resulted in higher depression levels and a community in which people find it hard to come together to achieve similar goals.
Computer technological devices are also very convenient ways to escape commitments or the necessary human contact. Marriage partners find it easier to escape their problems by immersing themselves in technology or the internet. More and more people are withdrawing from public spaces and hiding out in their homes. People work, shop, and entertain themselves from a computer seat each day. These individuals lack people skills and find it harder to converse with others, leading to more isolation.
Children are also using computers to engage in activities that may be illegal or harmful. The internet allows people to communicate anonymously creating a breeding ground for sexual predators who find children easy prey. Apart from this, children are being exposed to adult material that may skew their understanding of the world and their place in it.
Findings from the Merrill Study revealed that most students do not follow traditional new outlets and rely on social media to receive news about the world (Phillip Merrill College par. 8). The information that spreads through popular social media is biased and does not reflect the real situation happening. Social media has also reduced the reading and appreciation of past literature. The young generation is increasingly becoming ignorant of their past and is unable to connect with the older generations.
The increasing disparity between the rich and the poor
Computer technology has allowed a part of society to gain wealth faster at the expense of others. The gap between the rich and the poor has been progressively increasing over the past two decades. Automation is slowly replacing human workers in many jobs across the world. At the same time, automation allows extensive mining and the consumption of precious natural resources.
This raises the rate of poverty in one section of society while the other section gains a lot of wealth through cost reduction. Although computer technology offers many jobs, the basis of human civilization is physical intensive jobs such as farming, manufacturing, and mining. Due to the growing population density, a large percentage of people need these physical intensive jobs in order to survive. The advancement of computer technology, however, puts their jobs at risk and thus endangers their livelihood. This creates a disparity within the population that pushes people into unlawful behavior and in some cases anarchy.
Deteriorating language skills, literature, and art
Social media is cultivating a generation of individuals with poor language skills and a lack of appreciation for the arts and literature. One researcher argues that in order to create and appreciate works of art, time, and patience is required. However, the current generation lacks both of these aspects due to their overdependence on computer technology (Carr, “2013” par. 4).
A study also notes that literature has also suffered because of dependence on computer technology. The study argues that while the internet makes it easier to research, most people are unable to appreciate the final full works developed from this research. Through “power browsing”, individuals “skim” through books that took a very long time to write, and pick a few phrases that are of interest to them. Poor appreciation of literary works has led the society to produce fewer outstanding authors and art creators within the past few decades. Literature helps us to understand our past in order to fashion our future (Carr, “Is Google making us stupid” 6). The deterioration of the literary field is, therefore, a sign of humanity’s demise due to dependence on technology.
Dependence on computer technology has cultivated various issues that indicate the progressing demise of humanity. Technology has permeated every aspect of life and as such has far-reaching consequences on humanity as a whole. Dependence on computers for entertainment, shopping, business, and communication has given rise to a lazy society that is unable to engage in physical exercises.
Dependence on computer technology is also slowly eroding social ties as well as causing deterioration of both literary works and art. Over the past few decades, cases of depression have increased due to loneliness and stress. Individuals within communities are finding it more difficult to form strong social bonds and meaningful friendships. A society with poor health, poor social ties, and a lack of works of literature and art is a society on the brink of demise. Dependence of computer technology threatens these aspects of life and as such threatens humanity. Humanity needs to understand the level with which technology can help day-to-day activities without threatening the future.
Carr, Nicholas. “Is Google making us stupid.”The Atlantic 30 (2008): 6. 2016
—. “2013: What should we worry about.” Edge.com, 2013.
Jackson, Dominique. “Has Technology Made us Lazy and Dependent.”LifeHack.Com, 2015.
Lo, Shao Kang, Chih -Chien Wang and Fang Wechang. “Physical interpersonal relationships and social anxiety among online game players.” CyberPsychology and Behavior. 8 (2005): 15-20. 2016.
Phillip Merrill College of Journalism. “Merrill Study: College Students Unable to Connect.”University of Maryland, 2010.
Rosenberg, Jessica. “Is Facebook making us lonely.” Huffington Post, 2015.
World Health Organization. “Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health. WHO.int. n.d. 2016