Petzold: How technology impacts us


Senior in Kinesiology Merrissa Hess and Senior in Animal Science Tessa Myers using computers at Parks Library on campus. 

Megan Petzold

There are a myriad of ways to define the concept of technology., which uses entries from the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, defines technology as “the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.”

Technology has done so much good in science and education. It’s made doing assignments easier, not to mention the fact that online textbooks are now widely available and much cheaper than hardback textbooks. Recording and taking notes in class is much easier to do. Laptops can verbally record data, plot and analyze it — the possibilities are almost endless.

While technology is helpful to everyday life and the advancement of science, technological innovations such as cell phones and laptops do give rise to some concerns.

With cell phones having as much power and capabilities behind them as computers, it is very easy to want to be on them in possibly inappropriate situations.

There are three different ways that some of these ubiquitous devices have negatively affected us.

First, people have become less self-reliant. Cell phones have made it very easy for anyone to get in touch with anyone else at any time of the day. If you don’t have your cell phone, you can easily access many messaging applications from your computer.

Second, they have decreased our time management skills. Games, social media and a host of other addictive pursuits are available with a few taps or clicks. All it takes to be distracted for hours at a time nowadays is the simple action of taking your phone out of your pocket.

The internet has become essential to schoolwork now, which further increases the severity of this problem. If you wanted to do homework at a coffee shop before the technological boom, you would put pencil to paper and focus on your work while also mentally staying alert and active with your surroundings.

With the wide variety of entertainment at your fingertips when working on a computer, it is easy to get distracted while working on your assignments. Plugging in to the device and tuning out the rest of the world is almost too easy to do.

Finally, cell phones and computers have hurt the way we communicate and interact with each other. Instead of spending time talking to others in situations such as train rides, class rooms and restaurants, people would rather talk to whoever is at the other end of their screens.

There is a limit to the amount of time one should spend on their devices or how dedicated they should be to them. Smartphones and laptops have made people become less human. I myself struggle not to become excited when plans are cancelled because that means I get more time to watch shows, play video games or just surf the internet.

We can learn so much more efficiently and be much more productive than we are. All it takes is putting down your phone or closing your laptop for a couple hours each day.