Addictive tech. has its benefits
Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 18:04
On campus or in class we see people using their iPods and cellphones, and it makes us wonder how dependent students really are on media.
Apparently, it's a lot worse than we thought.
The International Center for Media and Public Affairs at the University of Maryland conducted a study involving 2,000 university students from ten different countries on five different continents to lay off their phones, TV, internet and any other kind of media for 24 hours and then blog about it.
The results across the board showed that students found it extremely difficult to abstain from technology, even using the word "addiction" and many of them flat-out failed the experiment and plugged themselves back into the digital world before the 24 hours were up.
Sure, the word "addiction" sounds bad, but is it really all that horrible that students enjoy their Facebooks and text messages?
We represent the digital generation. Most of us grew up in a house with at least one television set and a computer with internet, our toys all required batteries or electrical outlets and we remember when the first iPod was released in 2001.
Technology goes hand-in-hand with our everyday life because it's what we've always been used to; taking away our media is like taking a bottle away from a baby.
Many of the phrases students used to describe their experiences were slightly alarming. Students reported feeling jealousy and hostility when they saw their peers using media and some students noted an itchiness, anxiety and even depression.
In that respect, students should tone it down a notch when it comes to plugging themselves in but overall we see nothing wrong with having a dependence on technology.
The creation of the internet and smart phones has led to a generation of curious and innovative thinkers. Ask us any kind of trivia question while we're sitting at our laptop and we'll give you the answer in a matter of minutes.
Technology has had its negative effects on our mind as well, like the inability to focus on anything that exceeds 140 characters, but who knows if that defect is something that can be repaired?
Students may be addicted to media, but so what? When you attach the word "addiction" to anything it makes it sounds bad, but we'd much rather have a friend who constantly updates their Facebook status than one who constantly smokes crack.
We love our technology, but we also understand the importance of being disconnected for a bit.