“Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.” ― Dan Brown, Angels & Demons
What Is Technology To You?
What comes to mind when you hear the world technology? Normally, the first thing that comes to mind is that technology is the gadgets, electronics and the internet that we relied on for communication and entertainment.
But that is not the case. Technology is actually the pieces of machinery and components that are inside the gadgets and electronics that we relied on. Because technology keeps on upgrading and evolving electronics around us, not all people can keep up with the advancement of technology.
Because of that there are various reactions that technology has garnered from people all over the world. Most people believed it to be a money making instrument and a good way to spend time on.
Some think that it is a tool for people, particularly students, to get knowledge from. Others just plain don’t like it for one reason or another. However, that kind of reaction is becoming less as people who are using technology grow in numbers.
How Technology Helps People
Technology has a lot to give us. This kind of explains why people disliking technology lessened. It has been implemented in various industries such as health, education, business and so much more.
Technology improves business profits by choosing automated machines to finish repetitive tasks from human workers. This makes businesses save money in labor. It can also increase efficiency and decrease human errors that can make the business more profitable than usual.
Technology use in the scientific department involves calculation and solving the problems of matter, energy, space and time. Such calculations normally take scientists and researchers years and years before getting an answer which is more or less accurate. With the help of technology, the calculation time is cut in half and the answers are pretty accurate than doing it manually.
This also connects to the health industry where technology is used to optimize the services and the effectivity of operations and enhance medical processes that can save millions and millions of lives.
But what is the true purpose of technology in a person’s life?
Technology was generally made with the purpose to successfully and accurately solve the problems of science. Its purpose is to aid people in achieving the impossible by running on codes and algorithms. But do people all over the world use technology for its intended purpose?
However, it can’t solve anything. It may excel in the scientific and mathematical department, but technology can’t solve organic problems such as issues regarding the human behavior and communication. In fact, technology can make human problems much worse due to the lack of ‘human touches’. But that doesn’t seem to deter people and kept on clinging to it.
Technology has slowly morphed into a crutch for people to rely on as the day passes by. People, nowadays, rely heavily on technology like smartphones, the internet and other gadgetry that it becomes a part of their life and becomes a part of them.
Survey shows that an alarming number of people said that they can’t live or even imagine a life without their smartphones. Another survey shows that due to the excessive use of the internet, many people are willing to sacrifice things that they are normally fond of just for internet access like drinks, alcohol and even intimacy from their partners!
Because technology has become a fixture in people’s lives, people are becoming very dependent on it. Certain tasks are now done electronically from communicating to doing work that people normally do. This makes life easier and work becomes faster as many people believe.
But, unfortunately, technology isn’t a stable and forever thing. It’s not a natural resource that can be found anywhere that can be renewed when lost. It is powered by an energy source, which is electricity, harnessed from our environment. Tech is practically useless without that vital energy source. It is inevitable that one day anyone can be cut off from technology as easy as a snap of a finger due to power loss and power outages.
Power outages are caused by many things and lasts for either short periods of time or longer depending on what caused it and how much damage was done. The most common causes of power outages are man-made causes such as car accidents that knock over utility poles, circuit overloads and natural causes from falling trees, lightning, ice storms, and typhoons.
Those factors can come from anywhere and can happen at any time. No one can run away from a devastation of a super typhoon that made some of us experience a life without technology and electricity for more than half a year.
Many people can’t imagine themselves being without technology but start imagining. Because you never know when an incident will come up and it will just take you by surprise and rob you of the technology that you rely on so much.
It did take a bit of time before I got the hang of not being able to hold or check my phone on a regular basis. Getting connected to what is happening in the outside world is a bit difficult at first too. But I found out that living without technology and electricity wasn’t that bad. There are many things that can happen when you get cut off from technology. And dying’s not one of them.
Here are some of the things that I experienced while Mother Nature made my status offline from technology.
1. You Realize You Have Plenty Of Time On Your Hands
Were there times that you just feel that time moves too fast? Or that feeling that you are just too busy but not having enough time to do other stuff? Maybe the saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is true no matter how cliché it may be.
That could be it then. When we’re immersed in the digital world of technology, we seem to lose sight that time is passing by. Maybe you just didn’t realize about those spare hours because you were busy chatting with your friends or your focus is solely on killing the boss monster in a game that you were playing.
But, there’s more, there’s actually a scientific and more in-depth reason that makes us believe that time just seems to pass us by like wind. According to research, technology may be rewiring our brains to become more efficient, promotes our multitasking skill and improves its processing speed that makes us believe that time is racing past us.
So when detaching from technology, you get to realize that you have plenty of time in your hands. You didn’t know that a minute is already so long when you just sit there and wait for the clock’s hand to move. That already gives you plenty of time to be doing a small sketch of a circle and improve that art skill of yours or finally make your bed when you get up in the morning.
Without any gadgets in hand, you have to resort to doing something else instead. Hopefully, something worthy of that time that you seem to be looking for in your hectic and technology-filled life.
2. You Get Healthier
Technology was made for the betterment of the world. But there is a huge difference between the how technology helps people and how people use technology to help themselves by abusing its use.
Too much exposure to technology can actually cause narcissism, expectation of instant gratification, distraction, vision and other physical issues as well as depression.
The Positive Effects Of Detaching From Technology On Mental Health
Have a break. Because of the absence of technology, you’ll get the chance to stop checking your phone every second or wait anxiously if your phone rings. This will give you a break from the hectic life that technology seems to put you through by being always ‘on the go’ wherever you are. This increases your chances of attaining a positive mental attitude which can help lessen the chance of stress and depression.
We can never have it all. You’ll finally realize that being able to ‘update’ with the current trend doesn’t really make a significant impact in your life. Without the ability to be able to sneak a peek into other people’s achievements, you get to see that you aren’t doing too bad yourself and you don’t need them as a standard to see that you are doing okay with your life. It really doesn’t matter that they are successful and you aren’t. The sooner you realize that comparing your life to other people’s lives doesn’t earn you any merits, the better.
Give your brain a workout. No technology, no internet. No internet, no Google. This is the part where you have to get information you need old school style. Go read a book, ask your family or friends. Not only will this make your brain work, this will also make you feel good about yourself knowing you got the answer through your efforts and not with just one click of a button.
Happy body parts, happy life. Being free from technology will give your body a chance to recuperate from excessive technology exposure. Your eyes can take a break from eye strain. Your neck will finally take a rest from ducking so low. And your hands are now free from repetitive and mindless scrolling and clicking through gadgets.
Let’s get physical. Without the use of technology, there will be no sitting down and staring at the screen. This gives you a chance to be able to exercise physically. Go take a hike with your friends, run or jog with your dog or go climb a mountain. Not only this will make you healthier and get your body moving, this also makes you lose those extra unhealthy fats. You get to have real exercise and a hot body.
3. You Appreciate Your Surroundings More
People today have become fixated with the virtual world that is on their screens that they become oblivious to the real world around them. With so many people who are distracted by their technology while walking, they have been called “digital deadwalkers”.
A lot of accidents occur that involves people being hit by a car because people are looking at their phones and are not paying attention to where they are crossing or walking. Others fall into fountains while some run into street signs or trees.
These minor accidents got rampant when an AR game became famous and people began walking around with their eyes glued to their devices. Not only constant staring downwards can strain the eyes and neck, the surroundings that shift around you while walking can also cause headaches and dizziness.
Being able to detach yourself from technology will increase your awareness of your surroundings. Look up and you get to see the beautiful blue sky or see how that clouds morph into various shapes. Look up and be amazed at the mystery the night sky offers or trace a constellation and try to catch a falling star. Look around you and see how lucky you are to be able to be living in a beautiful world. Look up once in awhile. You’ll never know that might save your life.
Nowadays, people are more inclined to socialize online than offline. Some believe it is easier to meet people where they can relate to online. Others overcome their shyness when talking to other people online because of the anonymity that the internet gives them. Some even said that it is easier to ‘block’ or ‘delete’ a person from their life on the internet. A feat that real life cannot offer.
However, we all know that the internet is a place of fantasy and fake people. Although there are some who are as real and as honest in the online world as they are in the real world, you can’t be sure that who you are talking to is part of that group.
A lot of people resort to the internet and can be whoever they want, taking on various personas that they can’t do offline. Some do so because they wanted freedom from real life while others do it for trickery and other purposes that can cause harm to others.
In addition, technology offers us the ability to communicate with people all over the globe. But that doesn’t make us good communicators. Due to the lack of intonations, expressions, and gestures, that normally aid in creating a successful conversation, a lot of misunderstandings can occur. Other than that, the internet is used as a tool to spread hate and anger just as effectively as it can spread other emotions all over the world.
Going offline from the virtual world gives you the chance to avoid all miscommunications and to be able to spend time with people. Real people. Real people who will be there for you even when your internet goes out. People who will never block you or delete you from their lives just because of a simple misunderstanding. People who aren’t fake and sneaky. And people who accept you for who you are as you do the same with them.
Often times, a person’s time is being eaten up while spending it with technology by gaming, chatting and using the internet. This doesn’t give us enough time to be able to practice our skills and talents that are not technology affiliated.
People are stuck with dealing with the same technological skill every day that they don’t have the chance to be able to enhance their non-technological skill or develop new ones. Technology has the ability to kill creativity from people, especially with kids.
A lot of young people nowadays bury their noses in their smartphones rather than being outside and playing house with other kids that boost sociability and imagination. Teenagers begin to close themselves in their rooms with their computers and phones that they limit their social abilities as well s their time spending it with their family and their friends in the real world.
Being free from technology gives you a chance to be able to try something new and lessens your chance to be distracted from it. Try a new hobby and pursue something creative by writing a story, paint someone or draw a landscape. Want a new hobby that can stimulate the mind? Try out a game of chess. Want to discover if you have a set of golden pipes? Then by all means and give singing a go.
Because of the absence of technology, you get to become healthier, safer, more sociable, and more skilled. Overall result from being offline to technology? You become happier, less depressed and anxious as well as getting to lead a better lifestyle.
Having trouble with keeping up with the net? Having major information overload? Your friends’ Facebook bragging bringing you down?
Try and sign off from technology once in a while and give yourself a break. Give yourself some slack and relax. You deserve it. You never know, it might be the only thing that you needed.
Kristine Ramos is an editor at scoopfed.com and sometimes contributes at gottru.com. She is very passionate in writing and is very ardent in reading books(prefers real books than Ebooks). If she is not reading or writing, she draws or plays video games. But she mostly spends time with her pets, with a book in hand or both while lying under the trees back home.