How can we measure how far humanity has come as a whole? We take a constantly developing concept such as technology and see how it has brought us to where we are now.
Technology has helped advance things such as communication, medicine, and the general safety of people’s lives. Modern security cameras in schools and buildings have the ability to track early threats in dangerous situations. Cars and trucks are built smarter than ever, with advanced hazard recognition and braking capabilities. Vaccines and medical devices have helped us fight pandemics. In general, not only is technology a mark of the nation’s innovation and desire to achieve more, but it is a sign of progress towards a more developed and interconnected community.
Nearly everywhere, folks use their phones and computers to connect with the rest of the globe. In less than a second, we can send a professional email to someone in another country, find out which team won the World Series, or share an inspirational photo with the world. The incredible speed of the Internet is what is most remarkable about electronic communication. We have the ability to chat with people miles away, but we can also have conversations with those we see everyday in new and fun ways.
This high-speed technology gives people the confidence to be more social with others. We can make new friends online, and by keeping up with the lives of others, there are many openings for conversations when we see people in person.
But there is a dark side to that.
The confidence to engage with others doesn’t always translate to self-confidence behind the screen. We often hide our truths behind the posts we put online. We may add filters and edits to cover up insecurities, or change our captions to please our audience. By changing who we are on social media, or how we want others to perceive us, we lose a little bit of who we really are in person.
There is a famous song lyric by the Chainsmokers that says, “how many likes is my life worth?” Why do we change who we are to make others like us? We base so much of our value and worth off of likes, follows, and comments. This is a dangerous way to gain self-worth.
We can fix this, though. We can try to focus on our relationships outside of the screen. We can work on making genuine connections with others, focusing on healthy living and self-care, and finding joy in activities that don’t have to involve our phones.
I like to set time limits on social media apps for how long I can allow myself to be on each one. This helps me focus more on other things that need to get done during the day. I also like to take physical breaks from my phone. I enjoy walking outside, doing workouts with quick bursts of intensity, and playing with my dogs. All of these things boost my mental health, without a dependence on technology.
Social media technology can help us connect with the globe, but we can also strengthen our personal relationships outside of it. Technology and social media as a whole has many positive intentions and will keep our nation moving forward at a fast pace, but we must remain aware of its potential implications on our lives so we can remain true to ourselves.
What are some other positive and negative effects of technology? How can you better navigate this rapidly developing area of all of our lives?