Technology. It is a critical part of the average persons daily life. The most important form of technology used in todays generation is the cell phone. The cell phone creates a sense of security that todays generation has become increasingly attached to. Take a cell phone away from a teenager, and their response is somewhat the same as to what you would see in a drug addict suffering from withdrawal. An analysis of todays generation is this obsession with technology, a dependency on cellphones and how the absence of these devices can cause an even greater effect on todays generation.
Technology explains a wide variety of inventions that were made to, in general, make our lives easier. Today, when we refer to technology, we think of our handheld devices. These 5×3 inch machines rarely leave our sides. They allow us to access our address book, emails, text messages and social media sights at the touch of a finger. Because our form of communication has gone digital within the past 20 years, these devices have are no longer seen as being “handy. ” They are now seen as a necessity for everyday life. The reality of todays world is that nowhere and no one is unreachable.
With globalization at its peak and the other side of the planet being only “a plane ride away,” the world is the smallest it’s ever been. We have the ability to know what everyone is doing at every time of the day. This has created a digital, information-overloaded subculture that has become dependent on the devices that connect them to everywhere and everyone. These devices have become an obsession and as time goes on, this obsession only grows. In todays world we are surrounded by so much information we are not sure what to do with it.
Information about anywhere and anyone can be obtained with the swipe of a finger. Because we fear what we do not know, this makes the world a much less scary place. Being able to track an earthquake in Japan as it happens is customary. Live feed from war zones is almost always obtainable. Twitter feed can tell us what our best friend in London is doing at that exact moment. This type of information overload leaves nothing to the imagination. Resulting in a much safer, more sheltered existence and therefore we are attached to the devices that make us feel safer.
Every couple of months it seems there is something faster, thinner, and better to buy. We are surrounded by a world of instantaneous, ambient information that sits at our fingertips. With this type of power, we are under the impression that we are in control of these devices. Though this could not be more false. In Cellular Telephones: A New Addiction, an article by Lauren D. LaPorta, this is further explained, “We find ourselves in a society that is increasingly enslaved by the tools designed to free us and isolated by the technology designed to bring us closer together. (LaPorta, 2006). This sense of isolation could not be more prevalent than it is in todays generation. The generation referred to as “the technologies babies,” are exactly that. From urban subways to suburban malls, teens and tweens of all sizes and status have their neck strained downward and phone in hand at all times of the day. “Regardless if we are surrounded by our entire social group or alone in our bedroom, we are on our phones. ” Explains Naomi Baur, a college freshman at the University at Albany.
Cellphones used to be a way of talking to friends and family from near and far. But Since the atmosphere has become the “twittersphere,” we are no longer Just connecting to our friends and family. We are connecting with everyone that we have ever met and everyone that we haven’t. With the ability to post pictures, tweets and statuses at anytime, a sense of self-promotion is undeniable. With the tech baby generation constantly posting pictures for “likes” and tweets for “favorites. ” We are no longer sharing pictures with friends or thoughts with colleagues.
We are looking for praise, approval and validation in the form of “likes”, “favorites” and “retweets. ” This has become a disease and a large contributing factor to why we are so obsessed with our phones. The teens of today have grown up with the idea that cell phones are a part of everyday life and it is unsafe to go anywhere without one. Though as this generation has grown into its teen years, so has the cell phone. The cell phone is no longer a child; its developed into a super computer that sits on our back pocket and this is where our obsession stems from.
Over the past 10 years we have become more reliant on our phones because they have provided us with more services than ever. Since the cell phone has transformed into a super computer, it has become our camera, our GPS and our 2417 Internet connection. Instead of our phone being our assistant, we as the owner have become a slave to it. This is why we are so obsessed, because we are helpless without it. Though it may sound crazy, under our obsession is a fear of being alone. After becoming so used to having a world of information sit at our fingertips, we are petrified of being without that kind of power.
A paradox is undeniable; we are controlled by machines that were made to be controlled by us. This obsession has become comparable to a disease; an addiction of sorts. We are unable to function properly without these machines and a study done at Rutgers University proved this. “In 2010, information technology students at the university were challenged to turn off their cell phones for three day. Only 3 of 220 students completed the assignment. ” (LaPorta, 2006). According to the beliefs of some psychiatrists, an addiction to technology and the Internet does indeed exist. Psychiatrist Dr.
Jerald Block has found that excessive use of text messaging and e- mail may be a sign of mental illness. Block states that there are four specific symptoms: “suffering from feelings of withdrawal when a computer cannot be ccessed; an increased need for better equipment; need for more time to use it; and experiencing the negative repercussions of the addiction. ” People with this illness show signs of “a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives, withdrawal, feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression” when deprived of access to computers and other technologies (Cavaliere, 2008, p. 3). When a teenager is forced to be without their cell phone, a sense of fear is obvious. This lack of connection is known as nomophobia. A recent research sponsored by SecurEmvy strongly supports this evidence. This research shows that “more people feel anxious and tense when they are out of reach of their phone – and the younger they are, the more likely the stress. ” This may be because teenagers seem to have a greater connection to their cell phones as compared to other age groups. The youngest age group (18-24) tops the nomophobic list at 77%, which is more than that of the next group – those aged 25-34. ” (Kung, 2012). This recent study of “nomophobia” or also known as “no mobile-phone phobia,” further proves interact with them have heightened the users fear of “missing out. When you see that you have received a text message, why do drivers risk their own safety as well as the safety of others around them to check a text message or check social media site? Could it be that checking that message or that response to your tweet is worth your health?
Todays cell phone users are so infatuated with their machines that everything else takes a back seat to their undiagnosed technology addiction. Ever since the creation of the iPhone the amount of mobile phones has increased. Over the past six years, apple seems to keep updating the iPhone, making it more esirable to the human eye. Making it better, faster, and virtually monopolizing the cell phone industry. Apple has successfully sold the mindset that “what’s the point of having a cell phone if it’s not an iPhone? These newer and “better” iPhones have only led to the increase of addiction among its owners. Every phone can somehow top the previous product with more features and details that in the end make the user more attached. The effect is that users are never away from their phones, its not Just in their pocket or in their bags, its in their hands. Always in use and never placed down. Doctor Sanjay Dixit stated, “we found that people who use mobile phones for more than three hours a day have a higher chance of getting nomophobia. Since the advancement of technology can’t be stopped it seems that nomophobia will become an increasingly greater problem. (Kung, 2012). Todays generation suffers from an unhealthy dependency on cell phones. The constant need to have a cell phone at hand is creating an addiction that can lead to physical and emotional problems. These machines are designed to make our lives easier, but as dependence grows, it seems they may be causing a problem to large to ix. This idea of a world without cellphones seems to be too much for a single person to handle, leading to the rise of ‘nomophobia’.
Cavaliere, F. J. (2008, October). Technology addiction: Fact or fiction? The Practical Lawyer, 54 (5), 13-14. Retrieved from Lexis-Nexis. LaPorta L. Cellular Telephones: A New Addiction?. Psychiatric Times [serial online]. October 2006;23(11):64-69. Available from: Academic Search Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed November 8, 2013. Kung, Vicky. “Rise of ‘nomophobia’: More People Fear Loss of Mobile Contact. ” CNN. cable News Network, 07 Mar. 2012. web. 08 NOV. 2013.