It’s hard to realize how dependent we’ve all become on technology. Just imagine what would happen to us without computers and mobile phones.
Technology has taken over every sector. It has greatly improved work efficiency, and now some jobs that were done by humans in the past are being done by machines. It enables us to mass produce. It greatly simplifies our daily life.
It also allows us to connect with each other. We can easily communicate with people across the globe in seconds via text or email. We can read news from other countries with the click of a button. The world has never been more connected…and technology is advancing at a rapid pace.
But with development so fast, a balance has to be found. Misco this week released the results of a local survey that found 92% of Maltese consider themselves dependent on technology for their daily tasks.
Two particularly worrying statistics were that 42% of respondents found that technology in the workplace increased their levels of stress and burnout, while 41% said it made it harder for them to achieve a work-life balance. Both of these statistics show that while most people are not negatively affected, a significant portion of the population is.
Think about it, our mobile phones allow us to stay in touch with people 24/7, not only through Whatsapp or calls, but also through our emails. While this can be seen as a positive, as we can respond quickly to work emails, by the same token, it can also be seen as a negative, as it begs the question of whether people can actually cut off free time . At this point, taking breaks during free time is important to recharge, otherwise it can lead to burnout.
There’s also the issue of spending too much time in front of a screen. How many times have we gone to a restaurant and seen people, even small children, just looking at their phones or ipads instead of interacting with other people? Yes, technology has become an incredibly important part of our lives, but if we lived behind screens, we might just teach our kids to do the same.
Looking back at my own childhood, how important was it to interact with other people?
We also need to think about work-life balance. Suffice it to say, spending time with family and friends helps recharge our batteries.
Technological advances have also brought social media, with new platforms emerging one after another. These help us connect to the wider world, but there are certain downsides as well. First off, we’ve all read the stories of hate speech on social media and how people have been taken to court for making comments. This needs to hit home. What people post has consequences. So, before doing this, take a few minutes to think it over.
Another problem with social media is its effect on our attention span. Consider what short videos on social media have become. It’s all about instant entertainment…five seconds and flipping to the next video. But can we really learn anything from these videos? The answer…in most cases…is no. We end up zombified just by scrolling from one thing to another as fast as we can.
There needs to be a balance. Browsing through videos for a few minutes is fine…but if you’re doing it for hours on end, then it might be worth questioning whether such behavior has improved your life. Could this quick fix for instant entertainment negatively impact our lives in other ways?
Technology is great and we will continue to make progress…but we must also be aware of the negatives and do everything we can to minimize them while maximizing the positives.