Anna Clulow, seventeen, questions if we can live without technology and the benefits of taking time away from it.
As technology is now mainstream and more advanced than ever, we are rapidly becoming addicted. Yet, as we become more socially connected with the rest of the world, we become more disconnected. The internet has brought around a new set of avoidance techniques and break up methods; that we’d sooner do without. The twenty first century has seen the development of personal technology, the most commonly used being the smartphone, a constant companion to most that will allow you to track your movements, access the internet and become engrossed in the world of media and social networking. The vast majority of people are glued to technology, whether they are looking at their own or even sharing someone else’s device. There is however, an argument that the overuse of technology is effecting our physical and in many cases our mental health, due to this people need to start becoming less dependent on their devices. There is no clear consensus to whether we can live without technology but the benefits of taking time away from it are huge. For many the idea of taking time away from technology is easy, after all humanity has survived and even thrived for thousands of years without modern day technology. Beginning to reject this complex world can cause what is labelled as ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out), not subconsciously scrolling through Twitter but living in the present. The benefits of spending quality time with friends and family, walking, cooking and reading leave you mentally refreshed. Spending less time looking through your social media or emails can be difficult- but benefits such as reduced stress and a clearer mind set seem to outweigh the negatives. Actual life may be duller and more prone to conflict, than a virtual life. But the advantage of spending time with friends and family is that: its real. Nomophobia ‘no-mobile-phobia’ is the fear of being without or losing, your mobile phone. The scare when your phone is not in your pocket. This is Nomophobia. We are so reliant on our mobile phones that we panic when they are not with us. It doesn’t take an expert to confirm we are spending additional time on the internet, an abundant source of information that I often find myself mindlessly scrolling through. It is a system that allows people to communicate worldwide. Helping us to meet new people, connect with family and even watch crazy cat videos. The truth is technology needs to be embraced, we have a lot to thank it for. It is the future and although it may forever be changing, everyone can at least count on the fact that it is continually becoming greater, faster and more convenient. Technology is a societal advancement that has allowed our generation to do things previous generations would never have dreamed of. We look back and question why someone would carry a ‘brick phone’ in their handbags, but what about 20 years from now? Most importantly it makes you realise how much you rely on technology, the amount of time you are absorbed into the internet but, when it is taken away you have more free time that you thought you did. Just once a week, spending some time tech free can make a big difference to your daily life and you become fully aware that maybe you can or cannot live without technology.