This summer I lost my iPhone while studying abroad, ironically in China. Since then, I have been using my old Blackberry from a couple of years ago. It has been a frustrating change for myself, as well as my family and friends. I can’t download any of the popular apps, such as Snapchat, Instagram, or GroupMe. I can only sometimes receive group texts or pictures and many times texts messages from smart phones don’t come through. Since I’ve been using my Blackberry I have definitely been living a different lifestyle then when I had a smart phone. I’m on my phone less, I listen in class more, and I find myself enjoying my walks to and from campus. I know it may seem cheesy, but I’m more “a part of nature,” if you will. I’ve made the observation that I’m always the only person not on the phone, or with my phone glued to my side in almost all situations.
This observation led me to think, how much is your technology worth? I read an article the other day that a Chinese couple was facing charges for allegedly selling their baby in exchange for technology. The money they received from selling their child went to paying for iPhones, computers, and accessories. Obviously, this example is extreme, but when I read it, I couldn’t help think but wonder how much people were willing to pay in exchange for their technology.
I have been an offender of this myself. No, not selling my children for technology, but going to great lengths to try to keep my technology a part of my life. I have caught myself complaining about teachers that don’t allow computers in class. If you ever look around in class, how many people are actually taking notes, or paying attention? How many people are on Facebook or doing other homework?
It’s definitely a generational difference. We expect our information faster and in a more compact form. I can’t imagine doing any of the work I do for class, organizations, or my internship if I didn’t have my computer or my phone. In class we often talk about how technology has become a large part of our life. But it wasn’t until I didn’t have an iPhone that I felt the impact of how truly technology has affected my lifestyle. I’m rarely without it. So when I’m not on my computer the only contact I have is with the random text or phone call (another thing that people don’t do anymore). So I challenge everyone to take a moment to think, how much does your technology really affect you? How has it affected your lifestyle or your relationships and the way you communicate? Would you be able to go even 24 hours without any technology?
A YouTube video perfectly captured this same phenomenon. It has become viral on Facebook and other social media mediums and has gotten over 27 million views.