Hello everyone and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
As you may have noticed, I’ve been talking a lot about mental illness lately. Why? Because it has spiked in recent years amongst all age groups and I am curious as to what could be contributing to it. I know it’s not just one thing but after doing some soul- searching and some reading, I feel that technology could be one of the culprits. Yes, technology is taking over our lives and there’s no stopping it. Why? Simple. It’s because we love it, we get lost in it and we need it. The key words here are love, lost and need. No, I’m not talking about relationships but then again maybe I am. Because we each have developed a strong relationship with technology over the years. Take it away and our whole life falls apart.
Since the rise of the internet, smartphones, video games, online dating, internet porn, online shopping, and streaming services, and there’s even online support groups, go figure; we have quickly connected to all of it and disconnected to human contact in a big way. I have witnessed people at work so glued to their cellphones that they aren’t getting their jobs done sufficiently. People in public places walking or driving while texting or talking and not paying attention to what’s going on around them leading to fatal accidents.
Many of us are addicted to the internet and don’t even realize it. There’s a whole other exciting world on the web that is more interesting than ours apparently because we can’t seem to let go of it or even modify it. When my dad died recently, I made an announcement that I was going to get off Twitter for a while to mourn and you know what? I was still tweeting. Why? Because I felt alone and the people on Twitter made me feel less lonely. Pathetic isn’t it? On the internet theres doors to things that used to require a great deal of effort to see. But not anymore. Now it’s all right there and we can access it within a split second with the click of a mouse and not have to leave our homes.
We are now exposed to the personal lives of millions of people whom we don’t know and even celebrity’s lives as well. I bet some of them wish we couldn’t talk to them so easily because now we can tell them exactly what we think of them and the work they did. Sometimes that’s not always a good thing.
Families at a restaurant don’t talk anymore because they are too busy looking at their phones. Same thing when they’re at home. Disconnected… Now don’t get me wrong, technology has made life a lot easier for all of us and you can find a lot of great information on the internet, not to mention see videos that you haven’t seen since childhood or watch a good movie or listen to your favorite song. With all these perks, who can help being addicted? But like any addiction, it can lead to depression, isolation, alienation, and procrastination. You may find yourself hanging out with family and friends a lot less now because you’d rather be on your computer or playing a video game. And internet addiction can lead to other more serious addictions such as porn addiction which can lead to sex addiction and seeing your own partner and many other men and women as objects instead of real people who have feelings and morals. No, I’m not reaching. Talk to people and I guarantee you will find that a lot of this is happening to people you know right now. I’ve witnessed it and I’ve lived it and I know other people who have to. Because I talk to people.
I have a question too. How much money do you think the creators are making to get us hooked on all of our expensive devices? And notice that they get more and more new, improved and impressive and get more and more expensive every time we turn around. Someone is getting rich while we go into debt. Is that fair? No, we don’t have to buy these electronic devices but we kind of feel obligated to, just to keep up with society; otherwise, we’re made to feel like a total loser. It’s kind of a no-win situation.
With every new piece of technology, it appears that each one wants to know our location, have control over our contacts, our photos, etc. We are being tracked everywhere we go and everything we do. All of our personal information is being leaked on a regular basis and used for whatever unknown purposes. I strongly believe that it’s being used against us in some way and stored for some secret future agenda that we have yet to learn. Even though we have all kinds of identity safe software and malware protection on our phones and computers notice that it still keeps happening. Why do they need to keep tabs on every single person on the planet? And then when somebody comes up missing, they act like they can’t find them. Oh, believe me, they can find them. They just aren’t looking.
Some people have often feared that the future of technology and AI can take over our jobs and maybe even destroy us like the ones in the movie The Terminator. But if we keep going the way we are and don’t learn how to not depend on technology so much and reconnect with the people that we claim to love and need in our lives… we will lose people we love, not accomplish our goals, lose ourselves and possibly even allow ourselves to be distracted from real-world problems that can impact you, me and our friends and families in such a way that it can be catastrophic. The news comes on three maybe four times a day, telling us what’s going on in our cities and all across the nation but how many of us really care to watch? It’s all depressing, trust me I know but…it’s important. My dad used to watch it religiously when he was alive. Especially during dinner time. I used to hate that too. I’d be sitting there trying to enjoy the meal and the next thing I know I’m about to cry over the latest mass shooting. It’s hard to see and hear but we need to wake up and pay attention to what’s going on around us a little more. Otherwise, the wool will be pulled over our eyes and we won’t even see it coming. Why? Because we will be too distracted.
Until next time…