Is technology addictive? This question really stood out to me whilst reading Postman’s “Five Things We Need to Know about Technological Change”.
Have you ever been accused of being ‘addicted’ to your mobile or other device? What has been your response? I know this has been brought to my attention in the past and it has certainly made me question whether I really do have an “addiction”. Yet after much thought, I know this is not the case. An article by Zack Whittaker put this into perspective for me by stating that technology is not an addiction, it is merely a familiar component within our daily lives. Zack goes on to explain how we were lucky enough to be the generation with most exposure to it and how the profound development of the technology in the 21st century (which I am sure will continue to expand) has occurred simultaneously to our upbringing. To me, this perfectly describes my disbelief of technology addiction. Why doesn’t more of this show in a Google search of “is technology addictive?” instead of search results returning with treatment options for “technology addiction”. This just makes me angry as we are not ill, we are just taking advantage of the handy tools provided to us in technology form.
When giving an example on the course’s forum this week of one of Postman’s five points, I explained my constant reliance on technology (particularly my iPhone) to carry out daily tasks including grocery shopping, emailing, study, maintaining the household, paying bills and so much more. I stand strong when I say that this reliance simply boils down to convenience. With our lives only getting busier as we get older, of course we are going to utilise technology available to us if it means we save time (and insanity).
With this said, I certainly do not depend on technology for all things I do, even when it is study related. I still go to uni with my notepad and pen, even though my iPad is also in my bag to access the university portal and the likes. I refuse to take notes any other way than by writing and I still find much enjoyment in going to the bookshop to purchase my hard copy text books. I cringe when I am told the preferable method of obtaining a loyalty card at a shop is by downloading an app, I much prefer one to go in my wallet!
As you can tell, I am probably known as a selective technology user which lessens my likelihood of having this so-called “addiction” but my question is: is there a fine line between convenience and addiction in terms of technology? I’d love to hear your thoughts!