In today’s growing society, information is always at our fingertips. IPhones are stored in our back pockets, tablets in our purses and computers on our desks. We have become so accustomed to logging on to the worldwide web and searching for information, that the phrase “Google it” has become part of today’s vernacular. However, contrary to popular belief, access to digital information is not the cause of society’s internet addiction. Instead, it is the abuse of the internet that has led to a dependency on social media and other digital outlets.
Although the development of modern technology has expanded our nation, and even world, to heights never imagined by previous generations, it has also handicapped us. Knowing less and less general facts, each subsequent generation depends more on the internet to get them through school, jobs and simple day to day activities. Our growing addiction to the internet has caused a loss of independence as well as increased our inability to function without a constant connection to every person and thing around us. Afraid to miss even the smallest event, we stay glued to our phones and computers, analyzing and digesting every word read with a new ferocity. We are no longer content with our own lives, instead we must be able to shift through the lives of everyone we meet.
The internet, when evaluated independently, is extraordinary. Revolutionizing communication, travel, news, banking and even education, it is easily one of the most prized creations of history. Unfortunately, its reputation has been tainted as mankind depends on it more and more. This dependency has led to a tradeoff of genuine communication, privacy, and reliability for quick, easy information. Every second of every day, our lives are being recorded. We leave behind a trail for others to navigate our lives through our tweets, Facebook posts, and texts. Instead of focusing on what is real and in front of us, many opportunities are lost because our eyes are glued to our devices. With a total collapse of the internet, would come the total collapse of our society.
The realization that we have become increasingly dependent is evident in every aspect of our lives. We are losing aspects of math, grammar, and other basic necessities needed to succeed as a nation. Life consists of more than what is pictured in a square box. We consist of more than the number of “likes” received on Instagram or “favorites” on twitter. As a nation, we need to begin nurturing genuine interaction and exploration. Our digital information systems better humanity when applied correctly to our lives, but in order to stray away from obsessive media surfing and focus what is in front of us we must recognize that our dependency is currently ruining our futures.