We have all heard of the warnings about how humans are slowly becoming zombies to technology that is taking over the world. It may be common knowledge about the hazards of too much usage of the latest technology advancements at our disposal. We are aware of the risk of becoming mere shells of our former selves. The differences are rapid and vivid to most of us but what does it really mean for our future?
Technology today is solidly a part of our daily activities. We rely on it so much that we ignore the red signs of being taken over. The Internet dictates most of our daily routines from defining relationships to determining our productivity at work. Just a few years ago, only a few households accessed the Internet. Today, however, statistics show that Europe leads the worlds as the highest user of the Internet. A staggering 47% of the world’s population has access to the Internet for regular use.
Let us explore the five major ways the Internet is taking over our lives.
1. Lack of Privacy
Today, you can find out a lot about a person’s life without talking to them. Social media platforms require us to give personal details when signing up for accounts; sometimes we are lured into providing sensitive information, which exposes us to social risks. The increasing use of the internet is compromising on our privacy day by day. Mobile applications request for access to personal data including messages, photos, and finances; without our knowledge, these applications develop a personality basing on the available data. Anyone sharing these social media platforms and applications can access your data and get to know your beliefs, preferences, and daily routine.
Interestingly, the platforms have become part of our lives. In as much as we know the compromise on our privacy, we still use them on a daily basis. Most of them have privacy settings where you can choose to hide information available to the other public. However, the developers do not let you subscribe to the option in peace, you are left feeling there is something you are missing hence opting for general settings.
2. Missing out on life experiences
It is sad how you can visit a beautiful calm place, with gentle breeze and spectacular natural views but fail to experience it. The internet has conditioned our minds in such a way that fulfillment only comes with sharing out photos and videos with the world; technically, you did not visit and enjoy your moment if your social media did not see the smiles on photos. We are missing out the point; all the good offered by Mother Nature is going to waste. Immediately we get to such places, we pull out our smartphones to capture the sceneries. When will you close your eyes and feel the gentle breeze? Winding roads uphill are only visible in our galleries; you are likely to spend few minutes in such a location because of the need to capture beautiful photos as proof of fun. The only memory of the visit will be taking photos.
3. Believing what we see
We are largely influenced by what we see on our social media news feed. Posts of people traveling across the world, having fun at the beach, in fancy restaurants, others in movies, and others on a road trip. Our minds tend to pick up these, which leads to anxiety and depression if you are living otherwise. What you see on social media is not necessarily the truth; the person you see all over smiles traveling across borders maybe in debts or running on credit card. The internet generates certain desires, which are never our interests. There is a constant fear of missing out, which leaves us empty at heart. We often forget to appreciate the important little thigs in life, which are crucial for happiness.
4. Illusion of friends
Most likely you have thousands of followers and friends on Instagram and Facebook but with only two or three friends that are close to you. Friendship is not about sharing memes and tagging each other on Facebook videos; sadly, this is the definition of friendship today. We find satisfaction in the number of likes and comments on our posts and consider such consistent people on our social media platforms as loyal friends. True friendship involves real life experiences of people that go with you through thick and thin and are committed to help you become a better person. Spending quality time with friends on a weekend and helping each other with life decisions is true friendship. Probably, your true friends are not in your social media circles.
How many times do you pick up your phone to check on WhatsApp messages? It is the first thing we do in the morning. At work, when out for lunch with friends, in the kitchen, and sometimes while driving. We are more like slaves to our smartphones; they have taken over our lives. It is difficult to sustain a conversation on important matters without distractions of phone; even in a board meeting at work, someone’s phone will vibrate with a notification. While in the office, we are always tempted to check on what is happening with the world thus compromising on our performance quality and quantity.