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Technological Bondage

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a cell phone or an Ipad. I didn’t have many friends either but I would play outside or take walks through the neighborhood. When I was indoors I would color or play piano. At night I would have dinner with my family without an interruption and if the landline home phone rang while we ate, we would wait until an answering machine picked it up and return the call later. When my father would travel to a different country, he made a point to call and would tell us how much he loved us, every night.

Then new games like the Gameboy came out and little by little I would watch kids begin to play their games instead of with each other. After an immense amount of begging, I finally got a gameboy of my own and I would sit in my room for hours playing these games until my legs would fall asleep and the sides of my thumbs would hurt from pushing the same buttons down so frequently.

The more technology grew, the more we as people hid behind whatever screen glowed the clearest, until we finally got to the point where we are at now. We have replaced the need for internal growth and interaction with real people, with the need for the artificial positive reinforcement of “likes” and “shares” on our latest selfie that we hide behind, hoping for a sense of approval from complete strangers. Instead of finding comfort through a person face to face, we try to communicate text to text, which often times is misinterpreted and leads to unnecessary drama, which can in turn create an emotional wound or increased distance between you and the one that you are speaking to.

As this technology expanded, the quality of relationships shrank. We went from having conversations in person to having conversations of constantly new and changing customized emojis that leave the reader to guess what the sender meant to say as if decoding a simpler form of modern hieroglyphics.

We are group animals that are increasingly becoming slaves to technology. It has become our addiction, much like a drug. We look at the people crying over lost Meth or Crack and scoff at them, yet turn around and do the same thing if we lose our phone for even 24 hours. Our addiction is a mental addiction equal to that of a drug, just without the physical side effects. Yet technology is the socially acceptable “drug” of choice. How many times have I sat in a restaurant and watched people at the other tables tune out a conversation?

Now when I try to go out with friends, I am surrounded by people SnapChatting, Instagraming, or Facebooking what they are currently doing instead of just enjoying it in the moment and the people around them. What is happening on their feed is often times more important than the experience of connecting and spending time with the person beside them and it amazes me how we as people would much rather watch a cat playing the piano for the hundredth time than talk with the friend beside them or experience the glory of the sunset in front of them.

We speak of the advancement of man, which I see, but I also see the digression of the one thing that makes us so beautiful, being human and living life to the fullest. Instead of watching someone give to the poor, how about you go out and give to the poor? Instead of seeing beautiful places on the planet, put down your phone and realize that the authentic beauty you see on that screen is right in front of you and guess what? A photo can never truly capture the experience. Set down your phone and experience life. Have a conversation face to face with someone you can touch. You will never truly live if you are in bondage to a small 2x5 inch screen. The world is a bigger more beautiful place and it blows HD away.

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© 2019 by Angelika Koch.