The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Technology Overuse: Who is to Blame?

  We live in a world where bill paying, music composition, homework, art and even relationships can all happen through our iPhones while we are on our way to work or school in the morning. People have developed, out of human nature, a habit of using electronic devices too often. For some, it’s an easy out when in an awkward situation, a convenient security blanket. For others, it’s a way to receive attention. All you have to do is take a picture of your breakfast, start receiving “likes” and instant gratification is thereby attained. It is true that we may be missing out of part of life as we text and Instagram our days away, but what we were missing out on before these amazing devices made their way into our hands is often overlooked. 
  My grandfather and I had a conversation about technology and its exponential growth over the past few decades. You might assume someone from Minnesota, who grew up working on a farm seventy years ago would be unsettled by the revolutionary smartphone affects on kids of this generation. You might think he would have been uncomfortable with eleven-year-olds on FaceTime or middle-schoolers posting questionable pictures on Instagram and seeing how many “likes” they can get. But his reaction to the iPhone was quite the contrary. I’ll never forget his words as he said to me, “How could more information ever be a bad thing?” 
  When I moved to Los Angeles, I would not have known how to get anywhere, and I mean literally anywhere, without Siri’s guidance and the iPhone’s map feature. When I’m reading in line at Starbucks, on the go, in the midst of the quick paced world we live in today, and I come across a word in my reading that needs defining, I have this information readily accessible at my fingertips and available within seconds. Fact: Anything in the world that I could ever possibly be curious about, at any given moment, I can look up on my phone and become an amateur scholar on the matter within a few minutes. This is the most fascinating thing about the generation of smartphones that so many people take for granted.
  It’s not to say that there isn’t invaluable beauty surrounding us that gets overlooked because of our phones and their constant readiness to entertain, inform or work with us. But had you told my grandfather as a little boy on a farm in Minnesota, or anyone’s grandparents for that matter, that within their lifetime, they would be able to own a little screen that they can carry with them everywhere with the multitude of functions available on the iPhone, chances are they would not have turned it down. 
  It’s important to realize the real problem at hand, and the real problem is not the iPhone itself. If people use their phones in the wrong ways and “miss out on life” because of them, that is a downside that they brought upon themselves. The decisions people make with their iPhones are just as much their responsibility as are the decisions they make with their families or friends. Don’t blame cellphones for face to face communication that may or may not be lacking. Don’t blame them for people not appreciating the beauty around them. Let your friend or family member know if you think they need to set down their iPhone more often, because it can be a hard thing to judge. 

Nadine Jenson


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