Technology Starved Dependency

Year by year, new gadgets make us lose our basic skills


Illustration by Elizabeth Oliver / Times Staff

People are glued to the endless technological screens and apps in front of them, and they leave behind their basic skills and hobbies.

Technology has made life easier, more convenient and more enjoyable, but at the cost of living up to our full potential.
Trying to imagine what life would be like without technology is practically impossible. We have been exposed to technology from such a young age that has become an inescapable part of our lives. In an increasingly digital world, the majority of communication is accomplished through a screen.
Globally, people average 6 hours, 58 minutes of screen time per day, the average American spends 7 hours, 4 minutes looking at a screen each day and our Generation Z averages around nine hours of screen time per day, according to data collected from Exploding Topics.
With those averages alone we are causing a plethora of issues; one being a shortage of primitive understanding of our everyday social cues.
Being able to sustain eye contact is a vital tool that is dying. Eye contact is the strongest form of nonverbal communication. It conveys confidence and respect. At present, we prefer to text instead of calling or having an in person conversation.
For me personally, COVID-19 was a major reason why my screen time has gone up tremendously. I went from barely ever being on my phone to having courses transferred online. Before the pandemic we had an eight hour school day in a classroom to an eight hour, if not a longer day, listening to lectures and then doing homework on a screen.
Apps such as TikTok live up to their name. I have spent precious hours scrolling when I could have been doing something productive, or have stayed up late, not even knowing how long I have been scrolling on the app.
I myself have gone out with a group of friends and rarely did anyone put a pause their endless scrolling, even just to talk.
Growing up, I was taught to be present in life and to spend time with friends and family. I was taught to not be on your phone at the dinner table and that when you have people who stare at a phone while you are trying to interact with them is extremely sad, annoying and disrespectful.
Technology today has made young kids switch out running around the playground for playing a game on their digital tablet.
Technology today has made drivers lazy on the roads and have at times have impaired judgment due to multitasking.
Technology today has made us lose basic writing and conversation skills, among many more problems.
Using technology is not wholly bad by any means, it is how our society operates and is continuing to lead. However, I urge you to also keep those skills we were taught by our parents and teachers throughout the years.
There is so much more to life than just staring at a screen and I hope my generation and the generations to come learn that balance.