How To Avoid The Negative Effects Of Technology On Life

- | 71 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Technology & Gadgets

A cartoon showing a man addiction to his smartphone

Technology has become an inseparable part of our life, and we need to adapt to it in a way that we don’t harm ourselves.

Rohan takes us through the past and present of technology, and discusses its addictions and affairs in our life. – Ed.

When was the last time you traveled on foot rather than using your car?

Do you consider yourself as a genius because you have Google to answer all your queries?

Is your worst fear a black screen and a lost charger? Are you the kind of guy who falls asleep reading your Twitter timeline?

Almost all the things you use today in your daily life are a result of technology. Technology has completely changed our lifestyle. It has drastically changed the clothes we wear, food we eat, the way we communicate, our health etc.

The first thing I do after getting up in the morning is checking my messages. Do you share a similar habit?

For years, many great thinkers have already predicted that we humans are going to be ruled by technology. And that is what is happening in the 21st century.

Everything has its own advantages and disadvantages. Technology too has a lot of negative effects.

The drawbacks of technology on our environment, health, behavior, relationships, business, education, society, etc. cannot be overlooked.

Almost every action or activity we perform nowadays is somewhere associated or dependent on Technology. Thus making us addicted to it.

The situation becomes even worse when we have to rely on technology to think, work, communicate, or even breathe.

Our brains have been so badly engaged with modern technology that despite its negative effects, we get a superficial rewarding feeling. And we compulsively respond to that feeling to get even more of it.

Poster with a quote by Einstein on technology and its impact on humanity

Decoding Today’s Technology

The Human history has witnessed many ages including the Ice age, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, etc. There are many more ages to count if we consider them nation-wise.

Every age was responsible for bringing up a new technology. Technology is ever changing.

These days we often get to hear or read that currently we are witnessing information age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age), Internet age or technology age. Okay, I know you have some more ages to add to this list, popping up in your mind. 😉

But I think our ancestors have already gone through the information age. This might come as a surprise to you, but that is what I think!

The great paintings and carvings are the best example of ancient Information age. The graphitized walls are indeed information. So do you still think that the existing age is an Information age or beyond that?

In my opinion, it is the TECH age we are going through. What is TECH age?

TTechnology becomes

EExploitable because of the

CCheap rates and

HHigh availability.

In the 21st century, the 7,279,236,500+ human population (the plus sign indicates that the population is still growing at the moment) surprisingly witnessed a substantial decrease in the price/rates of technologies.

Moreover, they became highly available for the common man to afford. Most individuals or families started having their own Car, Computer, Multiple Laptops, Tablets, Smart Phones, Television, etc.

This is the reason I will call this century as the “TECH” age.

Everyone is now easily able to access modern gadgets and the Internet. A few years ago, in the early 2000s, there was an increase in the popularity of the Internet café’s.

But with the decline in the Internet prices, many of them have already shut down or are facing lack of users. This is all because of cheap rates and high availability.

General masses can now instantly get connected to the world resulting in more business opportunities.

With large world population using the internet, it gives rise to many cyber crimes.

According to Wikipedia, the top four countries having the maximum Internet users are China, India, United States and Japan. These four countries face the maximum cyber crimes each year compared to other countries, where the Internet is still considered only for business use.

Manufacturing tech products with cheap prices leads to higher demand among the people. This is the main reason technology is being exploited more and is less used for meaningful purposes. Thus, the name “TECH” age is well suited to describe this current phase.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against technology. I just want to emphasize that we should use technology responsibly in the best way so we don’t harm ourselves from its negative effects.

Poster with Bill Gates quotes about using technology as a tool and not a teacher

What is Technology?

Actually the word technology comes from the Greek words “techne”, which means “craft” and “logy” which means “scientific study of”.

So technology means the “scientific study of craft.” Here craft means invention. 

Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in industries.

In today’s world when we think of technology, the first thing which comes in our minds is the computer, mobile phones, heater, cars, etc.

However, technology is a broader term which not only deals with computerization or high-tech inventions, but also with all the other inventions which improve our lifestyle. In short, every useful invention can be considered as technology.

Majorly we tend to relate technology to the virtual world.

We can hardly imagine our day without the latest innovations. The world will come to a halt if we dump our modern tech devices and tools.

There would be a point in time in the future when we would feel helpless without technology.

In fact, some of us are feeling it right now, as they think of it.

Advantages of Technology

Technology has done wonders. It is a great boon not only for humans but also for the entire world species. Technology has increased dramatically.

I am sure you all know very well about the advantages of technology, so I am not going to delve much into this aspect.

Let’s just have a quick look at the wonders of technology in our lives:

  • Technology has made it possible for us to reach a larger audience from greater geographic locations. Television and the Internet has shrunk not only the space, but also time.
  • It has surely fostered e-learning and e-commerce. Students from geographically isolated regions can now connect to their mentors with a single click. That is amazing, isn’t it?
  • One of the most important impacts of technology in business and education, is that it has decreased the use of paper and other related costs.
  • Contribution of new Technologies in the field of Health and Medicine is noteworthy. This has increased the average life expectancy.
  • Ten years before nobody thought of having a vast social network, but kudos to Social Networking for helping us connect with the world on a single click.
  • Technology has successfully replaced humans with machines. This reduced the cost of production for the manufacturing industries.
  • Lastly, it is all because of Technology that you are reading this post.

Poster with a quote about the wrong use of technology

Disadvantages of Technology

As I have mentioned before that due to cheap rates and high availability, people are getting addicted to technology.

The biggest drawback (or rather I would say the failure) of technology is that humans are not able to realize when to limit its usage.

Do you remember this famous Native American proverb? – “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” 

Although technology impacts us positively, but at the same time it can be the biggest threat to our existence.

Below is a list of the disadvantages of technology that can have a catastrophic effect on the world:

1. Big Brother is watching your every move

In the future, the omniscient surveillance system will be able to track every part of your life.

Yes, the technological devices will know us better than our friends or family. In fact, that phase has started already. The complete end of privacy is near, and absolute surveillance is coming soon.

This is probably the darkest side of technology. The BSIA (British Security Industry Association) said that there are 4.9 million cameras installed that is one for every 14 people. Isn’t that too much security?

2. Awful addiction

Its the 21st century, and we are dependent on technology for almost everything.

However, most of the time addiction to technology is under-acknowledged. I guess we all are addicted to phones. The condition gets worse when we start feeling a vibration of our cell phones even if it is not vibrating.

It happens with me, and I am sure most people reading this have already witnessed this feeling once in their life.

Did you know that a man died after playing video game for 40 hours continuously? Are games more important than life?

3. Technology is the main reason for health degradation

Sitting is the new smoking”, I am sure you would have come across this sentence at least once while reading health magazines. How can sitting degrade your health?

The more you sit, the lesser is the blood circulation in your body. Constantly starring at the screen of your devices can lead to neck and head pain.

It can result in headaches and poor eyesight. Not to mention, that the excessive use of the Internet is linked with depression and obesity.

Constantly starring at the bright screens can hamper the release of melatonin – a hormone responsible for sleep and wake cycles.

4. Man is no longer a social animal

Extensive use of technology can lead to poor social skills.

Nowadays, even business meetings are conducted over Skype or chat rooms resulting in lack of personal touch. 

The membrane between the online and offline world is getting thinner and thinner. I am sure in the future, it will completely disappear, making it hard to communicate offline.

With constant and high use of modern gadgets, we often make ourselves isolated from the world.

Imagine yourself walking on the street with your headphones on and enjoying the music with no fear of getting hit by a lamp post. This is what is called being isolated from the real world!

5. Our very own humanity is at stake

With the advancements in manufacturing technology human workers are hardly given importance or expected to work as efficiently as a robot.

On humanitarian grounds, are these kinds of expectations justified? 

We are constantly exposed to violent video games and violent videos on TV, YouTube, and movies. Why violence and drama is widely accepted when it comes to reality shows? Also, why are action movies with brutal scenes considered as a source for entertainment?

Social media is indirectly or directly promoting Narcissism, which leads to Narcissistic personality disorder.

I think these days we give more importance to our Social Media home pages that our home sweet home.

6. Internet brings out the worst

I think many of us have started living a dual life because of the Internet. Some people are completely different from what they try to be on the Internet.

Normal human beings should act the same online as he or she does in real life.

I have a real life story to share with you.

A couple from South Korea got so engrossed with a computer game, which involved raising a virtual child that they left their infant baby unattended while they were at the Internet café. In short, the girl was starved to death while her parents raised a virtual child in an online game.

This couple was so addicted to the game that they started living a dual life – one offline and another online.

7. Lastly, with the rise in usage of  technology, there’s a rise in crime

During the 26/11 terrorist attacks on Mumbai, the television and the Internet greatly helped the terrorists to keep an eye on the army activities. The technology has surely given a boost to information warfare and terrorist attacks.

Some countries use technology to spy on other countries; this creates political tension between countries. Furthermore, nuclear warfare can be the reason for mass destruction in the future.

I guess we all are aware of cyber crimes also known as computer crimes.

Such crimes include online bullying and harassment, fraud, cyber terrorism and warfare, hacking, cracking, cyberstalking, phishing attacks, identity theft, etc.

Poster with quote saying that modern technology owes ecology an apology

How to Unplug From Technology

Technology is surely influencing our business relationships, agricultural patterns, education system, Human health and behavior and the world as a whole.

It is good to embrace new technologies but getting completely dependent on them without overcoming their drawbacks is harmful.

It is indeed the need of an hour for humans to keep thinking and formulating a sustainable solution for all the technological problems.

Necessity is the mother of invention. It is important to invent and shape technologies in a human-friendly way.

After all, humans are supposed to rule over technology and not get ruled by technology.

We can’t control the government or the others. But we can do the things that we are in control of to safeguard ourselves from the negative effects of technology.

I would like to share some general tips that can help you to unplug yourself:

Quick Tip #1: Understand what are you addicted to.

The first step to avoid being slaves of Technology is to identify what are the technologies you are most addicted to.

It could be anything like television, internet, and video games (BTW before you question yourself let me answer it; Yes, The Assassin’s Creed is a video game. Just saying!).

Quick Tip #2: Do not allow addiction to hijack your brain.

Prevention is better than cure but if you are already affected you need a cure.

Don’t allow technology to take over your life. Before it starts impacting you, start reacting to it. I know it will not be easy to walk the path to de-addiction, but you can take help of a specialist or a de-addiction center. Yes, you heard it right!

Nowadays, Internet de-addiction centers are specially set up to handle people with Internet addiction disorder.

If you become restless and irritated when your Wi-Fi or 3G network suddenly goes off, then you need to improve as soon as possible because this can result in impulsive behavior.

Quick Tip #3: There is no “ Like” or “Share” button in real life!

The real life is completely different from the virtual world. Not everyone would “Like” you in the real world but do “Share” your happiness no matter what.

I know you have fewer friends in real life compared to your virtual world.

However, the ugly truth is that whatever is real will stay forever, and you need to bring the virtual friendship out of that digital box in order to make it real!

Quick Tip #4: Technology is making you stupid, so stop being a Goldfish! 

I know there are many things we really don’t know about, and Google is the best way to get information about them.

However, don’t you think searching everything on Google is being stupid?

God has gifted you with a brain, so why not try engaging in real life conversations to ask for solutions. This might initially make you look stupid but at the end of the day you would be smarter than your very own Google Granny.

Do not multi-task; this will stop you from being a Goldfish. I think you know what the average memory span of a Goldfish is.

Quick Tip #5: Emails are important but not more than your mental health.

Schedule your email-checking time. Do not keep a tab always open to check your emails and reply to them as soon as they appear.

Don’t worry; the world will not come to a halt if you do not reply to emails instantly.

Checking mails constantly can actually make you feel stressed. That is the biggest reason for you to be unproductive during your work hours.

I recommend you to schedule checking your emails after every 2 hours if your work is highly dependent on mails or check them five times a day. 

Quick Tip #6: Start dieting even if you are already fit! 

Yes, you need to start a “digital diet” regardless if you are fit or not. What is digital dieting?

Digital dieting is nothing but refraining to use any technology that you are addicted to, or you feel that you might get addicted to for a specific period; preferably 24 hours a week. 

Quick Tip #7: Out of sight is out of mind.

Be relevant and stay active! (Sounds contradicting but its true!)

Before you start your “digital diet” ensure that you place all the addictive gadgets out of your sight so that you do not get tempted to use them.

One more tip I would like to give you is that be active and make your presence – offline and online, relevant enough to get yourself noticed by others.

You can make yourself relevant offline by making new friends, getting interested in them, and being alert!

When I say you need to be active online, I mean you need to log in to all your accounts after a specific period. This could be after every 4 hours, when you take a break from your daily routine.

If you have your online business which demands your presence, you can do this every hour, but not too frequently.

Reply to everything including emails, updates, posts, etc. in an hour or two and save the rest of the time for doing something productive.

This could be things like updating your blog with a new design, learning a new language, learning or investing in some new ventures, etc.

You can use an automated tool or service to post updates on your behalf. This works like a charm!

Okay I have a presentation to share with you. It’s all about the impact of technology on our lives that we need to learn to take control of.

Making it possible! 

I have a mantra to share with you. But before that, I would like to share one of the Charles Darwin’s theories: “Survival of the fittest.”

The modern technologies have proved this theory partially wrong because even the weakest can continue to survive because of the wonderful advancements in the medical technology (also called as health technology).

So here is my mantra that will help you survive this TECH (Technology becomes Exploitable because of the Cheap rates and High availability) age: “Survival of the smartest.”

The more smartly you use technology, the better your life would be.

All the best ~ let’s unplug from the TECH age and start a revolution…

So, what are you waiting for? Go Outsmart your Smartphone!

Now it is your turn to take the conversation further!

Hey, thanks for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts on this post.

Over To You –

Are you addicted to technology? Do you have any ideas to improve the negative effects of technology? Share your opinions and insights in the comments box below.

Photo Credit: Rohan Chaubey, FreeDigitalPhotos

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71 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Hammad

    2014-12-15 at 6:03 pm

    Tip 3 is in accordance with my own thinking, almost everybody just want things on bed, it’s becoming a new trend that we’re ordering stuff from eBay and other Online stores and even don’t want to walk to the super store of our town. Google and internet is making us lazier and I think it’s the major reason of deceases among us.

    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-15 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Hammad,

      Haha yes I agree that everyone wants everything quickly with no extra efforts.

      With the increase in online shopping, there are very high chances of scams and fraud.

      So one must always be careful.

      Talking about quick tip #3, our life is not a part of facebook where only like is the option. People may dislike us or we may hate others so this proves virtual world is far different from the real world.

      Thanks and happy holidays. 🙂

  2. Joy Healey

    2014-12-15 at 4:54 pm

    That’s a great post Rohan, and Harleena.

    I agree that this is a real problem. I sit with real people in social situations/at meals and they are continually checking their phones, Facebooking etc. It’s terrible, (And, OK, if a text message comes in on my phone I will check it too, so I’m just as bad.)

    I suppose I’m “better” online and writing, because I’ve always been very shy, even as a child, and found it easier to write than talk. So it’s not new, but technology – I have to admit – is making me worse.

    To start my own “break-free” I have recently joined a couple of “real people” networking groups, as I was starting to feel a bit isolated from actually speaking to people. I’ll admit, I’m finding it strange. But it’s OK, we all have our phones on the table – just in case LOL.

    Harleena, I haven’t forgotten that standing PC thingy I emailed you about. Just waiting for someone to be about to set it up for me!

    Thanks for a thought-provoking article.


    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-15 at 5:50 pm

      Hi Joy,

      Belated happy birthday. I hope you had fun. 🙂

      Technology does isolates us and its great to have groups in real life to share our thoughts and talk with real people.

      The real danger from constant use of social networking sites is that there are possibilities that the language can get degraded with the use of short forms and some weird words.

      Thank you for sharing the post. Happy Holidays!
      – Rohan Chaubey.

  3. Dr. Diana Hardy

    2014-12-14 at 8:37 pm

    Hello Rohan,

    I have seen you as the winner on Aha Now. I am happy to see your post about technology. I am also a technology addicted, but not too much. Technology is providing us new products daily which are making our life more easier and luxury. We can not give time to our kids just because of technology.

    Thanks for sharing this post. God bless you.

    ~Dr. Diana Hardy

    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-15 at 11:50 am

      Hi Dr.Diana,

      Nice to meet you. Technology has made our lives more easier and luxurious. At the same time it is making us more dependent on gadgets and machines.

      And yes quality family interactions has surely suffered due to technological advancements and with their increased usage.

      Thank you so much. Happy Holidays.

      – Rohan Chaubey.

  4. umapathy

    2014-12-14 at 1:00 pm

    Hi Rohan,

    I was eagerly waiting for your guest post. I am sorry for the late reply. What to say about this post. WoW!!

    In this current world, every one are addicted to technology. Though technology has many advantages, we should not forget its disadvantages. Especially in our day to day life.

    Good work. Great post bro. Enjoy your weekend


    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-14 at 3:13 pm

      Hi Umapathy,

      Awh that so nice to read that you were waiting for the post. No problem, I know we have lots of work to do and it takes time to read and comment.

      It is important to not let technology take over our lives. And for that I have myself started to follow what I preached in the post.

      Going out for a walk and not using gadgets while communicating with people are some other ways to unplug ourselves. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words. Have a nice Sunday!
      – Rohan Chaubey.

  5. Dr. Arpita Jain

    2014-12-14 at 12:49 pm

    Hey Rohan,
    I am not at all surprised to read the post of such high caliber from you. Way to go Man!!
    Firstly I loved the acronym TECH….very apt and innovative!
    Secondly I loved each and every point you made there especially “Sitting is new Smoking” I laughed and at the same time was amazed at your brain storming. It is absolutely true. I firmly believe that the technology is ruining our personal health and personal relations together.
    I could also relate to what Mr Vernon said, when all the family members instead of chatting or spending time together are now just busy on their gadgets. Even at times my me and my husband do so and lately we were shocked to see my 4 yrs old joining us in the gadget war. Now more than us he has become addicted to his tablet. He will not play out or do colouring or whatever…just games and cartoons on tablets.That reminded us that we need to give rest to our gadget and spend some family time and now we silent our phones and all after 9 at night, just to teach my son that family time is more fun than his tablet.
    OMG!!I can write so much on this…LOL!!
    But just wanted to say, that I loved your post Rohan and could totally relate to it. Will also try to work up on the remedies you gave and I wish and hope I can save my son’s childhood at least for a few more years before he becomes a TECH slave.
    Keep up the good writing!!

    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-14 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Dr.Arpita,

      Thank you for appreciating the post and recognizing the efforts behind this. This would have not been possible without the help of Harleena ma’am and Vinay sir.

      I too loved that phrase “Sitting is the new smoking”. Actually Harleena ma’am had written a post on it. You can go though it to find out more.

      Yes I agree. Family members are often found busy with their own gadgets. In the SlideShare, I have shown a pic of a family where kids are busy on their phones and parents are watching TV. And this is the reality of the modern families. So there’s hardly any quality interaction taking place between family members.

      I can very much relate to your comment. I used to love painting but nowadays I never get time to paint anything as I am so busy on blogs and social media. 😥

      Yes, this is a relatable topic and we can keep on discussing it.

      Thanks a lot for an honest appreciation. I hope you are having a great Sunday! 😀

      – Rohan Chaubey.

  6. Ikechi Awazie

    2014-12-14 at 12:58 am

    Hi Rohan

    Sorry for replying so late and Congratulations for guest posting in this awesome community. I love this topic as it is one issue that is trending in our world.

    Technology can be a double edged sword; it depends on how it is used. It is true that technology has made space so small. There are so many wonderful things that can be done just with a smartphone. However like you have mentioned, there are drawbacks in technology and you have listed them in this post.

    You are right that we are in the tech age. I agree that there should be a balance in our lives even when we are using technology and Bill Gates quotes is spot on that technology is a tool. Thanks for the insight. Have a wonderful weekend.

    • Rohan Chaubey

      2014-12-14 at 4:31 pm

      Hi Ikechi,

      No problem. We have so many things to do and there are times when we can’t commit ourselves.

      Thank you for the congratulations. 🙂

      Addiction to Technology is one of the Buzzwords we got to hear in 2014 and this will continue its Buzz in the coming years as well. 🙂

      Technology was always made to ease our lives but sadly we have used it to degrade our lifestyle.

      No doubt it has done wonders. But at the same time it is the biggest reason for lack of physical interactivity in the modern world. People can suffer increased narcissism and cyberbullying through increased social media use.

      It is important to understand our addiction and curb it as soon as possible. Lets Unplug!

      Thank you for reading the post and sharing your views. 🙂
      – Rohan Chaubey.

How To Avoid The Negative Effects Of Technology On Life

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