Are We Addicted to Technology?

It seems many people think we are a society addicted to technology, and the majority of the concern seems to focus upon the younger generation. But I didn’t want to just point the finger at college-aged students and younger because I am also highly dependent on media as well: e-mail, blogs, television, MP3 player, on-line shopping and news.

Because of our dependence and sometimes excessive use of media and technology the question has arisen about how much time is too much? Is it harmful for students to spend 6 1/2 hours a day involved in media usage? This is a question the San Francisco Chronicle asks in a recent and interesting article.

I definitely do not have an answer to this question. I do have an opinion however. šŸ™‚ Is 6 1/2 hours too much to be sitting in front of a television or computer screen every day on a consistent basis. Yes, I think it is; however, if the 6 1/2 hours is including listening to music (which in the article it sounds like it is) then maybe 6 1/2 hours isn’t really that bad. I listen to music when I run, exercise, clean the house, make dinner, work in the yard, wash the car, etc. I don’t really view this as being detrimental (unless I listen to it at the decibel level of some of my students). I have also begun to transfer much of my news and journal reading to on-line instead of on paper, but I am still reading and thinking.

In my opinion, media usage needs to be done in moderation. Yes, technology is great and I would hate to live without it, but I think it is so important to exercise, spend time outdoors, discuss topics in a face-to-face environment, hang out with friends and be silly, spend time with family, and curl up with a book and read. These are things that technology does not replace.

If you are a parent concerned that your kids spend too much time on-line, then I suggest engaging them in something else. Take them hiking, fishing, cycling, bake some cookies, wash the car together or just sit and talk. You never know, your kid might just enjoy the time with you.

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