By G.S. Luthra
A millennial’s best friend is his laptop. Studies show that people spend more time with technology than they do with each other. The average teen spends over 250 minutes per day on a computer. While British researchers found no intrinsic danger in using electronic devices, their study failed to consider whether it effects human health and development. Chinese researchers, however found that too much internet use can cause brain shrinkage, and psychiatrists say children can develop a condition called ‘electronic screen syndrome’ as using smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices can disrupt sleep.
Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said screen time was a ‘very significant concern’. He went on to say, “Intelligent use of computers can enhance the life of teenagers but overall they are spending vastly too much time online.”
“Real people, real exercise, real environments and above all real relationships in the flesh are what young people need to develop into healthy adults.” He then continued, “I’m extremely worried by the extensive and indiscriminate exposure of adolescents to computers. It should be a very significant concern.”
Kids are using technology to make and connect with friends, however at the same time are lacking social and conversational skills due to the shift in embracing digital culture. The other thing to consider is whether the new generation is living or pursuing a meaningful existence. Is technology enriching our lives or distracting us from more rewarding pursuits?
Normal children play outside games like tag where they get plenty of exercise and form friendships. Sports like baseball, tennis, football, or even just playing catch does more for building hand eye coordination and healthy development than keeping their faces glued to computer screens. More and more games are available online than ever before, and have even made adults addicted to entertainment such as:
- Adventure games
- Forums and chats
- Role-playing games
- New/political commentary
- Sexual fantasy
Last year, the average time adults spent on their phones was 4 hours per day, that’s nearly 100 hours per month! In 2015, it was found that kids spent about 30 hours per week. In the United States, the total time people combining phone use, television, and work related screen time, was 10 hours a day. That is more than how much time people spend sleeping.
Social media has enabled the masses to watch more shows, communicate with others, and have access to unlimited content. Millennials these days have more options to keep themselves preoccupied thanks to the internet.
Has Technology Freed or Imprisoned us?
Upon rising, the first thing many millennials do is flip open their laptop to browse the internet. Some scroll through their phone even before getting out of bed, filling their brains with useless junk. The typical day of many college students prior to standing up, is checking their phones programming their minds as part of their routine morning ritual, drive to school to watch Power Points, and then go home only to hop on the laptop once again.
In class, the professor demands them to log into online to submit assignments or else risk a bad letter grade. After graduation, they chase companies begging on their hands and knees for a desk job where they can once again sit in front of a computer screen in their assigned cubicle. This of course requires the mandatory slave uniform – dress shirt and iron pressed tie.
If they don’t comply, the system will “delete” them out of the rat race, digitally that is, but then again, if you don't have a social media profile which employers can critique, you pretty much don't exist in the matrix.
People’s Lives are Dependent on Technology
Communication, work, entertainment, dating, and shopping have all been imported to cyberspace. What need is there to leave the house when you have access to the world at a click of the mouse? Married couples don't even have time to mate making stores like Toys R us go out of business. Nobody wants to make babies anymore, but prefer genetic engineering in an incubator.
While many entrepreneurs praise technology and claim it has freed them as they work anywhere, the fact is these guys work harder than most and although they’re financially free, spiritually they are imprisoned as their souls are glued to a screen. They may be running their own business or freelance work, but most of their time is still devoted to a computer, not a significant other, not a child, not a friend, not a pet, or anything in the physical-based reality, but to a digital-based interface powered by circuits and wires.
So in the spirit of technology, here is a poem that sums it all up for most millennials -
My Life, One Click at a Time
My Best Friend is a Laptop,
He knows all my secrets, all my pains, and all my hopes and ambitions.
He knows my deepest hurts and desires, he knows what makes me laugh, sad, and what makes me tick
For he is my biggest supporter yet has the power to destroy my life all in one click.
If he dies, I die as he holds all of my life's work,
So I bring him along when I collaborate with others
Where the other laptops can get together and play in the cyber world through the cloud,
They’re so much better than dogs as they’re not loud.
No barking, no chewing people’s shoes, no, just the relaxing buzz
Generated from advanced circuitry that dumb consumers will never understand,
As they all seek a helping hand
To babysit their lives because technology rules, and the real world is just for fools.
I don’t seek a guru as there are hundreds available online that I can watch for free
Who will give me all of their secrets without confessing to thee.
No silly dedication or initiation, no rules or code of conduct to abide.
They pour their hearts and souls for me to pass judgement or even cast aside,
Because that’s the digital jungle, it’s every avatar for themselves.
There’s no need for emotion, it’s such a wasteful thing,
Only excellence and performance are what brings in the bling.
Sexual desire can be satisfied from an online fling,
Or the vast array of online porn,
So there’s no need to blow the horn,
Just sit back and munch on some corn.
Don't complain that it's GMO, or that you feel alone,
Because you’re not even if you have no phone.
Webcam allows you to connect
With anyone, anywhere, all without a headset, so don't expect, but reflect.
Only smart evolved geek-heads spend their time on the internet after they're fed,
The real world is only for primitive knuckleheads.
My life is safely stored in a little red USB
Superbly designed and built to withstand
High powered washing machines and
Heavy duty dryers even on high heat.
I can put up my feet as there’s no need to be neat,
Technology has automated my life
and even offers me a robot-wife.
Yes, my laptop, it's the digital life,
Accept it now without any strife.
Mr. Luthra, MBA, BFA, is an author an artist. For more info visit, www.gslcreations.com