They say that you don’t appreciate something until it’s gone. Well, I realised that too when my laptop broke down a few weeks ago. This may sound a little dramatic, but it really made me think about how much I actually used my laptop – mostly for school, but for entertainment as well. While phones are also capable of many things nowadays, some things are just better to do on a bigger device. So, how much do we actually rely on our technological devices?
As technology is essentially integrated into our lives nowadays, I would say we are very dependent on technological devices. Take phones, for instance, I think most of us (me included) can agree that we are a little more reliant on them than we would want to. Smartphones have become way more than just a communication device: phones are now also a camera, an entertainment device, and have the ability to actually show what people are up to. Because of this, we have gotten used to having a phone and being available 24/7, with some even getting (a little) addicted. While we could technically live without smartphones, I don’t think most people would want to. This is a somewhat different story for laptops: even if we would want to, I don’t think it would be possible to live without them as they are used widely in schools, companies, and so on. As I said before, “losing” my laptop actually made me realize how much I needed it.
While phones and laptops are technological devices that are quite apparent, there are also devices of which you don’t necessarily realize its impact. Payment devices that you see in stores, restaurants, etc., are an example: we now take them for granted, but if a place doesn’t have one or the device is malfunctioning, a lot of people wouldn’t be able to pay (large amounts) in cash as it isn’t carried around that much anymore. The same goes for security cameras: we don’t really notice them anymore (unless you’re doing something suspicious), but thefts, accidents, and so on wouldn’t be able to be solved as quickly if they weren’t there. This once again shows that technology is really integrated into our lives.
So, is there a way to become less dependent on technology? Probably not. While we can reduce our use of technological devices, we will keep being reliant on technology in general as it has become an integral part of our lives. Therefore, the only thing we can do is adapt, and enhance technology so that it becomes increasingly more reliable. Then I would suggest not to spill tea on your laptop in the middle of exam week like I did – human reliability (unfortunately) remains the same.
Author: Marit van der Kwaak
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Iryna Lizenko