Robotic people

Zoe Maki
staff writer
[email protected]

Overuse of technology has negative impact on society
Nowadays if a group of friends are enjoying a fun dinner together, instead of talking and laughing, they will be tweeting and texting. If a family gathers around the television for family movie night, they will still be staring at the lifeless screens in their hands. As a society, Americans have grown completely accustomed to having a phone glued to the body at every moment of the day; even sleeping with it beside the bed. In the middle of having a conversation, it is common to check the oh-so-important cell phone in case some extremely “important” news has been missed. However, by letting the virtual world take precedence over what is directly in front of them, people are missing the vital moments in life. The worst part of it all is that nobody seems to care or acknowledge the downfall of human interaction. People have accepted texting and messaging as a replacement for face-to-face interaction, but it cannot substitute someone’s laugh, tone of voice, or the facial expressions that reveal who they are and what they are thinking.
From birth, children are now taught how to swipe a screen rather than flip a page and they are more comfortable figuring out how to locate an app rather than depict the facial expression of their parent. With the upcoming generation so oblivious to human interaction, they are struggling with understanding the emotions of those around them.
According to Manfred Spitzer, German neuroscientist, “Overuse of technology is resulting in the breakdown of cognitive abilities in a way that is more commonly seen in people who have suffered a head injury or psychiatric illness.”
This decrease in cognitive abilities was looked at closely in a study in Seoul, South Korea (where individuals have the most connection to the digital devices than anywhere in the world). The study revealed that overuse of technology may often lead to an imbalance in the brain known as lateralization of brain function. Constant connection to the digital world “can lead to the development of the rational, linear, fact-finding skills of the left side of the brain at the expense of the right side which is more intuitive, imaginative, and emotional.”
This is an unfortunate occurrence because the right side of the brain is what sets humans apart from computers; intuition, imagination, and emotions are the most important traits when living a compassionate life as a human being.
Having access to this technology 24 hours a day is damaging to the brain, especially in regards to upcoming generations. Aside from the fact that it is slowly replacing face-to-face interaction, the overuse of modern technology is genuinely concerning when it comes to children and teenagers that are rewiring the way the human brain functions.