MANS BEST FRIEND OR GREATEST ENEMY.
BY JORDAN COOPER
Technology is built to make our lives simpler and easier.
Taking the difficult work and making it easy to do.
As technology has progressed so has our obsession with it.
A need to always know what is happening and to be
connected with everyone through social media has made
us addicted to technology.
From Cell phones to Social Media, The Television and
Online Games we have created a need for technology
that boarders on addiction.
Statistics reported by Locket (a mobile app) states that on
average their 150,000 users check their phones upwards of
110 times a day
During peak times (5pm to 8pm) this equates to nine times
During off peak times(3am to 5am) roughly 25% of locket‟s
users were still active using their phones roughly four times
Locket even reporting someone using their phone up to
900 times a day (an 18 hour period) this equates to once
every six to seven seconds.
Cell Phones Cont.
Our obsession with technology is so great that we are
willing to put our lives at risk to answer our phones while
Although many, if not all of us believe the use of a cell
phone is dangerous while driving many people still use their
phones while in a vehicle.
“At any given time during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers in
the United States use cell phones.”(Edgar Snyder &
It is estimated that 1.3 Million crashes (23% of all car
accidents each year) are related to the use of a cell
Over the past few years social media has begun to play a
huge part in our lives.
The use of social media has become the largest use of
Americans spend on average 37 minutes a day on social
Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account for a
large amount of our online time. Americans spend roughly
114 Billion minutes a month on Facebook, 8 billion on
Instagram and 5.3 billion on twitter. (Emily Addler)
Social Media Cont.
Social media is addictive.
Studies show that the human brain considers sharing
“A recent Harvard University study showed that
disclosing personal information activates the same part
of the brain that gives pleasure when a person enjoys
good food, receiving money or having sex.” (Brent
As the brain continuously tries to find things that give us
pleasure, it is not hard to understand why one could
become addicted to social media.
Social Media Cont.
The Symptoms of social media addiction are
Other tasks done get done
Isolation (from real-world friends and family)
Guilty or Defensive feelings (about social media)
Feeling like nothing is better than social media
Physical symptoms (Carpal Tunnel, Dry eyes/ eye strain, back
and neck aches, lack of sleep, weight gain/loss) (Brent Matsalla)
The television provides many purposes for people
It is an excellent source for important news but its primary
purpose is for entertainment
As stated by David Hinckley in an article on television, The
average American over the age of two years old spends
more than 34 hours a week watching live television, and
another three to six hours watching taped programs
The Television Cont.
As we age we have begun to watch more and more
Children ages 2-11 watch 24 hours of television a week
Ages 18-24 watch 25 hours
People over the age of 65 watch 48 hours of television a week
Video Games are the clearest form of technology addiction
Many report being addicted to online games, spending upwards of
12 hours a day playing.
To many, online games are built to encourage addictive behavior
Cooperative games like World of Warcraft require players to block out a
time where all members of a team are available, this makes gamers feel
„duty bound‟ to go online as others were relying on them. (Jack
Games also experience the same effect that gamblers do. When
rewards are given randomly a PRE or Partial Reinforcement Effect is
seen. Gamers much like gamblers are hooked, hoping to be rewarded
for playing with rewards that could appear at any moment.
Online Games Cont.
An addiction to video games can have very serious side-
Loss of Sleep
Unhealthy weight gain/loss
Eye and back strain
Carpal tunnel Syndrome
Lost jobs and loved ones
Online Games Cont.
The most serious of these being Death. There are countless reports of
death related to video games, from those who take their lives after
the loss of an account or bullying, to those who die from
“In 2005, a South Korean man died after a reported 50-hour video
gaming session, and in 2012 a Taiwanese man was discovered
dead in his gaming chair, arms outstretched for his computer even
in the middle of a fatal cardiac arrest. No, you wouldn't wish that on
These people are so helplessly addicted to technology that it has
cost them their lives. Technology addiction comes in many forms
and must be identified before any change can occur.
How does this relate to Symbolic
Symbolic Interaction Theory analyzes society by the subjective
meaning that people impose on objects, events and behaviors. It
also suggests that social interaction shapes our sense of self.
In our society staying connected and being famous could be
considered as two of the most important things in our lives.
Having Facebook friends, the most followers on Twitter, the highest
score in a video game, being up to date on the latest television
shows, these are all things that people have placed meaning on.
The symbolic meaning of these things overrides our needs for safety,
and common sense and it is because of this that we have become
addicted to technologies that offer us a chance to have what we
deem to be important.
How do we fix this?
The easiest way to fight technology addiction is to treat it as such,
Removing the objects in question is the best way to fight addiction.
After you realize how addicted you are to your tech, you must
simply try to go without it.
Even in small doses, turning your phone off, reading a book instead
of watching television, putting the parental controls back on your
computer to help you monitor your usage, can help to fight this
Developing a realistic goal (like only using your phone for
communication and not surfing the net), and creating a plan to
achieve that goal can help you get that monkey off your back.
Victoria Woollaston. 2013 . How often do you check your phone?. Daily
mail. Retrieved from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-
Statistics on Texting & Cell Phone Use While Driving. Edgar Snyder &
Associates. Retrieved from: http://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-
Emily Addler. 2014 . Social Media Engagement: The Surprising Facts
About How Much Time People Spend On The Major Social Networks.
Business Insider. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/social-
Brent Malsalla. 2013. Social Media Addiction. Guardianlv. Retrieved
David Hinckley. 2012. Americans spend 34 hours a week watching TV,
according to Nielsen numbers. New York Daily News. Retrieved from:
Jack Flanagan. 2014. The psychology of video game addiction. The
Kernel. Retrieved from:
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