Friday, September 21, 2012

Technology Overload? I'd say so!

Since we are living in a technology based generation, many people are controlled by their electronic devices whether they realize it or not. According to Katie Couric, in her interview with Author William Powers, she states “that there are nearly 6.6 billion people in the world and over 5 billion mobile devices” (Couric).  William Powers addresses this issue of technology overload in his book “Hamlet’s Blackberry” and explains how electronic devices are literally taking over people’s lives. 
In the beginning of her interview with William Powers, Katie explains how many people check their email while in the bathroom, check their phones while at church, and the most shocking one of all was that people actually stop having sex to check their electronic device. William Powers explains in his book, how people have this inner desire that is pulling them to do this. It can be compared to the inner urge a person gets when they smell fresh bakes cookies. There becomes a strong desire to eat at least one. However, this “pull” this “desire” is resulting in the lack of ability to concentrate and develop deep thoughts, have real original conversations with friends and family, and be able to simply self reflect and be alone. When a cellphone or laptop starts causing issues amongst family members and friends you know there is a serious problem going on. 
In an online article titled, “Releasing your Mind from Technology Overload”, the writer states his view on this technology overload issue. He explains, “in a recent study conducted by Cambridge University, nearly a third of the study’s participants described feeling overwhelmed and overrun by technology(Underwood). He states that technology is causing a significant amount of unwanted stress. Powers suggests that by separating themselves from technology, society could begin to refrain from this problem. People need to put the use of technology “in the proper perspective” (Couric). If society allowed themselves to be technology free for a few hours a day, they may begin to see how there is so much in life they are missing out on.
William Powers talks about an “internet Sabbath” which is eliminating the internet from your life for a certain period of time. Powers and his family did this every weekend and realized how satisfying it really was. At first it was a difficult task because they were constantly thinking about the computer, however, after a couple of months they realized how rewarding it was to be technology free. It allowed them to become connected to each other and with themselves on a deeper level. He explains how “living in the moment” is so important and this helped him accomplish that. I agree that electronic devices do not allow society to experience what is happening now. Whether we realize it or not we are constantly doing something with our devices, whether that be checking emails, returning a text message, or updating our twitter status. 
Powers and Couric sum everything up by saying that there is a “wonderful medium” that can be met with technology. People need to control that constant inner urge for electronic devices. By finding a balance, people would begin to experience the beauty of living in the present moment and eliminate that pointless stress that is addressed in the online article “Releasing your Mind from Technology Overload”. Technology is a great luxury when it is not abused. However, it cannot control someone’s life or it becomes an unhealthy addiction.  


  1. Technology has been advancing rapidly for years and it truly has impacted the newer generation of Americans. It has made things very easy for us and that may even bad in some ways. For example, we rely on technology tremendously for communication, problem solving, and research. I believe that this makes us a bit dumber since our brains are not being stimulated as much to remember and learn new concepts. Taking some time off from the internet would help us learn a lot of new things that we would not learn otherwise from technology. However, as you stated, technology is extremely useful and its use should be controlled.

  2. Technology is everywhere we go in today’s world. The quote by Couric, “that there are nearly 6.6 billion people in the world and over 5 billion mobile devices”, goes to show really the drastic increase in not only technology but mobile devices as well. As far as the debate goes for making it us dumber, studies do show that this lessens your attention span. But is that necessarily making us dumber? I’m not too sure about that, but with the way technology has advanced in the recent years, I can’t really see it slowing down anytime soon. Will growth and expansion of technology stop or will the world become stupid?