Editor’s Note: The following post is a guest post submitted by Caleb Bond, you can follow him on Twitter.
This was sparked by a conversation that I had with my grandfather; I showed him a QR code and explained how it works, to which he replied, “I love how technology is making life easier, but I don’t like how it is turning people into vegetables”. This comment was referring to computers and mobile phones. He was concerned that the moment people get bored, they pick up their mobile phone, not go outside, and practice their golf swing. He is not the type to send countless texts or aimlessly search the web for ‘mindless rubbish’, as he calls it. Is tech really turning people into vegetables? Here is my take on it.
Video games are very popular with people of all ages. The most ‘active’ gamers though, are recognized to be teenagers. Just the other day, my local 6pm news ran a story on the overuse of video games. It reported that one teenage individual, spent 18 hours straight playing video games. I kid you not, 18 hours without a break, and the effects were suicidal. We know of other events were people have played video games for excessive amounts of time, and suffered due to it. Of course, death is very rare, but problems such as depression and not wanting to have any social contact can emerge. How much is too much? For me, I can’t play a game for more than 1 hour without having a break of some sort. More than that is deemed too long by me, but if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that 18 hours is far too long on everyone’s scale.
How much time do you spend, every day, reading pointless stuff on social networks or watching some stranger be an idiot on YouTube? What did you benefit from it? Often, the benefits are minimal or none. So, why did you do it? Is it because you could? I am guilty of doing that sort of thing just because I can, but when I do, I’m usually bored. This is probably the most unproductive thing I can do in a day. Sure, it may pass a few hours very quickly but there must be something else that can pass the time. Why not go for a walk or run? These activities can use up a few spare hours, are healthier, get you outside, and best of all they can be fun.
Many of us will spend hours in front of the television. I like to watch the news during dinner, and finish off my day with an hour or two of recorded programs. I find it easy to relax and wind down while watching the television. This isn’t too bad, because there aren’t an awful lot of things that you can do outside at 9pm. What is bad though, is when people watch the television from the moment they wake, to the time they sleep. If you are bed ridden, I can understand, but otherwise, are you really living a better life because you spent your day watching gossip shows, daytime talk shows, and soap operas? Get off of your recliner and work that hamburger off!
Yes, I think that technology is turning a percentage of us into vegetables. I am in no way saying that you shouldn’t use technology, I’d be one of the last people to say that, but like many things, using technology should be done in moderation. If you take regular breaks, and mix it with a bit of physical activity, you can enjoy technology, and stay healthy!