When I was nine, I first laid eyes on a phone. Given, it was a Blackberry Z-thirty, but it was enough. I became captivated, though I would not get my own for a year. What I did not know then, however, was that my life would never be the same. My parents purchased me an iPhone five in September of 2014; I was addicted. It was the most modern at the time and I insisted on getting it. On it, I would play games, watch videos, and even text my parents; glamorous, right? Technology has always been a part of my life, and I doubt it will ever cease to be in it. I do have to acknowledge that I have tried to get rid of it before. Whether it be through deleting apps, canceling social media accounts, or throwing away a phone, I have never been able to do it. I always ‘needed’ or ‘required’ technology and its vast opportunities. That was always the excuse. I do not doubt that if I had, at a young age, barred myself from technology, I would have become an entirely different person. In some way, I knew what it would do to me, but it is hard to turn away from something as the entire world is gazing at it like rubies.
On a daily basis, my phone seems like a friend, a helpful companion, or even an outlet for learning. And it is, but it is also a distraction from reality. I have always wondered; how many opportunities have I lost due to a block of metal? How many potential friends? How many experiences? Soon after technology became an international sensation, I was walking in Hyde Park alongside two of my most cherished friends and then my phone pinged. Automatically, my brain told me to check it, open whatever information was being sent to me, and look at it rather than spend time with my friends. Later on, technology had wormed its way into our walk. We were all sitting down, face-planted into these endless voids of entertainment. Around us were 450 acres of nature, and all we wanted to do was go on our phones. Oddly enough, I have noticed this behavior is popular with almost everyone, even me. As I became more and more aware of how much my phone was holding me back, I started to remind myself to get off of it, to remind others that there is a life beyond our phones. So far, it has helped me mold friendships quicker and in some way become more aware of the negativity technology brings to our lives. Even if it is just a phone. Or a computer for school. Or a tablet for work. They all form some type of toxic attachment into our minds.
As much as I believe that technology is harmful to our minds, I must acknowledge that it has been a welcome crutch over the years. Moving from state to state, from country to country, and back again, can take its toll on personal relationships; that much I know. Technology and social media especially allowed me to stay in touch with those I had left behind. For that I am grateful. In the end, however, technology has always been a confusing companion; one that I truly still do not understand. I can only hope that my relationship will become more beneficial than harmful at this point with machinery.