Many years ago, Einstein predicted that technology would eventually take over our daily lives. Well, its happened hasn’t it? Einstein was right. He said ‘I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.’
I actually feel sorry for the latest generation because children have never lived in a world that wasn’t all online. Their world has always had the latest iPhone or smartphone technology and more and more children are favouring their tablets over their skipping ropes and footballs, as they refuse to play outside. We live in a sheltered world that is controlled by the technology that we created. It’s a sad realisation that five year old children now have mobile phones and talking to our friends face to face is a terrifying concept as we tend to hide behind our screens and Facebook personas.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in the nineties, it was a time when the internet was still considered a luxury, basic mobile phones were only used to call and text and Facebook was far from existence. At the beginning of the noughties it all started to change. Technology started to evolve at a dramatic rate and computers started to change people’s daily lives for the better or so we thought. I discovered the joy of being online during my teenage years but it never ruled my life like it does now. I would spend some time on my Myspace and watch my favourite YouTube videos but I also knew better and would leave the screen for a couple of hours to read my favourite book or learn to play my guitar.
Now technology is a big part of my life and I still have to remind myself daily that the world of social media isn’t and shouldn’t be everything to me. I have to pull myself away sometimes and do other things that I enjoy. I’m still able to do this but the kids born in the noughties can’t. Why not you ask? Well, they have never known a life without the internet. I have and I am thankful for that. From an early age the latest generation have mastered the ways of playing angry birds on their mother’s iPhone but have never experienced the joy of playing hopscotch in the street or playing marbles with their siblings.
They missed out on so much. That’s why I pity this generation, they don’t know any different and they never will. My generation was the last of its kind. We were the last generation that preferred to be outside playing conkers rather than in the house on a games console. Yes, we had some technology at the time, we had the first ever PlayStation and we had TV’s and VHS tapes but technology was never mandatory for us. It was a luxury, now it is an essential way to survive in the modern world.
I shake my head when I see three year olds in a prams being occupied by an app on a smartphone, when I was their age I had a Barbie doll or a picture book. Things have changed so much in the last ten years and what Einstein feared has come true. Teenagers walk the streets with their phones in their hands; they like the latest Facebook status and fail to see what is going on in the world around them. I can’t say anything; I’m guilty of this sometimes but I have the ability to see things differently to them because of the era in which I was raised.
I am addicted to social media but I also appreciate a good book or a walk in the park. It’s important to look up from your phone and realise that life is about balance. Technology is a crucial part of people’s lives now but it doesn’t have to take up all of your time and it certainly shouldn’t replace ordinary human reaction. Instead of messaging your best friend through Facebook, why not meet up and have a cup of coffee instead? Instead of buying your child the latest iPad, why not buy them a toy they can actually play with or buy them a collection of books that you can read to them before bedtime.
Einstein’s prediction may have been right but I refuse to let technology take over my life completely. If you spend all of your time living in a cyber-world you will fail to see the real one, time is passing you by as you read this, so go outside and breathe in the fresh air, discover a new place or meet new people. Facebook will still be there when you get back, I promise. It isn’t going anywhere any time soon.