Photo by Porapak Apichodilok

Are we too attached to technology?

March 6, 2024

By Camryn Stroupe, Opinions Editor

As service outages raged across the country a couple of weeks ago and a Meta outage hit this week, it led many to think about just how much we use phones and the internet in our everyday lives. From live communication to vast databases of information, the internet and cellular communication have become part of the backbone of society. Are we too attached to technology? This question doesn’t have a black-and-white answer.

On one hand, most people nowadays have never known life and work without technology. Even our grandparents have had phones, pagers, computers and other technology available that made their work lives easier. Faster communication, enabled by cell phones, is inherently good. We can contact anyone from almost anywhere as long as we have service. This is helpful in countless situations and has saved many lives. In addition to calling and texting, cell phones help make our lives easier by allowing access to the internet. We can Google any question, post on social media and keep up with loved ones easily. Many don’t know life without this ability, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. 

Too much of a good thing can become bad, and the same is true with cell phones. Social media can turn into a catalyst for mental health issues, identities can be stolen and scams abound in our email inboxes. The internet has many downsides, and dependence on phones has led to many shocking statistics: The average American spends 4.5 hours a day on their phone, checking it around 352 times per day. Around 44% of Americans reported anxiety when not having their phones in a recent survey by

If you’ve seen the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma,” you have seen just how much companies capitalize on the harmful effects of phone addiction. By using adaptive algorithms, corporations can figure out what we like, keep us hooked and make money off of it. As a wise friend once told me, “If you aren’t getting anything out of it, you’re the product.” In our scrolling, our data is sold and ads are shown to us in order for others to profit off our phone usage. We scroll anyway because entertainment has become king in our minds.  

Because cell phones have become so integrated into society, it’s hard to separate society from the phones. So, when outages strike as happened recently, life all of a sudden becomes much harder. Phones are inherently good, but we’ve become too attached to them and unable to imagine life without them.

So, what can we do? Most people would admit they spend too much time on their phones. The answer is simple but difficult: Just put it down. Maybe make time to take a walk outside instead of endless scrolling. Meet up and talk with friends in person instead of only texting all the time. Though more thought goes into it, it’s worth it to take the extra step to ensure phones are a tool and not a distraction. 

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