During our research, my group figured out a very interesting but controversial discussion: Are we dependent on computers? I mean- we all use them in our everyday life for hours and we are freaked out if they don´t work! While talking about this question, Nicola and I recognized that we are of totally different opinions about it. I would answer the question definitely with “Yes, we are dependent on computers!”
You may ask yourself “Why does she think so?”
I try to answer this and other questions my group has asked me while our discussion in this blog post.
What does “dependent on something” mean to you?
Of course, we have to find a general definition of being dependent on something. Otherwise, our argumentation about computers as an addiction would be difficult because we all have different subjective opinions about this term.
Besides computers, we can nearly be dependent on everything in different ways: drinks, drugs, cars, cigs, TV as well as love, sex, food and video games. The reason therefore is that we our body needs these certain instruments to feel good, like nicotine as a part of the cigarettes to be relaxed. Addictions also exist in an emotional matter. Lots of people need the love of their partner to be confident and feel better. Without this “drug”, they may are down and more distressed than with the care of their friends and family.
Therefore, all these examples have the following in common:
You feel happy consuming it and down without it.
You spend lots of time consuming your special “drug”.
You are freaked out if you don´t have access to it.
So, why can´t we be dependent on computers as well?
What about your personal experiences with an addiction to computers?
You may have recognized that these factors may apply to you partly when you think about your relation to computers; at least I did so.
Personally, I feel quite unwell if I have forgotten my computer at home while I´m in the university. This is because I cannot check my mails, surf the web, read the latest slides my professors updated on “moodle” and I´m not able to do some homework because “Microsoft Word” & Co. are not available. Additionally, I´m dependent on computers because I don´t have a smart phone or tablet pc with access to the internet.
As a student, I use my netbook up to 6 hours a day because I have to write essays with Word and prepare presentations with “PowerPoint” or “Prezi.com”. I look up lots of information in the web and discuss some questions at social networks.
Therefore, a day without my sweet but essential netbook would be torture!
But why are we actually dependent on computers? I mean, there has to be a reason why we no longer stick to our good old sheet of paper when we want to write something.
That is just because computers offer lots of advantages:
- Fast moving world? Fast moving technology!
Nowadays, our everyday life has changed in comparison to 20 years ago because of our economy. To gain more and more profit, companies invest lots of money in the latest technology to accomplish their tasks faster and more efficient. Time is money! Therefore, it is nearly impossible to make out an invoice or to order goods manually. It is just too time consuming and you -as an employee- could have accomplished more tasks by doing it with your computer. For example, working with Excel is more efficiently and economically than drawing a table and calculate the sales, expenditure, profits and so on with a sheet of paper.
The invention of computers also revolutionary changes in other sections of our life such as education, communication, shopping and home appliances. Reading a pdf-document in front of your computer prevents you from carrying heavy books with you all day long, for example.
- Computers will help us
As I already said before, computers make our life easier– and so they will do in future as well. Due to some scientists, the internet will make it possible to smell a new perfume before you can buy it online. Additionally, housewife-robots will be sold to help stressed people to clean, cook and tidy up their rooms. Sounds good, doesn´t it? It already is possible that you can watch your favorite movies at home using your computer and that you can buy your IKEA furniture with the help of automation.
Computers just help to make our life easier and more comfortable.
Although computers help us, they make us dependent as well!
People spent more and more hours in front of the PC that ever before and thereby neglect social contacts to other human beings. The computer is just a machine and not an alternative to communicate and share ideas with your friends personally.
However, if you know how to avoid these disadvantages, you will profit from your “addiction”:
- communicating everywhere
- studying more comfortable
- doing business more efficient
- new offers of entertainment
- saving lives in critical situations
Therefore, I am of the opinion that the advantages of computers exceed the fact that we are addicted to them. We definitely are; and we will even be more dependent on them in the future. So, be careful of its use and enjoy the ease of work.