The dangers of technology


Colette Cloutier

As American suburbia becomes emerged in and dependent on technology, it is easy to get sucked in and become a victim of the constant, ever-changing lifestyle of Internet and social media. More and more, innocent civilians fall victim with each passing hour to this life of procrastination and avoidance behavior and through it all.

One question remains dominant: will they find a cure?

My name is Colette Cloutier, and I too have fallen to my knees at the feet of a common offender known by the name, The Smart Phone. I have had an iPhone for just under a year now and am forced to admit that though the take-over was gradual, I lost the battle between myself and my enemy.

I now spend hours upon hours a day watching not only my peers, but also strangers’ lives go by as I procrastinate my studies, ignore my sports and workouts, and lose sleep. My enemy goes by several names, but you may be familiar with a few, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram , and Snapchat.

You see, they have a system. They come one at a time, slowly and stealthily they creep into your life and before you know it they have you wrapped around their little fingers, and once they are there…good luck getting them to leave.

First it was Facebook. My mother tried to shield me from social media’s horrors for as long as she could, but by the middle of basketball season freshman year, I had rebelled and created a Facebook. Oh how I enjoyed updating my status or changing my profile picture, each time keeping my fingers crossed for more likes! Such thrill!

But nothing had prepared me for the feelings Twitter would bring me once I made an account at my teammate’s request in the summer of ’12, mid softball season. Favorites, retweets, quotes, and follows, all for my silly little 140 character tweets that reeked of hypocrisy, conformity, and slight desperation. Twitter was great for a while, and still is as a matter of fact, but it couldn’t keep mediaholics like me entertained forever!

The media-gods were forced to create Instagram, which is essentially a stereotypical white girls heaven where an uncanny number of daily, different filtered selfies is not only encouraged, but basically a requirement. Have you had Starbucks, gotten new Toms/Uggs/Sperrys, gone tanning with your BFFs or YOLO’ed lately? Well I sure hope you remembered to post a picture or video of it! I’d hate to think that your 2,746 followers were denied of that important moment in your life.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; perfect, right? What more could one typical teenager need to keep them occupied and distracted from real life important things for hours on end?

The answer to that question is Snapchat. An app that allows one to send out to the world even more selfies and other frankly non-important pictures with captions, but with a twist! These pictures are only available to the receiver from anywhere between 1-10 seconds, plus you have the option to draw beautiful finger drawings with a built in rainbow of color options. Timed photo-sending may sound strange to you, but it can keep you entertained for hours. Trust me, I would know. Who even needs texting anymore is my question; I can text just as well with Snapchat, and it even lets me illustrate my words with an assortment of duck faces and finger gang signs. Everybody wins.

As I’m sure you can imagine, all of this ever changing social media can get in the way of homework, extracurriculars and sleep at times, but along with the majority of society I have almost convinced my brain that a good night’s rest and A’s in my classes aren’t nearly as important as Sarah Smith’s double chocolate chip mocha frap, or who Michael Jones asked to homecoming.

Although I am fully aware of my addiction to social media and understand the risks I take with each minute I spend tweeting, posting, or snapping, getting to stop may be nearly as difficult as it would be for a smoker to quit smoking, or an alcoholic to stay sober.

Our generation is going to be quite a sight as we all grow up and start to get married and have families…I can already picture my first born with their own little iMini that he/she will most likely have mastered the use of before he/she learns to walk. I have been considering going to Smart Phone’s anonymous for quite some time now, and after this column, I think I am going to go. I need help before it is too late and I encourage you to join me if you too feel yourself slipping into the bottomless black hole of technology addiction. Together, we can find a cure.