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A XXI century addiction : Are We Too Dependent on Computers to Function Without Them?

BY Tetiana Karpus / BORYS GRINCHENKO KYIV UNIVERSITY | 16-Nov-2016
All of us in our lives depend on someone or something. Nowadays, because of the appearance of new technologies and computers, this issue has become increasingly important. Now we cannot imagine a world where no one knows what is Facebook. Every day, we invent something new, and very often we cannot even keep up with all the innovations of the IT market. Different people appreciate new inventions differently. Some of them suppose that sophisticated gadgets are really useful and necessary, while others find them absolutely awful as they influence people badly. People have come a long way in achieving the technology that now is available to all of us, but where will they lead the humanity in the future? #DigitalAddict
Address: Kyiv, Ukraine
: https://www.facebook.com/tetianakarpus
Photo source: http://www.webstarts.com/blog/post/how-to-create-a-responsive-design-using-webstarts
A French science fiction writer Bernard Werber says: “In the future it will be necessary to put a computer in the head of the government, so it will never forget anything. A computer never sleeps. It never hurts nobody. It does not have sexual problems. A computer has no family and friends.” A computer is one of the greatest things, which the human mind has ever invented. For a long time there was a hypothesis that if one million monkeys are given typewriters under the probability theory after a while they print "War and peace". Now, with the development of the Internet, we know that it is not right. Indeed, the main enemy of our dependence on computers and gadgets is not actually directly in them but the Internet, which they have.

If Hitler had lived today, he would not have spoken at the stadium. He could have just simply spread his speeches on YouTube. If Goebbels had had the internet and his blog, his propaganda would have been much more effective. If Napoleon had used Google maps, his conquest of Europe could have taken a several days. We have great opportunities and possibilities having the Internet. Another issue is that we do not use it for the good.

We are too dependent on the Internet because it allows us to be what and who we really want. Since its creation, it has given us a unique platform for innovations, creativity, and economic opportunity. The Internet has improved the quality of people’s life in all the parts of the world – and continued to do so. But for most of us, the online prism allows us to become who we truly are, and who we want to be. It lets us show our real personality.

However, we feel confident buying a new gadget. The answer arises "I can afford it." I can afford to spend a lot of money on the purchase of a single e-book and upload gigabytes of exciting reading material, instead of permanent cluttering bookshelves for innovations that after reading usually stay there collecting dust. I can get more virtual impressions of the game console. I can listen to music and do not be distracted by calls. I can, I can, I can ...

Firstly, can anybody tell how it is possible to live without free information? Can anybody prove me that it is easier to read a lot of books than to find all you need in “Wikipedia” or searchers? Of course, first of all, computers make our lives a lot easier and save us a lot of time. Secondly, devices can save a lot of time as well as storage space. For instance, a computer disk can contain the same amount of information as several thick books. We can imagine our life without computers, but we do not see the point why should we imagine our life without modern technologies, computers, phones etc.

Other people think that computers are bad for us. They often say that people, who spend most of their time in front of the display, can become addicted. Some people also say that computers are harmful, because children are becoming weaker, less muscular and unable to do physical exercises which were found simple for the previous generations. These ideas published in the child health journal Acta Paediatrica, have led to the fresh concern about the impact on children's health caused by shifting them away from outdoor activities. But is it a problem of computers? It is a problem of parents who do not control how much time their children spend on the computers. These parents often have no time for their children, and they find their saviors on the computers, because they can just distract their child playing on a tablet or phone, instead of reading books for them, or going for a walk.

Overall, the internet is only harmful to people who are open to danger. Spending one or two hours a day in front on the computer, do not damage your mind. But you can be shocked by a lot of bad information. If you talk to any information security expert he/she will inform you that the biggest danger to any company or computer system is in users which control the system. The tool is not dangerous, but the person wielding it.

We overestimate too much the value of computers in our lives, that is why we are so dependent on them. An American journalist Sydney J. Harris says, “The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers”. People hide themselves from each other behind the new-fangled monitors and devices, logins and passwords, but do not meet other looks. And if the "online" icon goes away, it seems that the person does not exist for us. And no one cares about him in real life. But in fact, we are all dying of loneliness and suffocating alone, without handshakes and pats on our shoulder, without smiles and laugh. The emoticons on a keyboard have become our lips: they are sad for us, angry and funny. We essentially need the human community. I spent years fully involved in online-communities however I never felt satisfied. Computers can help connect us to other people, but online relationships cannot satisfy the human need for community. Technical development must not be ahead of moral and ethical development.

In conclusion, I firmly believe that in spite of all gadget drawbacks, their advantages are much more considerable, as they save people`s time and let them enjoy their life. Technologies exist to make something both easier and more efficient. Computers help people gather any information, store it, and assist with the Internet communication. Despite the progress any technologies can get older. The only thing that does not become obsolete is communication and genuine human values. Computers are just used in the current evolution of things. Nowadays, pens and paper, calculators, encyclopedias, dictionaries, can be covered by one computer. But we must remember the important thing emphasized by Elbert Hubbard: “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man”.