Negative Impacts Technology Has on People’s Lives

The evolution of technology has changed people’s lives and the society. New machines, programs, and devices appear every day to make life easier. People can find any information they need in one click. Advanced technology allows people to solve many problems with the help of the computer without even living home. People can get easy access to educational materials and other tools they need in industry, medicine, and business, among others. Generally, technology helps people to perform tasks faster and save time and energy. However, it has its drawbacks as well, and people should not ignore them. The negative impacts of technology on people’s lives are bigger than the positive ones and lead to unavoidable changes, threatening face-to-face communication, people’s privacy and health. 

To start with, the development of technology challenges people’s privacy. The highways, streets, parking lots, supermarkets, banks and other buildings are being constantly monitored. The implementation of the cameras to provide traffic safety and prevent crimes has slowly expanded to placing cameras in offices to monitor employees at their workplace, restrooms, and factories. The employers explain that they use surveillance cameras to improve productivity. However, the results of many studies indicate the opposite effect of cameras on productivity. For instance, the study conducted by Bucciol, Houser, and Piovesan emphasizes that the temptation to use prohibited Internet at the workplace rises and negatively effects work efficiency. The participant of the study who had to resist the desire to browse the Internet or watch some humorous videos made more mistakes while performing tasks. Moreover, the authors argue that when participants tried to resist the desire to use the Internet, their willpower was depleted, making concentration on the labor task more difficult. Alternatively, if they used the Internet, they would replenish their resources, thereby improving the ability to focus better on their work. The results of the study suggest that the usage of technology to monitor people helps as it was intended. On the contrary, it harms their concentration and may lead to the drop in the productivity. 

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Another example of how technology endangers privacy is social networking. There are thousand hundreds of blogs and a number of social websites where people share their whole life story forgetting about their privacy. Nowadays, nobody is surprised if a person updates his or her status on a website every few minutes. As a result, such frequent and careless use of the Internet and sharing of personal data so easily make it simple for criminals to access any personal details, including bank account information. In fact, every time a person likes something online or searches for some goods to purchase, all these data is tracked and collected. Therefore, all information concerning one’s habits, dislikes and likes can be used to collect and show the advertisements aimed at a person. Undoubtedly, many websites have privacy policies and explain the reason behind the use of the information collected from the visitors. However, people rarely read those policies and even if they do, they usually do not understand them. Moreover, when the visitors of the website simply see the privacy policy without actually reading it, they get some false sense of security. Therefore, technology makes people ruin their security themselves. Every time a person visits a website, the information about online activities is collected, then used and shared. People are too reckless and ignorant of the need to think about their privacy when utilizing social networks and the web. Consequently, this endangers their private lives that may become ruined. 

Moreover, technology makes it easier for people to become victims of cyberbullying. Undoubtedly, bullying had been present long before technology became a crucial part of modern life. However, since the computer and the Internet were introduced, the situation drastically changed. People can easily offend somebody online when they do not have to take the responsibility for their actions. It has become a regular occurrence for teenagers to write bad comments under somebody’s picture, send some offensive videos, and threaten other people, among others. They rarely think about the consequences of such actions. Teenagers are probably the most vulnerable part of the society. When they are victims of bullying, they may isolate themselves or even develop depression. Additionally, the results of the study conducted by Ybarra, Diener-West, and Leaf suggest that teenagers who experienced online bullying are more likely to skip school, get suspension, or carry a gun to school. The authors conducted a study grounded on online surveys collected from teenagers between the ages of 10 to 15, and one in a three claimed that they experienced bullying via the Internet at least once. Moreover, 8% of the participants confessed that they are bullied on a regular basis. Additionally, the results suggest that 64% of teenagers that are victims of online harassment do not experience the same at school. Therefore, these results prove that victims of online harassment do not often experience it in real life. Furthermore, they suffer from consequences of such actions and may even endanger themselves and other people.

Another negative effect of technology on people’s lives concerns their health. There is a great number of negative effects on health caused by technology. To start with, technology can cause bad sleeping habits. Many people cannot go to bed on time because they are enthralled by the screen. They are constantly repeating to themselves that there is only one message to reply, one more video, and one more blogpost to read. As a result, their sleep becomes disrupted what influences their health. Another problem associated with technology is a sedentary lifestyle. When people do not have to leave the house because they can solve almost every problem with a click of a mouse, they tend to stay on the couch or the chair in front of the screen. Consequently, obesity is becoming a serious problem. The reason is that people spend more time playing video games, chatting with a friend on Facebook, and watching different videos. As a result, they have no time left to exercise and go for a walk. Obesity can develop much serious consequences for health, including heart problems. The problem is that people do not think of the serious health consequences that technology has until it is too late. 

Furthermore, the dangers to mental health are even more serious. First of all, it is very easy to become addictive to technology. For instance, in the beginning, people do not even notice that they take their smartphone everywhere. After a while, it becomes difficult to spend a few minutes without checking one’s profile or email. After a while, a person cannot spend a minute without their phone. As a result, the person simply becomes an addict. Therefore, the person forgets about their life, duties, constantly distracts at their phone, feels the urge to update information and search for something on the Internet. Moreover, people obsessed with their phones regularly bump into somebody because they are too busy with their phones. The problem is that the next time, they may hit not a person but a car or bus instead. The consequences will be much more serious. In addition, overuse of technology may lead to isolation and depression. People who overuse technology often tend to isolate themselves. For instance, gamers are so addicted to games that they forget that the real world exists. They can spend hours online just playing. In fact, isolation often leads to depression. Furthermore, Lam and Peng claim that Internet overuse may cause anxiety and depression. They conducted an experiment to examine the effects that pathological use of Internet has on teenagers. The results of their study show that if teenagers overuse the Internet, they may develop depression and anxiety. In fact, 87 of 1041 participants of the study were diagnosed with depression, and eight had great anxiety symptoms. The results indicate that teenagers who use computer too much are 2.5 times more likely to have depression lately. Moreover, it is important to note that all participants of the study were absolutely healthy before the experiment and did not show any depression or anxiety symptoms prior to the experiment. Therefore, overuse of the Internet and computers may cause teenagers to develop anxiety and depression.

On the other hand, some people argue that there are some positive effects of technology on people’s lives, one of the biggest of which is globalization. Since technology became available to almost everyone and the Internet appeared, the world is becoming smaller. People are able to stay in touch with their relatives and friends who are far away. It is much easier now to learn about other cultures and traditions of other countries since people can easily communicate with foreigners. Thus, the world is becoming smaller and people may become closer to each other even if they live thousands miles away. Even if a person has never left their native town, they can befriend a foreigner online and get to know about their country and culture. Moreover, this may awake the desire to leave one’s comfort zone. When you have a friend who is constantly talking about their culture and how beautiful and interesting their country is, the person may want to see it by themselves. Undoubtedly, this is amazing how technology makes it possible for the world to become smaller and for people from different corners of the world become closer.

However, there are studies that prove that technology destroys the real connection between people. The irony is that technology makes the world smaller and makes it easier for people from different sides of the world communicate, while at the same time, it ruins physical connection between people. It is amazing how people are able to talk to their loved ones who are far from them. However, there are negative sides of this. First, people often tend to use the Internet to connect people who live nearby and can be reached in a few minutes’ walk. Moreover, very often, people are too lazy to visit their relatives who live in another town because they can simply call them. Therefore, if one can get all the information via computer or phone, there is no need in personal visit. As a result, the Internet weakens social ties between people. There are fewer reasons to leave home if any problem can be solved via computer. For instance, one does not have to go to the shop because they can simply order food or products delivery. Moreover, people can work, connect their bank, talk to friends, and even find a partner from home. In such a way, the Internet and phone are used to replace face-to-face communication, and it negatively influences the closeness and connection between people. The results of the study conducted by Przybylski and Weinstein prove it. They compared the results of the two separate studies to prove that there is association between the presence of mobile devices and the relations between humans. The results of their study show that this association is not a positive one. In fact, both experiments proved that the presence of mobile devices slows development of close relationship between humans, reduces trust and closeness, and lowers the extent to which people were able to feel empathy and understand their partners. Apparently, this is especially true when it comes to discussing personally meaningful topics. The results of research prove the negative effect that technology has on interpersonal communication. Although technology makes the world tiny and allows people from all over the world become closer, it creates a huge gap in the relation between people in real life and weakens the social connection between people.

To conclude, development of technology has completely changed people’s lives. Nowadays, the things that were impossible a few decades ago are done every minute. The introduction of the computer, mobile phones and the Internet made lives easier and brought many opportunities for people and development. However, the society tends to do not notice the negative effects that technology has. While making the world smaller, technology distances people who live close to each other. It weakens social connections between real people and creates gaps in a real-life relationship. Moreover, it endangers people’s privacy. People forget about safety and easily present their whole lives on the Internet. Accordingly, this allows criminals an easy access to the information which they use for their own purposes. Furthermore, technology has a huge negative impact on people’s health, starting from bad sleeping habits all the way to addiction, isolation and depression. People constantly focus on positive effects of technology and are top busy being online and updating their status, missing the fact that technology is already transforming them into addicts. Having improved people’s lives, technology is ruining social bounds between people constantly intruding into their privacy and harming their health.

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