Blog Post 6 – The Overuse of Technology

According to Dewey and Richtel, technology is slowly emerging as a vast employment that enwraps a persons’ attention span. Dewey suggests that computer screens are being used more to “eliminate distance” between two people (519). Two people can be on the complete opposite sides of the world, yet feel as if they are face to face with the use of a computer screen. Dewey also emphasizes, “the irony is that we flock to the Internet for tis type of safe, sanitized intimacy, but we want something entirely different” (519). She is acknowledging the fact that so many individuals use the computer screen to hide behind or to be someone they are not. Like Dewey, Richtel also believes that technology is taking a larger role in individuals’ lives than it should be. Richtel concurs “ the stimulation,” of being on the computer or engulfed in some form of technology, “provokes excitement – a dopamine squirt – that researchers say can be addictive” (481). Without this stimulation for some people, they become bored and uninterested in the world around them. Richtel explores the relationship between the overuse of technology and multitasking. He reveals that high multitasking people are better at finding new information rather than developing on previous information. Richtel also states that people who frequently multitask miss out on important situations and people in their own life. This group of individuals are also “constantly shifting their attention” from one thing to another (482). Dewey argues that individuals are using technology to live their lives instead of facing tasks or people “in real life or IRL” (519). Whereas, Richtel argues that individuals are incorporating too much technology use into their lives and are missing out on more important things. However, both Dewey and Richtel would agree that technology is becoming more of a problem for people than a help. In Richtel’s article he shows a family’s struggle with the use of too much technology. Long story short, the father is constantly on the computer checking emails, working or playing video games and that is having a negative effect on his family. Even his two kids and wife are spending too much time in front of the screen as well. I really related to this article on a personal level. Growing up my dad was always in his office working on the computer. He would rotate between reading emails, searching the web and placing orders. After dinner, when my mother, brother and I would be watching TV he would always be in his office or either in the recliner on his laptop. Like Mr. Campbell, when we would go on vacations may dad would constantly be disconnected from the rest of us and be occupied with replying to work emails. Growing up this made me angry with my dad because I always felt that his work came before our family. Luckily over the years with the help of consistent nagging from my mom, my dad has gotten better about not being on his computer or phone all the time. According to Richtel, I would not say I was a good multi-tasker. Even while reading these two articles I found myself wondering what I was going to do next or eat for lunch. I notice that when I multitask, the level of my work declines. Like Richtel describes in his article, “people interrupted by e-mail reported significantly increased stress compared with those left to focus” (484). There has also been a linked found between a decrease in short-term memory and an increase in stress hormones. I would definitely say that I get stressed out very easily when it comes to schoolwork and I can notice a decrease in my short-term memory skills. This is the exact reason why I cannot cram the night before a major test and expect to do well. I do find Richtel’s article to be persuasive. His use of the story of a family struggling with excessive use of technology can be highly relatable to so many other families in today’s world. Richtel’s combination of pathos, logos and ethos rhetorical strategies really helped with making his article persuasive. After reading his article, I will definitely try to limit the amount of time I spend on my computer and phone to improve my family connection and also limit my distractions during schoolwork time.

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