I’ll be the first person here to admit it: I’m obsessed with technology. Whether it’s a smartphone, gaming console, or digital camera, if it has a chip in it and can do something special, I’m there.
There was a time not long ago when having that obsession wasn’t so common. We had conventions and shows in our towns where we could go, marvel at the latest and greatest computers, and talk with those of us who shared that love. It was a small but proud group.
Nowadays, though, it appears nearly everyone is as tech-obsessed as we once were. Everywhere I turn, someone is typing away on a laptop while sipping a coffee, chatting with a friend on their iPhone, or hoping auto-correct is working well as they type out an e-mail on their tablet. Those old computer shows are long gone now; today’s tech industry has hit the mainstream.
But now I’m starting to wonder if that’s really a good thing. Nearly every month, we’re inundated with studies claiming our use of mobile phones could be causing cancer. There’s even some concern that if children play too many violent video games, they can become violent themselves.
As someone who has followed these topics — and the countless other health-related studies surrounding the tech industry — I’m not so quick to jump on the bandwagon and say that something might be true or not. The fact is, one study will link tech to something concerning and another will come out to refute it. At this point, there’s no telling what’s true and what isn’t.
Still, I can’t help but wonder if our tech obsession might eventually hurt us. After all, there was a time when everyone thought it was just fine to smoke cigarettes. After studies revealed that might not have been the case, there was an immediate reaction of denial. Soon after, as the studies proved true, people changed their lifestyles.
I’m not here to link technology usage to cigarette smoking — far from it — but it does help to illustrate a point. We are using products and engaging in activities that seem innocuous enough. But we’re also experiencing what amounts to the beginning phases of technology adoption. There’s no telling what the future holds and how we might be impacted.
So, that kind of tech obsession is something we should at least think about. Like so many others, I can’t imagine a world where I’m not spending the majority of my time using some kind of technology to be entertained or get work done. But I also fully appreciate those moments when I can disconnect and realize that there might be a big, fun, and exciting world out there that doesn’t require the use of an iPhone or iPad.
So, keep that in mind the next time you power on that laptop or start recording shows on the DVR. Has our obsession with technology become as much of an issue as a blessing?
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear