Technology: How We Become Dependent

By: Naim Peress

Technology: How We Become Dependent

I spoke with an attorney in court last week about his Blackberry. I looked at it and he told me that he could not imagine living without it.

That conversation made me think about how we become dependent on these gadgets. Our parents in the 1970's and our family members beforehand did not have cell phones and they managed to survive.

I think I know how it happened. First, we become sucked in by the convenience. For instance, cell phones allowed us to talk almost anywhere. It gave us opportunities to carry out business or have conversations more often. We enjoyed the increased productivity and access to others. It was also very easy. Eventually, we succumbed to the ease of storing a person's phone number and pressing a button (I've forgotten most of my friend's numbers by now). Suddenly, we cannot imagine life without our cell phones and the convenience of it.

The other key factor is the fact that every one else has a certain gadget. Again, let's take the cell phone. I have a friend who resisted having a cell phone. However, most other people bought one. Soon, everyone communicated through one. If you don't have one, you're out of the loop and in terms of business, uncompetitive. Even if you want to resist having one, you're compelled to get one because then you're not part of the ever-larger professional or social circle that has one. In high school, we call it peer pressure.

As you can see, my friends, it is not just what we do, but what our friends and acquaintances do. Through peer pressure and convenience, we become dependent.

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