Thu, Feb 08, 2018 - Page 8 News List

Technology addiction is very real

By Chao Che-sheng 趙哲聖

Meanwhile, adults rely on interaction with their smartphones for work, entertainment and throughout their daily lives.

Many are concerned that modern rituals around technology have already produced an unconscious “coldness” in people who no longer need to be metaphysically “present.”

If we are unable to liberate ourselves from the addictive patterns that are hard-wired into this new technology — and also fail to take the proper precautions to protect children during their growth and development — it will be extremely difficult to kick the habit later on.

The seemingly unlimited expansion of smart devices and technology, their powerful functionality and the moderate amount of guidance required for children to be able to operate them, means that fairly strict rules are required, in addition to parents acting as role models, to restrict the use of technology and the Internet.

Parents must lead by example by planning leisure time around activities and entertainment that require interpersonal contact, such as reading books, listening to music, or playing board games or sport.

Parents can still allow educational games, but this should not be limited to digital ones.

Breaking our addiction to technology will not be easy, since it is now virtually impossible to live without it in our daily lives. However, we can limit the degree to which our lives are turned into one big video game.

We must be wary of social media companies and their pursuit to digitize every aspect of our lives.

We must ensure that the black screens in our pockets function as personal assistants rather than objects we cannot function without. Only then will we be able mitigate the coming problem of “Internet gaming disorder” for the next generation.

Chao Che-sheng is an assistant professor at Kainan University’s information communication department.

Translated by Edward Jones

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