November 2, 2016
Look to your country, and ask yourself this; “What is the American society addicted to?”. One of your first responses were most likely drugs and alcohol. But have you ever thought of technology as being an addiction? Every year that goes by, the people of your country are getting more and more dependent upon technology. While many do not believe this is a true addiction, there is evidence that shows otherwise.
Children are the majority of the victims, as they can be permanently impacted by this addiction. In science it has been discovered that a child’s brain grows as they mature, this has been a known fact for many years. If a form of technology is added to this mix in substantial quantities, that process of brain growth is disturbed. Interruption of maturation can cause children to be socially awkward, and unable to make sense of things like common emotions. If this itself sounds bad, there is more at stake than the future’s personalities.
Brain scans have shown that those who use technology more often work their prefrontal cortex half as much as a normal person does. The prefrontal cortex is what helps a person with tasks such as decision making and carrying out plans. Technology also affects the brain in such ways that it muddles sleeping patterns as well. A human’s sleeping cycles are responsible for taking care of the body. The brain “washes out” the unneeded information during sleep. If the body is unable to sleep, the brain cannot do this process, which will cause problems with brain function.
During a study done in Chicago, it was found that the urge to check one’s social media account is more compelling than the need to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes. The obsession of technology is also affecting normal life. Researcher Jennifer Chait, has a website that states many would give up personal hygiene to be with their phone. Others said they would leave their significant other for technology.
While not all forms of technology can be completely abolished in our society, there are ways to resolve the addiction. Restaurants can have a no cell phone policy, and have zones set in certain areas to use the phone. Businesses may offer discounts to clients for leaving their phones behind with a secretary or other employee. For extreme cases, addiction helplines can be implemented for those who acknowledge they have a problem. Lastly, stricter driving laws could be put into effect. If one is pulled over for being on the phone while driving, the consequences should be much more severe than the current punishment. There should also be signs to raise awareness of the dangers from driving while on the phone.
There are many solutions to reduce the negative side effects of technology. The only way it can be done is to unify the people of your country, and put a stop to this. America cannot suffer from something so simple to fix. We need a leader, someone to guide us in the right direction of rehabilitation. I ask you, as the next president of the United State of America, for your help.
12th grader from Billings, MT
Chait, Jennifer. “Technology and Kids: Startling Statistics Every Parent Should Know about Addiction to IPhones & Screens.” Inhabitots. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <http://www.inhabitots.com/technology-and-kids-startling-statistics-about-addiction-to-iphones-screens-that-every-parent-should-know/>.
Archer, Dale. “Smartphone Addiction.” Psychology Today. Sussex, n.d. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/smartphone-addiction>.