New Show "Revolution": How technologically dependent are we?


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            As I have noted before, I watch a lot of television. From comedies to dramas to sci fi - I watch it all. And usually, when the TV goes off, that is the last that I think about the show until the following week. However, a new show on ABC called "Revolution" had me thinking a lot more than usual.

            The premise of the show is that for some unknown reason the power shuts down. I'm not just talking about a little power-outage due to a storm; I'm talking about no electricity or power ANYWHERE, and no one seems to know why. No cars, no Internet, no phones, no nothing. The show then flash-forwards to 15 years in the future: the power is still out; society must start over completely, devoid of any technology. I'm going to be honest with you - this concept absolutely terrified me. First of all, I wanted to know if this was actually possible. And scarily enough, in an article from the New York Times it said: "The "Revolution" writers did call on the physicist David Saltzberg, a consultant on the CBS sitcom "The Big Bang Theory," scientifically to assess their secret rationale for the blackout. According to Mr. Kripke, Mr. Saltzberg told them the plot "is absolutely possible" and called it 'amazing.' "

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Okay, so apparently there is a possibility of this actually happening. And yes, that's scary. However, the fact that the thought of not having my laptop, cell phone and television was so unimaginable and terrifying to me made me even more frightened. How dependent am I, and this whole world, on technology? I tried to find my answer, and whichever study I looked at or article I read the same basic conclusion was found: we are extremely dependent, and the problem is only getting worse. According to an article on webmd.com (yes, this addiction to modern technology is classified as an actual illness) "We are now more wired than ever. Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that half of the study participants reported checking their email once an hour, while some individuals check up to 30 to 40 times an hour. An AOL study revealed that 59 percent of PDA users check every single time an email arrives and 83 percent check email every day on vacation."  

In another New York Times article article "In a study to be published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, researchers from the University of Melbourne in Australia subjected 173 college students to tests measuring risk for problematic Internet and gambling behaviors. About 5 percent of the students showed signs of gambling problems, but 10 percent of the students posted scores high enough to put them in the at-risk category for Internet "addiction."" So now going on the Internet is a higher risk than gambling? That doesn't seem right to me. However. considering in both of those studies I can relate to how people responded, this data does not seem questionable to me at all. 

            The article also notes that you can go onto netaddiction.com and see if you have become dependent on this "drug" called technology by offering various self-assessment tests. Unfortunately, there is no denying that I am a complete addict after doing my own self-assessment.

 I am only 19 years old, so I in many ways grew up with technology, however I did not get an iPhone in 5th grade or my own laptop to start middle school. And sadly enough, today this is what's occurring. If I'm so dependent, not having truly grown up in the era of modern technology, what does it look like for the future generations? Many researchers have shown that the dependency of technology and having so much information available from such a young age can be detrimental, however the good news is that people are taking strides to alleviate this problem. Center for Disease Control and Prevention created  "Tips for Parents in a High Tech World" consisting of strategies to help parents raising their kids in the "virtual world." 

So, as scary as the "Revolution" plot was to me, as I'm looking more and more into our real world today, I can't help but seeing that if this fictional power-outage were to happen in real life, maybe it could be a good thing? Forcing us to take a step back and live life in the real world is vital, because if nothing changes from the way that things are now, these problems are only going to get worse.  Now there is no part of me who would consider giving up my cell phone or the internet for even a day as a form of torture - and that does not seem healthy to me. I'm realizing this probably means I should, in a perfect world, force myself to give it all up. However, we both know that's just not going to happen. But,that doesn't mean we all can't take strides to lessen our dependence and addictions, right? Because (hopefully) the chances of a world-wide black out are slim to none, and it's really up to all of us to make a change.

Here are some articles and things that I found that persuaded me just how necessary change is:  

 -Some interesting statistics of what out future of dependency on technology may look like. 

-"Facebook generation"  withdrawal symptoms (similar to "drug cravings")

-Studies and examples on how dependent people really are.

 

 

5 Comments

Whenever I think about how addicted people are to technology, I think about our age group and adults. But this blog really got me thinking about future generations. It is already bad how addicted our generation is to their cell phones, computers, and TV, but we should be even more concerned about future generations. It is crazy how young people are getting hooked to technology. My 7 year old cousin has the iPhone 5 and the newest iPad. Why does an 8 year old need a computer or a phone in the first place, let alone the newest/most expensive ones out there? It's seriously worrying! It also makes me wonder what new technology is going to come out in the future that kids won't be able to live without (just like us now with our phones). Some things I came across were - http://itechfuture.com/tag/future-technology-devices/
The younger people are when they get hooked into technology, the more addicted they are going to become. I'm afraid it's going to spiral out of control!

Stephanie, I myself experienced a somewhat long term power outage this summer. After a storm in West Virginia there was 10 day power outage! I haven't seen this show The Revolution but I can only imagine how terrible a permanent power outage would be. The only place to eat in my town was a Little Caesar's. The line was out the door and around the block. A sight I had never seen at a "large pizza for $5" pizza parlor. There was one night that I straightened my hair in a gas station's bathroom. It was the only gas station open in town. The lines for gas were hundreds times worse than the pizza. It took an hour to get a pump. Places were literally running out of gas. And lastly, if you didn't have a car charger for your phone you were SOL. I sat in my parked car in my driveway simply to charge my phone. Even then, when I knew my battery was valuable, I still couldn't resist checking twitter or facebook (if I got service where I was bc all the power lines were down) The 10 day power outage became known as "The Apocalypse." Since I knew the power would eventually return and life would continue on I was not too scared but it did cause a major inconvenience. Imagine if this happened in highly populated cities such as New York or LA. It would be pure chaos.

Here is an article on the power outages in West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland resulting in governors declaring states of emergencies, injuries, and deaths.

http://www.foxnews.com/weather/2012/06/30/mid-atlantic-storms-knock-out-power-to-nearly-2-million/

Hey Steph!Though I think it is very coincidental,I must admit that you actually had some new ideas compared to the one I posted in the last blogging period.Check my relevant article here(actually we had an identical picture in our blogs)iPhone fad is only a corner of the iceburg,there are so many other smartphones in the college for which kids are so inescapably attracted to.I dimply can't justify people who play with their phones during classes.It is downrightly loutish and unpolite,though I know the big addiction in play here.By the way,one thing I want to know is did you actually read my article or is this just your original work?I am sorry but no offense,just find them so similar.

Hi, no I did not read your blog. Was it about the same thing? I guess it's something most people are thinking about a lot - I just didn't think about it in depth until watching "Revolution." Did your blog subject come from Revolution's plot as well?

Hi, no I did not read your blog. Was it about the same thing? I guess it's something most people are thinking about a lot - I just didn't think about it in depth until watching "Revolution." Did your blog subject come from Revolution's plot as well?

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