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Opinion: Do people depend on computers too much?

While technology can be helpful, the excessive use and dependence on computers contribute to our declining ability to retain information and knowledge.
<a href="https://highschool.latimes.com/author/kyranlin/" target="_self">Kyran Lin</a>

Kyran Lin

October 28, 2022

There is no doubt that computers have made life easier for people in the past years. According to a Nielsen Company audience report, the average person is using electronics for ten hours a day. They have also found out that Americans have increased this time by one hour over the last year. With Americans spending over 40% of their day with screens, are people now too dependent on computers?

There’s no doubt that there are many social benefits to having computers, especially when they are connected to the internet. Computers give people the ability to work with others while at home, socialize with those they have never met and contact friends and relatives who are living far away. Before the invention of this type of technology, it was fairly difficult for long-distance communication. But thanks to computers, it has become possible. 

At some point, the benefits start to become consequences as people start to depend on devices too much. When we are on our computers all the time, we tend to get addicted to them and many are unable to live optimally without computers today. This is because their whole lives depend on and revolve around computers. Even our connections with others online, though entertaining, can even be detrimental. As reported by the University of Missouri, they observed that social media users envy their friends because of their lifestyle and the activities they do, and they are much more likely to experience depression.

Computers can store any of the information we are looking for and give us answers to any questions we need. This might seem beneficial when it comes to education, but it can actually be a detriment. 

As a student, I feel like our dependence on computers can hinder our learning. One example of this is when I was taking the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) test. During the essay portion, the topic I was given was asking about my favorite vacation spot, and I wrote about Hawaii. However, there were some facts about Hawaii I was not able to write about because access to computers were restricted during the test. In the end, I had to leave those parts out because I couldn’t remember certain facts, and the essay was not as persuasive. This resulted from my dependence on computers. 

The easy accessibility to computers tends to discourage students from learning because they have the information they need at their fingertips. Oftentimes, students start to depend on them to provide the knowledge they should be learning and remembering independently. As time goes on, they soon become fully reliant on these machines to give them every piece of information, never really learning or remembering anything for themselves. What happens when students do not have access to computers? This adjustment will make it more difficult for students to genuinely know the information that they seek.

Overdependence on computers to provide knowledge and facts isn’t the only educational consequence of our modern-day society’s technology dependence. Many people, students included, use spell checkers to help find their errors instead of memorizing how to spell words. Spell checkers make students lose motivation to learn how to spell correctly because the computer does all of the work for them. 

Spelling isn’t the only casualty of too much dependence on computers — learning any task can be negatively affected. One study showed that being reliant on computers can be harmful because it reduces the effort that a student would put into learning a certain task. This will soon carry out into the rest of their lifestyle as they begin to put less and less effort into everyday activities. 

Computers are created to make our lives easier, but problems start to arise when people depend on computers too much. When we use these devices excessively, we can become envious of others on social media. Additionally, too much dependence on computers can hinder learning for students. With many people using spell checkers and computers for information, they will soon become too reliant on computers, which makes them put less effort into their work.

We may think we’re the ones controlling computers, but in reality the computers may be controlling us.