Discuss about the Growing Dependence of Humans on Electronic Machines and Gadgets.
An electronic gadget is a small tool or a machine that performs specific function and is often believed to be a novelty. There is no work as such that can be done without taking assistance from electronic machines or gadgets. This literature review thus critically analyses the growing dependence of human beings on electronic machines as well as gadgets by analysing the previous research conducted in this field.
The term “gadget” means the portable electronic devices which are part of one or more of the following categories: gaming consoles, MP3 player’s mobile phones or various other wireless enabled devices (Lee, 2005). It has been found that globally the smartphone users have crossed the mark of one billion users in the year 2012 (Emarketer, 2014). It is expected that in the global electronics market 4.55 billion people will be using mobile phones by the year end 2014. Thus the penetration of mobile phones will increase from 61.1% to 69.4% between 2013 and 2017 (Abu-Tair & Abu-Shanab, 2014). Already electronic gadgets have turned out to be in extensive use by people of all age groups, but in case of young generation electronic gadgets and technology has a substantial stake in their educational as well as social lives. They are exposed to various electronic gadgets or devices since childhood like video games, computer, Internet, cell phones and various other forms of technology (Nakel & Naval, 2015).
In past few decades the relationship of human beings with information and communication technologies has turned out to be quite intimate .For example Smartphones have become an inseparable companion of humans with a huge list of apps , smart appliances , wearable’s which allows generation, storage as well as collection of large volumes of data regarding each and every aspect of life. There are large number of people who are using electronic gadgets or life hacks due to social, health related or economic reasons or just because of sheer curiosity and personal enjoyment (Sharon, 2016).
The digital tools are impacting human ontologies because humans are adapting both the environment as well as themselves to the more and more complex ICTs. The new electronic devices with their advanced technologies are teaching or educating human beings as users. This kind of integration makes use of large ‘envelopment’ of the physical world in which we live (Florida 2012). Envelopment which was regarded as a stand-alone phenomenon for example in case of a dishwasher it is a machine or gadget that is built around an enveloped “microenvironment” or the one which is being constrained by specific space for example a car factory where hundreds of robots work. However , there are several ubiquitous cell towers as well as Wi-Fi hotspots that have already enveloped and then transformed the physical environment, thus making our world more technology friendly where the ubiquitous smart devices are capable of gathering, transferring and then processing vast amount of data permanently (Hernandez- ramirez, 2017).
Electronic devices or Gadgets
Cognition is enabling a completely new class of products as well as services in order to reason, learn as well as sense about the users and the world in which they live. Thus electronic devices along with their technology allow continuous improvement as well as adaptation. They also help in augmentation of their capabilities so as to deliver various uses that were not previously imagined. This can be seen happening with medical devices, various appliances, cars as well as in case of toys. The Internet of Things (IoT) is helping in expanding the digital universe through its products and unique services by including the products and services with cognition (Kelly III, 2015).
Thus there is seen a rise in the dependence on electronic gadgets which is casting negative impact on several talents for example mathematical intuitions. For example, it has been seen that the quality of handwriting of human beings has seen a decline due to heavy usage of computer keyboards. People have become highly dependent on cell phones instead of their personal memory to store the telephone numbers as well as various other information. Although these gadgets and devices prove to be very useful but they are simultaneously triggering an alarm because we humans are losing analytical capability as well as professional intuition. Human beings are becoming too much dependent on the various technologies applied in electronic devices that they are unable to perform simple tasks without the electronic gadgets or devices. Computers as well as other electronic gadgets are considered to be very wonderful tools which help humans in various walks of life, but they should never be considered as replacements for human creativity, thinking as well as human intelligence (Means & Mubarak, 2012).
Large number of children is seen to be hooked to television, computers, tablets or mobile phones watching favourite shows or playing games instead of playing outdoors. In the past two decades the frequency of watching television has grown twice. This seriously impacts the health of children. Obesity is considered to be a major issue which is found gripping children who use more electronic gadgets. The reason being children now-a-days prefer to eat food as well in front of television or watching mobile phones. These kids avoid all kinds of physical activity and prefer spending their time with electronic gadgets. Thus a child who will be using more of electronic gadgets will be depending more on them and will not be using their skills and knowledge for their work (Deepak, 2016).
Impact of Digital Tools on Humans
Although technology has had positive effects on society but on the flip side it is casting severe negative impacts as well on human health Electronic gadgets pose serious possible risks as well as hazards to human health. It causes physical strains as excessive texting as well as swiping in case of smartphones and tablets results in inflated tendons, index fingers, as well as thumb joints. In case of electronic devices like tablets smartphones there’s is excessive use of thumbs and index finger which results in pain in wrist, weakness of the grip over a prolonged usage of these devices. Excessive use of handheld devices like tables, cell phones or gaming consoles results in poor postures for example hunched back, rounded shoulders or forward head (Greenlifetsyle, 2014).
The artificial light emitted by the mobile phones or tablets hinders the pineal glands and its stops producing melatonin , a hormone which stabilises the human body’s circadian rhythm or commonly known as 24-hour biological clock (Greenlifetsyle, 2014). Heavy use of electronic devices is usually found to be connected with increase in stress, depression in men and women as well as sleeping disorders. Sleep related issues are found more in people working in ICT industry as they have to work on computer intensively and have to communicate all through the day on mobile phone. In the same way handheld gizmos do act as entertainment tool, but they result in gaming addiction and it is not juts children but adults too become addicted to video games. This causes repetitive strain injuries and at the same time prolonged use causes sedentary lifestyle, which finally results in obesity. Moreover, some of the electronic devices or gadgets also emit radiations which might increase the risk of cancer. While some researchers believe that the radiations emitted from electronic gadgets kills neurons or weakens the immunity system (Greenlifetsyle, 2014).
Electronic Device Addiction can be called as a kind of behavioural addiction in which man-made machines interactions are involved. With the advancement in technology there is seen diversification as well as accentuation towards being addicted to electronic gadgets (Susila et al., 2017) . This technology addition started with radios and then trickled down to television and has now reached the mobile phones. In this decade there has been huge evolution in the field of mobile phones , emerging as smart phones as well as they are incorporated with social media and is the leading addictive electronic gadget (Subba et al., 2013). Mobile phone addiction has been described by psycho analysts as award seeking behaviour. Mainly the young population is seen to be pre-occupied with electronic gadgets mainly the mobile phones (Griffiths, 2015).
Dependency and Impact of Electronic Gadgets on Children
Television addiction started as it is the most accessible mass media for both literates as well as illiterates. But it is also the leading mass medium which helps in educating, entertaining, watching news and movies for the common people. With the launch of Smart TVs in late 2010s, that also have integrated internet function, the popularity of television has increased amongst the young generation again. Being addicted to electronic devices like television or mobile phones is considered to be a compulsive behaviour which is almost same as compulsive behaviour (Susila et al., 2017). Thus humans are getting addicted to electronic devices and this is leading type of behavioural addiction to be seen amongst them that needs to be investigated.
Technology is producing large number of electronic gadgets and devices to make our lives easier and better. The recently developed IT driven gadgets are very lucrative and fast catching the attention of current generation especially the youth and children . This leads to higher level of dependence of younger generation on these gadgets which results in electronic gadgets addiction amongst them. This is kind of behavioural addiction which brings about negative impacts as well as there can be neurological impairments. Using gadgets for a longer period of time also causes negative impacts on the health. There can be issues like headaches, depression, and anxiety. Tech-gadgets addiction also impacts the lifestyle of the people who are very much dependent on them and this might result in lifestyle diseases like obesity or diabetes. Thus it becomes all the more necessary to analyse the real time impact of growing dependency on electronic gadgets.
Abu-Tair, H. & Abu-Shanab, E., 2014. Mobile Government Services: Challenges and Opportunities. International Journal of Technology Diffusion, 5(1), pp.17-25.
Deepak, S., 2016. Addiction to gadgets increasing. The Hindu, 3 June.
Emarketer, 2014. Smartphone Users Worldwide Will Total 1.75 Billion in 2014. [Online] Available at: https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Smartphone-UsersWorldwide-Will-Total-175-Billion-2014/1010536 [Accessed 6 October 2017].
Ewles, L., 2005. Key Topics in Public Health: Essential Briefings on Prevention and Health Promotion. Elsevier.
Greenlifetsyle, 2014. THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF ELECTRONICS ON HUMAN HEALTH. greenlifestylemarket, 11 July.
Griffiths, M.D., 2015. Internet addiction: Fact or fiction?. The Psychologist: Bulletin of the British Psychology Society, 12, pp.246-50.
Hernandez- ramirez, R., 2017. Technologies of Self - How are digital tools affecting human ontologies. Lisbon, POrtugal: Faculty of Fine Arts , University of Lisbon.
Kelly III, J.E., 2015. Computing, cognition and the future of knowing. IBM.
Lee, D., 2005. Women’s creation of camera phone Cultue. The Fibreculture Journal., (6).
Means, R.S. & Mubarak, S.A., 2012. How to Estimate with RSMeans Data: Basic Skills for Building Construction. John Wiley & Sons.
Nakel, M.P. & Naval, S., 2015. Study of Impact and Dependency of Electronic Gadgets on Health & Life Style of Students -A Comparative Study Among Youth Population in MGM Campus, Aurangabad. International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR), 6(5), pp.2174-78.
Sharon, T., 2016. Self-Tracking for Health and the Quantified Self : Rearticulating autonomy, solidarity and authenticiuty in an age of personalised helathcare. Philosphy & Technology, 30(1).
Subba, S., Mandelia, C., PataK, V. & Reddy, D., 2013. Ringxiety and the Mobile Phone Usage Pattern among the Students of aMedical College in South India. Journal of Clinica and Diagnostic Research, 7(2), pp.205-09.
Susila, T. et al., 2017. A cross sectional study on electronic device addiction among youth in an urban area, Chennai. Stanley Medical Journal, 4(1).
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