We all know how much technology has improved our lives. Cell phones have made communication possible – anytime, anywhere. Laptops and the Internet have made information available in so many ways and forms, we’re practically overloaded by it everyday. New technologies in healthcare have made the average lifespan longer and are improving people’s lives everyday. However, what about the more negative side of things? How does technology worsen us?
The National Safety Council just came out with the latest injury and fatality statistics and trends. The NSC noted in what they considered “more surprising statistics” that cell phone use is not involved in 26 percent of all motor vehicle crashes. 21 percent of cell-phone related crashes involve drivers talking on handheld or hands-free devices, while 5 percent involved texting. These statistics are shocking. Without cell phones, nearly a quarter of motor vehicle crashes wouldn’t happen. This Injury Facts report was released on March 25, so recent that these statistics are more accurate than ever before. It’s scary that technology has had such an effect on our lives that it causes a quarter of automobile accidents.
Another not-so life-threatening but still negative result of technology is the effect it has on how we use words. Limited to 140 character tweets, quick BRB text messages, and replying to 100-plus emails a day has us using larger words less and less. The Wall Street Journal reported on this, saying “Technology is largely to blame for big words’ fade out. We are being conditioned to communicate faster and in shorter bursts. There isn’t room for big words in a text or a tweet or even a quickly dashed-off email. We’re communicating across so many different channels that, by sheer necessity, our language is becoming abbreviated (“R u with me?”).” As someone who has always valued long words (When I was in sixth grade, I got to design my own spelling tests because the standard ones were too easy. I once chose “deoxyribonucleic acid” as a word on my test.), it is difficult for me to see our vocabulary dwindle away. And much of it, I know, is because of technology and Twitter and texting.
While technology is so valuable at times, sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and look at how it really affects your life. Is it a time-suck? How often do you use it? Are you communicating properly with it? It’s good to look at it retroactively so that you are able to realize the impact of your technology usage and how you may be putting your vocabulary or your physical safety in danger.
Bernstein, E. (2014, March 24). Big Words Are Fading, But People Still Love Them. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304179704579459232432887244?
Lane, K. (2014, March 25). NSC releases latest injury and fatality
statistics and trends. Retrieved from