Friday 9 December 2016

Technology doesn't make the world smaller - it pushes people apart

In my opinion...

Ciara McArdle

Published 16/04/2015 | 02:30

Ciara McArdle from Pobalscoil Na Trinoide, Yoghal, Cork, receiving the overall award of the NNI Press Pass Awards 2014 from Minister Jan O'Sullivan. Also included from left, Martin Sisk, President Irish League of Credit Unions, Vincent Crowley, Chairman NNI and Kevin Doyle, News Editor of the Irish Independent.
Ciara McArdle from Pobalscoil Na Trinoide, Yoghal, Cork, receiving the overall award of the NNI Press Pass Awards 2014 from Minister Jan O'Sullivan. Also included from left, Martin Sisk, President Irish League of Credit Unions, Vincent Crowley, Chairman NNI and Kevin Doyle, News Editor of the Irish Independent.

Once upon a time Blackberry and Apple were the makings of a delicious pie, tweeting was a thing only birds did and a mouse an animal that would infest your cheese supplies. This is strangely no longer the case in today's world.

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While my grandparents' generation would have spent hours of their day harvesting potatoes in the small patches of land they had behind their houses, the children of today's world spend one minute harvesting crops on Farmville and are convinced they have done a hard day's work.

What a false sense of achievement we are giving this generation of kids! Yes, congratulations. You finally passed that 'difficult' level of Angry Birds; but you and I both know that Yahoo Answers played a major role in your success. We have become completely oblivious to the term 'work' when it comes to technology. I mean, who amongst us has not groaned at the thought of getting off the recliner to get the charger for your Samsung Galaxy S4? Step aside Collins Dictionaries, Google Translate is already here. No thanks brain, my calculator's got it covered. Talk about your face palm moment when you see people rejecting offers to go outside, so they can stay in and watch a 17th episode of Family Guy that they've already seen. We are getting this wrong people! If Blackberry and Apple continue to advance their technology in this fashion, I want no part of it. I've lost my appetite.

Why do human beings not talk to each other anymore? What has happened to having an actual conversation? And no, I'm not talking about the odd text thrown across Facebook every three or four hours; they don't count as conversation. In fact, they don't count for anything; because I can guarantee you that if someone replies with a 'haha', a 'LOL' or even a 'ROTFLOL' that they are sitting behind their computer screen with a face of stone. They say technology makes the world smaller, but I think it is beginning to push people apart. It is easy to hide behind a profile picture and say what you please; but when it comes to real life it seems as though people are more reluctant to say what's on their mind.

We have become obsessed. "Everybody, I'll be back later. I have to run to my local Apple store to get the new iPhone 6, because my iPhone 5S just isn't enough anymore."

People continue to break the bank in order to keep up with technology. What they don't know is that technology has already won the race.

Behold! I present to you the biggest deceiver of the World Wide Web - Photoshop! We are shown a constant stream of unattainable images on sites like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. These photos often go beyond the point of someone who is naturally skinny to something even Barbie is disgusted by. It's even more embarrassing when someone fails at Photoshop. We've all seen that one image where the kid messes with his nose too much and ends up looking like a Pinocchio impersonator. The thing about technology like Photoshop is that they not only change our images but also the opinion we have of ourselves. And the scary thing is I don't know which is worse.

* Ciara McArdle is a pupil at Pobalscoil na Trínóide, Youghal, Co Cork. This is an edited version of her prize-winning entry for the recent National Newspapers of Ireland Press Pass writing competition for Transition Year students.

Irish Independent

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