Whilst on my London travels, we inevitably used many means of transport: train, tube, bus and coach. On the tube I looked around and noticed how unsociable we've all become. No one was looking around, just down at their phones sniggering to themselves at something they'd seen on it and it made me come up with this:
In the 21st century I think it’s safe to say that our lives are literally consumed by technology, not only by the gadgets like the iPads, iPhones and e-readers but also the apps, HD TV’s and the ability to download music. There are a lot of advantages to all of this new technology: things are easier, quicker and more convenient to do with technology. However as our lives have adapted to this new found phenomenon so too has our behaviour and habits.
|Photo from Flickr by Sean MacEntee|
Travelling on the tube in London is when the changes really become apparent. Years ago the whole carriage would’ve been reading newspapers absorbed in whatever story they were reading, nowadays the carriage is full people who are slouched over their phone laughing to themselves over a text or snapchat they’ve just received – take away the phone, and they’re just laughing to themselves…
Grammar has also suffered through this technological time, we now write a capital letter for the second letter as opposed to the first for example: ‘Iphone’ to many linguists would be seen as correct as a noun should always start with a capital letter, but at Apple they decided to change things and write it as ‘iPhone.’ So it seems technology has even taken over the rules of grammar which have been passed down through many generations.
Words have even slipped their way into speech and dictionaries almost unnoticeably, words that years ago would have been laughed at. ‘Selfie’ was actually named ‘Word of the Year’ in 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries and is now used commonly in spoken language and social media. Phrases are also lodged in peoples brains now without a thought having to go into it ‘Google it’ is probably the prime example of this, people can no longer be bothered to think of the answer themselves so use the alternate answer instead: ‘Google it.’
One of the more serious downsides of technology is that it can be addictive and people can create and cause emergencies, like when people are on the phone whilst driving – illegal yet people still do it…and die from it. Even when people have witnessed an event they’re too busy tweeting about it to go and help.
|Also from Flickr by Moyan Brenn|
One piece of technology that has been around for a while now is cameras. Although cameras have developed and improved rapidly over the years the reasons for why a person takes a picture have changed too. People are now more interested in taking a picture for the likes on Instagram and Facebook than they are of actually wanting to look back on the photo and remember that time.
Overall technology has improved our lives in many ways: no one is going to lug their whole computer on a train everyday so an iPad or laptop is a lot more transportable and convenient, it’s the same when wanting to take a pile of books on holiday - now you can take an e-reader instead. The point being that technology can be used to help and improve our life, but is it really safe to let it change our behaviour to the point where death is a serious risk?
I'm leaving this open for debate - I am impartial here chums!