We grew up with it all around us! In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a person on this platform who isn’t regularly engaging with technology.
It’s how we communicate and connect, schedule our lives, keep ourselves entertained, and learn new things.
There is still a lot we don’t know about the digital environment. What new tech trends are coming? What are the impacts of being hacked (and do we care?) How is tech interacting with the other letters of STEM?
If we said ‘technology’, what is the first thought bubble that pops into your head?
e.g environmental / gaming / new tech / apps / science
This following unfiltered thoughts may contain themes that might be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
The smartphone is a tool
Every day you will see people going on their phones in every kind of situation or circumstance. Whether it be getting up in the morning, having a meal, watching TV, working, exercising, social gatherings or anytime we are bored.
Smartphones are amazing. They provide versatile functionality and provides an abundance of information and possibilities. But with smartphones there are also other attributes such as social media, instant messaging, streaming videos and other various sources of entertainment & comfort.
It makes us all slowly addicted. Our dopamine threshold becomes higher – to the point that smartphones are the only thing that is satiable to our attentive appetite.
However, we need to remind ourselves that the smartphone is a tool. It has its place in our daily lives and as more technology and functionality gets introduced, it’s up to us to decide where it fits with our actions, decisions, and goals.
One thing if you are mindlessly scrolling through your phone, simply speaking aloud and ask yourself ‘Do I need to use my phone now?’ to disrupt the repetitive rhythm and this helps enforce that my actions have purpose, and my phone is a tool for that purpose.
Aamir (he/him), 29 NSW
Feel the sun
Detox – a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. In my case, at times, social media platforms can be ‘unhealthy substances’. The continuous loop of the ‘for you’ page and the 24/7 connection with everyone of all different ages can be quite exhausting. It can take it out of you, with the consistent stimulation and an endless need to compare; comparing smarts, humour, bodies, relationships, houses, cars. Everything. It doesn’t end. The term detox is often used very loosely, however I do believe it draws substantive similarities to that of the underlying toxicity of online platforms. Do not get me wrong – social media provides a unique ability to be involved and connected, when not physically possible. However, I also feel that when people (myself included) spend great portions of their day attached to their phones, endlessly scrolling and/or typing, that is where the crux of the issue lies. Disconnect online, and connect in real life. Put the phone down, look out the window and feel the sun. The offline world is a far more beautiful place to spend time than the online world.
Matthew (he/him), 19 QLD
Are the technologies from COVID our future?
Humans are naturally social beings and need regular interactions to maintain happiness. This is similar to all animals that move in groups or herds. That’s why I think it is important to regularly check in with a secure and stable group of friends. We need others love and support to maintain our mental wellbeing. However, the pandemic has made it extremely difficult to physically interact with others and stay connected, due to lockdowns and social distancing. Many have felt lonely or out of touch with their friends and family. But new technology has been invented to adapt to these changing conditions. These include applications such as Zoom, which made it easier for people to talk and interact through the comfort of their own homes. This may seem great at first, but it has caused our society to be over reliant on technology and increased phone addictions. It has also made us more socially awkward in real life and most of all it has made us too comfortable to leave our own homes. This had led to more and more people going to work or school at home rather than leaving. However, this poses the question: would this make our society more isolated? Or is it a convenient and effective way to save transportation and even the environment?
Vivian (she/her), 16 NSW
Make the call
Social media has done wonders for a world of interconnectedness. Displaced family members around the world can be in contact 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week. The sensation of being ‘plugged in’ 24/7 boosts energy and can spike serotonin levels. Whilst a white screen with a textbox may emulate that feeling of a conversation, the core principles are actually dehumanising and robotic. It takes the emotion and body language out of the equation and provides a place to hide if people want to comment without confrontation. These shortcomings often lead to issues such as misunderstanding, bullying, and harassment. Even if the offender has no malintent or vicious meaning behind their comments, everything can be taken out of context when there is no emotion. The easiest solution is to pick up the phone and make a call – if you are feeling down, have an issue with somebody, or want to show your affection to friends, and family; just make the call. FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams kept the world as connected as possible during outbreaks and lockdowns. So, we must prioritise our wellbeing and happiness by making calls, checking up on friends and family, and explaining your thoughts with context. Most of all … be happy!
Matthew (he/him), 19 QLD