Is the use of personal devices becoming a replacement for the spectrum of emotions that make us all humans? This discussion started a long while ago but opinions are still controversially parted. We buy the latest gadgets expecting them to make our life easier, but it seems they do more than just that. Most of the technology we use today can either be intrusive or supportive; how can we enjoy the benefits of our technologies while avoiding the negative consequences?
For example, social media and telecommunication technologies allow us to connect with each other over great distances but, paradoxically, they also make us more isolated and individualistic in our private lives. This is just one example of our own means backfiring in potentially unfavorable ways.
On the other hand, there are also constructive aspects of how we use our technology. Take the example of Amaral Carvalho Hospital's project ELO, a talking teddy bear that helps children undergoing cancer treatment to communicate easier with parents and loved ones. In this sense, it also becomes clear how technology is used to enhance and improve lives.
Nevertheless, experts within different fields seem quite alarmed about the potential side-effects of overindulging on our technology usage. Dr. Neema Moraveji, director of the Calming Technology Lab at Stanford University, argues that relying too much on computer technology can affect our sensorial perception. This means that, instead of processing information based on our senses (sight, touch, smell, etc.), we restrict our perception to just a few variables which are specific to the virtual interfaces that we come in contact with.
Bottom line, we all need to learn to differentiate technology as a mean for better living as opposed to relying on it to replace certain basic human functions. With everything around us progressing so quickly, we must establish a balance and stop taking our emotions and senses for granted.