Technology has changed the way civilization works forever. We often hear stories of its positive impact on the way of life of almost every individual as well as discussions where such progress leads and how we as human beings are changing. Internet is one of the phenomena of technological progress, without which today we cannot imagine normal daily life in urban areas. However, what happens when the Internet and virtual reality that it provides, take control of our lives? Where is that fine line between normal use of the Internet / technology and dependence on it?
Patrik Wincent, a psychotherapist tried to answer these questions, who presented to the audience TEDxStockholm event what seemed to be his experience with Internet addiction, as well as the story of what actually happens when we allow virtual reality to replace reality, and how each of us can become a digital zombie.
His story begins with a comparison of what his childhood was like before and after the advent of computers. . Today, as a parent, he compared his son’s childhood and the modus operandi of today's children who grew up in a different technological environment. In his child’s infancy he often multitasked, and focused on his smartphone, while the second part was trying to interact with the child. The fact is that they spent time together, usually playing video games, but he always ignored his child’s call to play together outside. Because he directed his child towards playing video games, he came to the conclusion that the computer is the perfect babysitter. This however, was an illusion. Has the problem been approached from the appropriate angle?
What do you think of a toddler who cannot speak yet, but who knows how to use an iPad? According to research 30% of children less than two years of age, know how to use an iPad. The brain at this particular age enormously increases and develops, and the environment in which the child is in, forms this development. What happens to the elderly who are accustomed to using pens, paper and post-its, can they easily manage the use of new technologies as today's children?
Who are today's digital zombies then? Those who walk down the street or sitwith friends, with their attention focused on their phone, without noticing the environment? Patrik presented the seriousness of this addiction through a personal example. While at a table tennis tournament, in which his son participated, he was only physically present at the event. His attention was completely focused on the phone. He was so addicted to social networks that at a crucial moment of his son's match, he had to check out what's new on Facebook, because at that moment the phone vibrated. At a time when everyone surrounded his son to congratulate him on his victory, Patrick caught his son's sad gaze, knowing that the boy saw what happened. The child was so sad that it did not talk to him throughout the day.
Can Internet and information addiction be placed at the same level with nicotine addiction? Do you, whenever you feel tension and stress, reach for your phone to see "what's new" on the networks, because you cannot resist the urge to "dopamine dose"? How much have the Internet and technology turned us away from normal behavior in a group? Have we become a "networked egoists"? Why do we no longer have patience in seeking and obtaining information, but we want it all here and now? Is that reflected in the way of functioning in other areas of life? The answers to these and similar questions are found in the video below, in the speech that Patrik Wincent gave at TEDxStockholm.
Author: Snežana Subotić